Americans speak out on cancer

mple of 1,000 Americans, 18 years of age and older. Among other notable responses:

  • The prospect of getting cancer is a prevalent fear More than a third of those surveyed were more afraid of getting cancer than Alzheimer's (34 percent), heart disease (16 percent), HIV (9 percent) or diabetes (9 percent).
  • Cancer does not receive adequate attention from the federal government, according to 58 percent of the respondents The National Cancer Institute receives less than one half of one percent of the federal budget, or $4.6 billion. The vast majority of the nation's taxpayers about 80 percent, according to the survey would rather see that figure increase.
  • We are not doing enough to fund cancer research 72 percent agree, particularly in light of the fact that 40 percent of all living Americans will have cancer in their lifetimes, increasing to 50 percent by 2010.
  • About 63 percent of the respondents favor a doubling in the budget for the National Cancer Institute to $10 billion.

Cancer remains second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death, claiming about 1,500 American lives daily. Economically, the United States lost about $172 billion in the year 2002 from treatment costs, lost productivity and premature deaths from cancer.

"I am living proof of the value of successful cancer research without it I would not be here today," said testicular cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. "Other cancer survivors deserve the same opportunity to overcome the disease and live with a great quality of life.

"It's clear that America can do more to help make progress against cancer," Armstrong said. "Our country, including the government and the entire cancer community, needs to make a greater commitment to eliminating this dreadful disease."


Contact: Warren Froelich
American Association for Cancer Research

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