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Your Views: Funding cancer research keeps hope alive for many

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December 13, 2013

Last week, dozens of people lit candles and heard alarming statistics during the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s “Hope for the Holidays” candlelight vigil held outside Congressman Paul Ryan’s office.

In the upcoming year, more than 31,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Wisconsin—at least 87 every day. Due to the sequester, which cut funding to the National Institute of Health, 1,000 fewer people were able to enroll in potentially lifesaving clinical trials this past year.

We heard from Dr. Patricia Keely, a breast cancer researcher at UW-Madison. Her team has discovered a treatment using an already FDA-approved drug developed for arthritis to regress chemical messenger cancer cells in dense breast tissue. Unfortunately, Dr. Keely also shared that some of the hundreds of investigators working in research labs on cutting-edge ideas for cancer and additional medical challenges have already been shut down due to cuts in funding. Those labs represent research that may never be pursued and possible treatments (and cures) that may never be found.

I am one of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors alive in the U.S. today because of previous cancer research breakthroughs. My hope for the holidays is that Congressman Paul Ryan and Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson will do the right thing by voting to end the sequester and restore federal cancer research and prevention funding. Research that saves lives, creates jobs and gives hope to millions.

KAREN L. WARMKE

Janesville



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