Indiana cancer advocates press for continued federal funding

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Indiana cancer advocates are in Washington, D.C. asking federal lawmakers for a greater emphasis on battling the disease.

It’s estimated more than 37,000 Hoosiers will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and that nearly 14,000 will lose their battle. That's according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

The Indiana volunteers with the group, who took time away from their day jobs to spend a few hours lobbying on Capitol Hill, met first with Senator Todd Young (R-IN).

Young said, “It was so nice to hear from the Hoosiers who descended on my office.”

The volunteers are asking for Congress to improve funding and access to palliative and hospice care for cancer patients. They're also asking for a greater emphasis on colorectal cancer screening. They also want increased funding for research.

Jeni Prosperi, a researcher with Indiana University and the Harper Cancer Research Institute said, “What we’re really hoping to get is an increase in the NIH budget.”

This month, congress approved a spending bill which included a two-billion dollar increase for research grants.

Young said, “I anticipate continuing to support robust funding for basic research into cancer and other diseases.”

The group also met with Representative Jackie Walorski, who said in a statement, “Cutting-edge cancer research at places like Notre Dame’s Harper Cancer Research Institute is giving patients hope for new treatments and cures. I’m grateful for the hard work of these dedicated researchers, and I’m committed to ensuring Congress provides the resources and support they need to keep saving lives.”

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