Attention Politicos: Americans Love Cancer Research

Nick Mulcahy

September 16, 2015

American voters favor increasing federal funding for cancer research, according to results from a national survey sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

Nearly three of four (74%) survey respondents, who were all registered voters, said they support increased funding, and nearly half (49%) said they strongly favor the idea.

Furthermore, presidential candidates might want to include a cancer research plank in their platforms, the survey results suggest.

Respondents said they would be more likely — by a margin of five to one — to vote for a presidential candidate who makes the fight against cancer a national priority (by providing sustained increases in federal funding for cancer research).

"It is extremely heartening to see from the results of the survey that most American voters have the same message for Congress as the AACR — increasing funding for medical research should be a top national priority," said José Baselga, MD, PhD, president of the AACR.

Unfortunately, there has been a decline in National Institutes of Health funding since 2004, added Dr Baselga, who is physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

The national survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies.

Other key survey findings are:

  • 81% of survey respondents favor using taxpayer dollars to fund medical research

  • 85% acknowledge that "progress is being made against cancer"

  • in all age groups, respondents are "most worried about getting cancer," compared with other diseases

  • 88% of respondents know someone who has had cancer and 47% have a close friend or family member who currently has cancer.

The survey results were released today in conjunction with the AACR's fifth annual Cancer Progress Report, which urges Congress and the Obama administration to continually increase the annual budgets of the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the US Food and Drug Administration by at least 7% starting in 2016.

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