The year 2016 has been a big year for cancer research, and May is the biggest month of the year as it is officially National Cancer Research Month. As Vice President’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative continues to grow in strength and support, a variety of organizations have come together to express their support for cancer research. These include the American Association for Cancer Research, the nation’s legislators, innumerable cancer advocacy organizations, patient advocates, and the patients and their caregivers.
The very first time that National Cancer Research Month was marked was in 2008. At that time, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said, “We’re all touched by cancer as evidenced by the more than ten million cancer survivors living in the U.S. Cancer research plays an important role in saving lives and advancing progress against the more than 200 diseases that we call cancer. In 2008 Congress became united in a bipartisan show of support to recognize the month of May as National Cancer Research Month.”
Cancer research is not limited to the scientists working in the laboratories. It is supported by Congress, fundraisers and philanthropists, physicians, survivors, and caring communities. All of them work tirelessly to make sure that research is supported, funded, and continues to be sustained. To show the government’s continued support for cancer research, on Monday, May 9th U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) introduced resolution S. Res. 459 “recognizing the importance of cancer research and the vital contributions of scientists, clinicians, cancer survivors and other patient advocates across the United States who are dedicated to finding a cure for cancer, and designating May 2016 as “National Cancer Research Month.” The House of Representative introduced a similar resolution on April 29th.
Want to know what you can do to support cancer research? Advocates suggest that you start by contacting your local congressional leader and expressing your support for these bills, as well as for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Doing so will increase the chances that funding will be increased for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.
National Cancer Research Month is being celebrated in a number of ways, including a social media campaign that is being sponsored by the AACR. The group’s Facebook page will be sharing stories from survivors, patients, caregivers and researchers alike. There will also be a national advertising campaign that will feature television, radio and Internet ads profiling what they are referring to as Cancer Thrivers – cancer patients and survivors who are thriving as a result of innovations in cancer research. The Thrivers will be joined by Cure Drivers, those whose research is enabling them to live longer, richer, fuller lives.
For those who are interested in learning more about what they can do to support cancer research, the AACR has a number of additional suggestions. They encourage the community to make contributions to the AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer, an organization that provides financial support for cancer researchers around the country. The AACR selects recipients based upon which studies have the highest potential for impact.
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