Cancer: A Costly Disease.
Research: A Vital Investment
Cancer exerts an immense global toll not only through the
number of lives it affects each year, but also as a result of its
substantial economic impact. It is estimated that the 13. 3
million cases of cancer diagnosed worldwide in 2010 cost
$290 billion in that year alone ( 18) (see Figure 1). With the
number of cancer cases projected to rise dramatically in the
next few decades, so too will the costs. In fact, it is estimated
that the 21. 5 million new cases of cancer projected to be
diagnosed in 2030 will cost $458 billion ( 18).
In the United States alone, it is estimated that the direct
medical costs of cancer care in 2010 were nearly $125
billion, and that these costs will likely rise to $156 billion
in 2020 ( 19). These costs stand in stark contrast to the NIH
budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which is $30.3 billion.
Given the increasing economic and personal burden of
cancer, it is clear that more research is required if we
are to continue to make new advances against cancer.
In the United States, most biomedical research, as well
as the federal regulatory agency that assures the safety
and efficacy of advances—the FDA—is supported by
funds from the federal government. Therefore, it is
imperative that Congress and the administration increase
investments in the federal agencies that are vital for
fueling progress against cancer, in particular the NIH,
NCI, and FDA.