Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of just 6 percent. There are no early detection tools or effective treatments.
Thanks to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research, a new law enacted in January, there is hope for those touched by this disease. I would like to thank Senators McCaskill and Blunt, as well as Rep. Cleaver, for supporting this historic legislation, which requires the National Cancer Institute to evaluate its current efforts in researching pancreatic cancer and focus on ways to improve outcomes for patients.
Due to sequestration, however, federal funding for medical and cancer research has been cut, and the progress we have made is now being threatened. Without adequate NCI funding, it will be difficult to leverage the opportunities that develop as a result of the passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.
On June 18, I will be joining thousands of advocates across the country for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (www.pancan.org) National Call-In to Congress to urge them to save medical research that saves lives. This disease had had a devastating impact on my life, but with Congress’ help, we will be able to develop the tools and treatments so desperately needed to give hope to future generations.