June 15, 2023

Federal Funding Needed to Improve Support of Cancer Care Access and Equity

Last week The Hill, a Capitol Hill-focused publication, hosted a webinar that highlighted support for sustained cancer research, including the Biden Administration's Cancer Moonshot initiative. The Cancer Moonshot was launched in 2016, to accelerate the progress against cancer and in 2021 was reignited by President Biden to end cancer as we know it.

In the last two decades, the cancer death rate has decreased by more than 25%. The Cancer Moonshot initiative goal is to decrease cancer deaths by more than 50% in the next 10 years, but to do that, there must be more progress made toward prevention, detection and treatment.

Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot Danielle Carnival, PhD, noted in the article that cancer care access and innovative advancements for therapies are essential in early detection and treatment. Improving accessibility to screenings and removing barriers to care help assist in early detection efforts. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic there was an uptick in missed screenings, and access to cancer these screenings must be accelerated. Additional participants included Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Karen Knudsen, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, Daniel Derman, MD, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Lisa Newman, MD, of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Harlan Levine, MD, of City of Hope, and Ysabel Duron of the Latino Cancer Institute. Support for federal funding was discussed as vital for cancer research and access. The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) continues to advocate for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes the National Cancer Institute.

The College is a member of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, a biomedical research coalition. The coalition recently released a press statement about the federal fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations process, urging lawmakers to support the health of patients, prepare for future health threats and support the medical research workforce by funding NIH with at least $51 billion in FY 2024.

For more information, contact Katie Grady, ACR Government Affairs Director.