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Rep. Israel Joins Local Cancer Survivors, Leading Cancer

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Prevention Experts and Advocates

http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/arti ... cleID=6802

Congressional Desk

March 13, 2006

Commack, NY - On Monday, Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY 02), the Co-Chair of the House Cancer Caucus, joined members of his Long Island Cancer Task Force at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Suffolk Outpatient Center to demand that the House leadership fix the President's $40 million cut to the National Institute of Health (NIH) budget for cancer research. Rep. Israel also released a bipartisan letter to the House Budget Committee asking them to reject the president's cuts and fully fund cancer research.

"After Congress successfully doubled the NIH budget between the years 1998 to 2003, we saw the first drop in the number of deaths from cancer since 1930," said Israel. "That's why I'm calling on the House Leadership to restore the administration's $40 million cuts for cancer research. In our fight against terrorism, we will pay any price and deploy any weapon to beat our enemies. In any patient's fight against the personal terror of cancer, we can do no less."

"As someone who is part of a clinical trial through the NIH, it troubles me when I see the money for these clinical trials that is so necessary is cut back," noted Ester Bivona, Huntington's receiver of taxes and an ovarian cancer survivor.

"We applaud Congressman Israel for fighting to restore vital funding to the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute," added Michael Seilback, Director of Public Policy for the American Lung Association of New York State. "Federal research agencies need resources today if the day when lung and every other form of cancer will be detected early and cured is to ever arrive."

"The President's budget proposal will have a devastating effect on cancer research in addition to breast and cervical cancer screening programs," noted Sylvia Diaz, Regional Vice President, American Cancer Society Suffolk County. "We will no doubt see a reduction in the number of cancer screening's funded and a drop in the number of cancers detected early. On Long Island, those impacted most will be the uninsured and working poor."

If we reduce our budgetary commitment to cancer research, we will jeopardize our continued returns on the significant investments we've made up to this point. Achieving Congressman Israel's goal of curing cancer by 2015 requires us to invest in cancer research and prevention programs, which studies have shown have led to a declining death rate and saved as many as 321,000 lives from 1991 to 2002 when Washington doubled the NIH budget.

Congressman Israel's Long Island Task Force, which is composed of cancer survivors and cancer prevention experts and advocates, is charged with formulating a list of recommendations for legislation relating to cancer issues.

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