Supercommittee: Don't cut funding for cancer research

November 19, 2011

Thanks for calling attention to the fact that now is the time for our elected leaders to rise above political self-interest and make the difficult choices that are in our nation's best interest ("Supercommittee: Split the difference," Nov. 14). I agree that committee members must learn to compromise.

But no matter which side of the aisle our elected officials are on, there is one thing that absolutely must not be compromised: Fighting cancer.

Today, there are nearly 12 million cancer survivors. Most owe their lives to cancer research that helped detect, treat or cure their illness.

But if Congress cuts funding and the research stops, promising new treatments may never reach the millions of patients who are still fighting the disease.

As lawmakers continue to discuss cutbacks, Congress it must not forget that this year alone nearly 1.6 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer.

Fighting cancer is already a priority for millions of Americans, and as Congress works on a compromise to reduce the deficit, it is critical that they make cancer research a priority, too.

Megan Yarbrough, Hyattsville

The writer is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

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