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Cancer Funding Doesn't Add Up. . .

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and guess which cancer gets shortchanged?

This is from the online edition of the NY Times March 6, 2008.

March 6, 2008, 12:21 pm

Cancer Funding: Does It Add Up?

Should cancer spending be focused on the most common cancers? Or the most deadly cancers?

That’s the dilemma for the cancer research community as it struggles to divvy up limited funds. After news yesterday that actor Patrick Swayze had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, several readers questioned the nation’s cancer funding priorities. I decided to look at the numbers.

The National Cancer Institute spends about $6 billion a year in the war on cancer, allocating some funds for general cancer research and some for studies of specific cancers. But a review of the N.C.I.’s 2006 funding for five of the biggest cancers showed a wide disparity in the amounts of money spent relative to each cancer death and each new case of cancer. The data offer only a partial snapshot of public cancer spending in this country, as other government offices, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, also fund breast and prostate cancer research.

The big loser in the cancer funding race is lung cancer. It is the biggest cancer killer in the country, yet on a per-death basis receives the least N.C.I. funding among major cancers. In 2006, the N.C.I. spent $1,518 for each new case of lung cancer and $1,630 for each lung cancer death, according to data from the institute and the American Cancer Society.

Among the big cancers, breast cancer receives the most funding per new case, $2,596 — and by far the most money relative to each death, $13,452. Notably, prostate cancer, the most common cancer, receives the least funding per new case at just $1,318. But on a per-death basis it ranks second, with $11,298 in N.C.I. funds.

Here’s a look at the N.C.I. cancer funding based on 2006 death rates and incidence rates for some of the most common and deadliest cancers.

Cancer (Deaths) N.C.I. Funding per Death

Lung (162,460) $1,630

Colon (55,170) $4,566

Breast (41,430) $13,452

Pancreas (32,300 ) $2,297

Prostate (27,350) $11,298

Cancer (New cases) N.C.I. Funding per New Case

Prostate (234,460) $1,318

Breast (214,640) $2,596

Lung (174,470) $1,518

Colon (106,680) $2,361

Pancreas (33,730) $2,200

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/0 ... ex.html?hp

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