The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and plans, and caused so much loss. Our lives have been forever altered. If we don’t act now, those losses will be compounded.
A generation of research depends on what we do right now. Research is the cornerstone of our work in the fight against cancer. It helps drive new treatments. It tells us who is at risk and why. It informs prevention, patient support, and advocacy efforts. Failing to invest in research now means that we will have fewer preventative tools, fewer treatment options, lost progress towards a cure, and ultimately, more deaths from cancer in the future.
An important part of our efforts has long been to better understand health disparities. This year, we were slated to fund 59 health equity research grants. These inquiries must continue now more than ever. Each year, we invest $100 million in new research. Because of the pandemic, we are at risk of cutting cancer research funding by 50% this year – this would represent our lowest investment in this century.
The American Cancer Society has been in this fight for more than 100 years. We’ve played a role in almost every major cancer research breakthrough in the last century and have funded the research of 49 investigators who went on to win the Nobel Prize. Our rigorous peer-review process is top notch, and we have reached into more than 200 institutions nationwide, which allows us to invest in the very best research projects. We know what to do when it comes to cancer research, but we need your help at this critical moment.
We can save and improve more lives, but only if we keep pushing forward by embracing and pursuing new treatments and scientific frontiers. Without funding, there is no hope.
This is undoubtedly a challenging time, but the fact is, cancer does not stop and neither do we. The American Cancer Society remains available to provide information, support and guidance to patients and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via our free helpline, 1-800-227-2345, and our website, cancer.org.
About the Author
Dr. Arnold Baskies is: Chairman of the American Cancer Society Global Cancer Control Advisory Council, and the St. Baldrick’s ACS Alliance; American Cancer Society Past Chairman of the National Board of Directors; and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Rowan School of Medicine.
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