C-Change: Comprehensive Cancer Center Directors Urge Congress to Put Prevention Over Politics

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Today, 14 directors of National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers from across the country sent a letter to Congressional leaders, including those on the budget conference committee, urging them to make continued annual investments at no less than their current level in cancer prevention efforts to reduce the risk of cancer.

Today, 14 directors of National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers from across the country sent a letter to Congressional leaders, including those on the budget conference committee, urging them to make continued annual investments at no less than their current level in cancer prevention efforts to reduce the risk of cancer.

“Investing in cancer risk reduction not only saves lives, but also reduces health care spending,” said Tom Kean, M.P.H., president and C.E.O. of C-Change, a non-profit organization committed to reducing cancer deaths using evidence-based strategies across the spectrum from prevention to end of life care, and who brought together these cancer leaders. “Investments in prevention have a 5 to 1 return on investment, meaning fewer American families will be burdened with the pain and suffering related to cancer, and our health care system will have more resources for improved treatments.”

Specifically, the cancer center directors requested that the Prevention and Public Health Fund, designed to save lives through prevention and reductions in the rate of growth in private and public health care costs, be funded at current levels and not used to fulfill shortfalls in other aspects of health care or other areas of the national budget.

“We have the power to cut cancer in half through these and other lifestyle changes. It takes determination from cancer health care professionals, businesses, individuals, community leaders and the federal government to support decisions and policies that promote healthier lifestyles,” said Edward Partridge, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, and constituent of conferee Sen. Jeff Sessions. “We hope Congress recognizes that it has a tangible opportunity to spend money that can get people healthy—and keep them that way—by protecting the Prevention and Public Health Fund.”

About the Prevention and Public Health Fund

The Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Prevention Fund) was created by the Affordable Care Act as the nation’s first mandatory funding stream dedicated to improving our nation’s public health. By law, it must be used “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public health care costs.”

About C-Change:

Founded in 1998, C-Change is the only organization that assembles key cancer leaders from the three sectors — private, public, and not-for-profit — and from across the cancer continuum — prevention, early detection, treatment and quality of life. Our mission is to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem at the earliest possible time by leveraging the expertise and resources of our unique multi-sector membership.

C-Change’s approach is to look at cancer, the disease most feared by Americans, as a societal burden, which we all bear the responsibility for addressing, individually and collectively.

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Shanna Duncan

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Payal Shah
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