1 in 4
deaths in the United States
is due to cancer (1).
cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment can be
developed, it will not be long before cancer overtakes heart
disease as the leading cause of death for all Americans, as it
already is among the U.S. Hispanic population (12, 13) (see
Figure 2, p. 7).
;ese challenges are not unique to the United States; they
are also global problems. In 2012 alone, it is estimated that
almost 14.1 million people worldwide received a diagnosis
of cancer and 8.2 million died of the disease (6). Without
signi;cant new advances in cancer prevention, detection,
and treatment, these numbers are projected to rise to 24
million new cancer cases and 14.6 million cancer deaths
Cancer: A Costly Disease.
Research: A Vital Investment
;e immense burden of cancer is clear not just from the
large number of lives it touches but also from its signi;cant
economic impact. Cancer is among the costliest of diseases
to the United States. ;e most recent NIH estimates
indicate that the overall economic costs of cancer in 2009
were $216.6 billion: $86.6 billion in direct medical costs
(i.e., the costs for all health expenditures) and $130.0 billion
for indirect costs (i.e., costs for lost productivity due to
premature death) (1). ;ese costs stand in stark contrast to
the NIH and NCI budgets for ;scal year 2014, which are
just $30 billion and $4.9 billion, respectively.
;e global economic toll of cancer is also enormous. It has
been estimated that the 12.9 million new cases of cancer
diagnosed in 2009 cost the world $286 billion that year
alone (14). As the number of cancer cases rises, so, too,
does cost. ;e 13.3 million new cases of cancer diagnosed
worldwide in 2010 are estimated to have cost $290 billion,
and the 21.5 million new cancer cases anticipated to occur
in 2030 are projected to cost $458 billion (15).
;e rising economic and personal burden of cancer
underscores the urgent need for more research to develop
new prevention and treatment approaches. Recent advances,
some of which are highlighted in this report, were made
as a direct result of the cumulative e;orts of researchers
across the spectrum of research disciplines. Much of their
work, and the advances that followed, was a direct result of
research funding from the federal government. ;us, it is
imperative that Congress and the administration increase
investments in the primary federal agencies that support
this vital research, the NIH and NCI.