The Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has included Esophageal Cancer in a multi-million dollar Cancer Research Fund!
We are hopeful the U.S. Senate will do the same. Thanks to ECAN’s supporters, a petition with more than 3,300 signatures was sent to Congress in May in support of adding Esophageal Cancer to the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program of the Department of Defense. ECAN spearheaded the drive to get Esophageal Cancer included in this program that could make a significant difference in the fight against Esophageal Cancer!
The United States Congress appropriated $90 million dollars this year for a Cancer Research Fund administered by the Department of Defense. The bill passed by the House of Representatives would appropriate $100 million for the Program next year. Right now, the only researchers allowed to apply for those funds must be working on 16 specific cancer designations. The House voted to include just 12 for next year – including Esophageal Cancer. Today, Esophageal Cancer is not on that list. But our campaign is making inroads to change that. When we do, millions of dollars in cancer research funding could become available to researchers in Esophageal Cancer who today struggle to find a source to finance the work they need to do.
Why it Matters
Research funding makes a difference. In 2016, the National Cancer Institute spent $1,669 on medical research into Esophageal Cancer for each death due to this devastating disease. It amounted to just one-half of a percent of the total Federal cancer research budget. But Esophageal Cancer is responsible for 2.6% of all of the cancer deaths in this country.
Compare that to the $12,802 spent that year on breast cancer research for every death caused by that terrible disease. That amounts to 9.9% of the Federal cancer research budget. Breast cancer causes 6.8% of all U.S. cancer deaths, even though many more are diagnosed with the disease.
This shows what a difference research funding can make! A breast cancer diagnosis used to be viewed as a death sentence – today its survival rate is 89.7%. The survival rate for Esophageal Cancer is under 19%.
We desperately need funding for more research into Esophageal Cancer – adding it to this Cancer Research Fund is our best hope to do that!