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First lady Jill Biden speaks at the White House. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Brian Higgins)
First lady Jill Biden speaks at the White House. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Brian Higgins)

On World Cancer Day, Higgins leads House effort to increase federal funding to fight cancer


Fri, Feb 4th 2022 03:15 pm

Cancer caucus co-chair joins White House event relaunching ‘Cancer Moonshot’

Congressman Brian Higgins is leading an effort to support substantial federal investments in cancer research, prevention, screening and treatment. Higgins serves as co-chair of the bipartisan House of Representatives Cancer Caucus along with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Derek Kilmer and Mike Kelly.

In a letter to the president, the cancer caucus co-chairs write, “Each year, more than 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer, and approximately 600,000 will lose their lives. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer remains the second leading cause of death among Americans. … As leaders of the House Cancer Caucus, we ask that you include a substantial request in funding for NCI (National Cancer Institute) and the CDC’s DCPC (Division of Cancer Prevention and Control) in the President’s FY 2023 budget request to increase the baseline of support for these important initiatives.”

Earlier in the week, Higgins visited the White House for an event marking the relaunch of the president’s “Cancer Moonshot.”

Goals of the “Cancer Moonshot” include reducing the death rate from cancer by 50% over the next 25 years and improving the experience for people living with and surviving cancer. To reach these goals, the plan proposes:

√ A call to action on cancer screening to diagnose cancer sooner.

√ Cancer prevention by providing a cleaner environment, as Higgins supported through the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, and by using newer science such as the mRNA technology included in the coronavirus vaccine.

√ Addressing inequalities that are impacting access to screening and treatment.

√ Organizing, through National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers like Roswell Park, an effort to make up for delayed cancer screenings due to the pandemic.

Following the announcement, Higgins and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center CEO Dr. Candace Johnson discussed how the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative will improve and save lives.

Cancer is attributed to nearly 1 in 6 deaths worldwide. Feb. 4 is recognized as World Cancer Day, a time to raise awareness about cancer risks and redouble efforts to beat the disease.

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