Unless Congress acts now, sequestration will severely impact children with cancer today and have lasting effects on progress to cure childhood cancer in the future. The billions of dollars in cuts slated for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) would devastate its clinical trials program that provides innovative treatment for the majority of children with cancer in the United States.
“Sequestration will stifle medical discoveries that save children’s lives and inhibit the development of treatments for children with cancer,” said Maureen Lilly, co-chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and Executive Director of the Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy.“When research funding slows or stops, its promise for improving the future for children with cancer disappears.”
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for children in the United States. Every year, 13,000 children are diagnosed with cancer; one in five die from their diseases. Currently, 40,000 children are undergoing cancer treatment. More than 360,000 childhood cancer survivors reside in the U.S.; two-thirds of whom live with a permanent disability resulting from their diseases and treatments.
The federal government is the largest single funder of childhood cancer research in the United States. If sequestration occurs, children with cancer will have access to fewer clinical trials that help save lives, fewer research studies will be funded, and dedicated pediatric oncologists who seek to cure these diseases will be forced to choose other areas of practice.
“Federal funding for childhood cancer research has resulted in major progress and improved cure rates for some childhood cancers,” said Karen McKinley, PsyD, LCSW, co-chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and Clinical Social Worker. “Unfortunately, much work remains to be done. If sequestration takes effect, efforts to study new cancer treatments and identify cures for these children will come to a standstill.”
As advocates for children with cancer, the Alliance for Childhood Cancer urges Congress and the Administration to work together to avoid sequestration and continue investing in children with cancer and in the future.
About the Alliance for Childhood Cancer
The Alliance for Childhood Cancer is a coalition of 26 national patient advocacy, professional, medical and scientific organization that advocates on behalf of children with cancer.
Contact: Lisa Parks
626-792-8247 x 65