Echidne has a post that should be read by everyone whose life has been affected by any sort of serious disease. It's about how the Bush administration is underfunding the NIH (National Institute of Health). The NIH is one of the primary sources of funding for all of the scientific research in this country. It is institution that makes finding cures possible.
I hate mixing medicine and politics but it's really becoming impossible these days. During the Clinton years, funding for the NIH was increased. However, for some reason, the Bush administration decided put a halt to increased scientific research. Not only did they stop increasing the NIH budget, they also decided to cut it.
This has an ENORMOUS impact on those with cancer. This research is the only hope for millions of people like me who will die of cancer unless new treatments are found. Within my lifetime, I have watched Luekemia go from a disease that most people would die from to one that is over 90% curable in children under five years old and highly survivable for others too. From the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
The relative five-year survival rate has more than tripled in the past 46 years for patients with leukemia. In 1960-63, when compared to a person without leukemia, a patient had a 14 percent chance of living five years. By 1975-77, the five year relative survival rate had jumped to 35 percent, and in 1996-2002 the overall relative survival rate was nearly 49 percent.
The survival rate for invasive cervical cancer has also seen great gains.
The five-year survival rate for invasive cervical cancer that is caught at its earliest stage is nearly 100 percent. More advanced cases that haven't spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere have a 92 percent five-year survival rate, and the overall five-year survival rate for cervical cancer is 73 percent, according to the cancer society.
Thanks to scientific research we can now PREVENT most cases of cervical cancer. The new HPV vaccine Gardasil is only in existence thanks to funding that is now threatened. Is this really the point in history where we want to stop medical research? Just look at some of the latest news in cancer research.
Researchers Find Genetic Link in Bone Cancer
Trial Uses Measles to Kill Bone Marrow Cancer
Molecular Mechanisms in Chrondrosarcoma Metastasis
Outlook For People With Bone Cancer Brighter
Test Points to Aggressive Cervical Cancer
Combo of Cisplatin & Topotecan Improves Survival in Advanced Cervical Cancer
Capsaicin causes cancer cell death,
'Inoperable' advanced prostate cancer may be operable, curable,
Racial gap in uterine cancer survival shrinking
Oral contraceptives and IUDs protect against endometrial cancer
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) hope for breast cancer
Blood Pressure Drugs May Fight Lung Cancer
Half (around 45%) of the men in the United States will develop some type of cancer within their lifetime. One in four of all US men will die from cancer. One in three US women will develop cancer at some point. One in five US women will die from cancer. These are just the statistics for the entire country. Depending on certain factors, your risk may be much higher than this.
For cancer alone, there are over 4,000 clinical trials that are taking place right now. One of them may hold the cure to the kind of cancer that you or your loved one develops. NIH-funded research has produced amazing results and we're just getting started. Please consider contacting your members of Congress and asking them to support the NIH. This is an issue that affects us all, no matter what political party you prefer. There are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are trying to get the President to properly fund this research, so there's no reason why everyone shouldn't get behind this.