While 4,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every day in the United States and one American dies of the disease every 60 seconds, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) charitable program Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) says it can take up to six years to develop a new cancer drug and another eight years to get that drug to patients. SU2C’s sole scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) , secured resolutions from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in 2007 to raise awareness of the critical advances in cancer research made by its 34,000 members and cancer researchers worldwide. A new resolution was introduced last year, and the AACR is acknowledging the month of May as National Cancer Research Month.
Because mesothelioma is a cancer that often develops in the lining around the lungs, the disease is often classified as a form of lung cancer—even though mesothelioma has some distinctly unique characteristics. As the cancer community website KnowCancer.com notes, “Since lung cancer’s foremost risk factor is the use of tobacco, many people shrug this disease off as a totally ‘preventable’ condition.” The website says that lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than prostate, breast and colon cancers combined. Yet, KnowCancer.com also reports that because most lung cancers are diagnosed in late-stage development, the estimated lung cancer funding per death of $1,415 is far outpaced by funding per death for prostate ($10,945), breast ($13,991) and colon ($4,952) cancers.
In the video above, former AACR President Judy E. Garber identifies three challenges that cancer researchers face:
- Funding — “This is a big enterprise,” Garber says. “We have novel technologies that are expensive and we need ways to make sure they are available to keep things moving forward.”
- Cancer is not one disease, it’s many diseases — “We need many people working on the problem to make progress,” Garber says.
- Significant access issues — Garber notes that both new drugs and old drugs that either look or have been proven effective need to be available to everyone.
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