American Cancer Society volunteers from Louisiana and many other states are in Washington, D.C, today rallying for more funding for cancer research. Director of the LSU Health Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Augusto Ochoa, is among those volunteers. He says the advances in science over the past several decades have been phenomenal,
and we are at a turning point in cancer research that just needs an additional push.
“Additional funding for research efforts in cancer should be able to turn the tables on the disease and change it from a deadly disease to a chronic disease,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa and the other volunteers are asking Congress to increase funding for the National Cancer Institute by $680 million. He says, more than 9,000 Louisiana residents die from cancer every year, and Louisiana has one of the highest rates of death by cancer in the country.
“We also have a high incidence of certain types of tumors. We have about 25,000 new cases of cancer a year,” Ochoa said.
According to the National Institute of Health, in 2015, almost $24 billion funded nearly 50,000 cancer research grants over 2,500 research facilities around the country. Ochoa says Louisiana receives some of those grants.
“The state of Louisiana receives about $130 million of funding from the National Institutes of Health a year, and about $10 million of those are from the National Cancer Institute,” Ochoa said.
For more information on how to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, go to acscan.org.