Given the economic and fiscal condition our country is in, there is no question that sacrifices have to be made. However, cancer research should not be one of those sacrifices. Federally funded cancer research has greatly reduced the incidence and mortality rates of many of the world’s deadliest diseases and has ultimately improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of cancer survivors, but there are still many who will receive little hope when they receive their cancer diagnosis. For example, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is unacceptable. We must remember that even when our fiscal situation is dire, winning the war against cancer must always remain a priority.
Julie Fleshman is the president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and a coalition leader for One Voice Against Cancer.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.