(HealthDay News) — Nearly three-fourths of American voters support increasing federal funding for cancer research, according to the results of a new national survey conducted on behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which simultaneously released its fifth annual Cancer Progress Report to highlight progress in cancer treatments and survival.
The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies, shows that five out of every six voters recognize that progress is being made against cancer. Cancer is the disease voters in all age groups are most worried about, with the vast majority (88 percent) knowing someone who has had cancer and 47 percent having a close friend or family member who currently has cancer. To continue making progress against cancer, more than eight out of every 10 American voters, regardless of political party affiliation, favor using taxpayer dollars to fund medical research, with nearly three-quarters favoring an increase in federal funding for cancer research.
The report demonstrates that federally funded research is leading to increased five-year survival rates for all cancers (68 percent in 2010 versus 49 percent in the mid-1970s) and approval of new anti-cancer therapeutics. AACR calls upon Congress and the Obama administration to implement a strategy for providing annual budget increases of at least 7 percent for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in fiscal year 2016 and thereafter.
“We are making significant progress against cancer,” Jose Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., president of the AACR, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, at this time of great excitement, the decline in NIH funding that we have seen since 2004 threatens the pace of progress and undermines the promise of cures for patients.”