CANCER: A COSTLY DISEASE.
RESEARCH: A VITAL INVESTMENT
Cancer exerts an immense global toll that is felt not only
through the number of lives it affects each year, but also
through its significant economic impact. With the number
of cancer cases projected to increase substantially in the
next fe w decades, it is anticipated that the economic burden
will rise, too. One study estimates that the global cost of
new cancer cases will increase from $290 billion in 2010
to $458 billion in 2030 ( 21).
In the United States, the direct medical costs of cancer care
are projected to rise from nearly $125 billion in 2010 to
$156 billion in 2020. These costs stand in stark contrast to
the NIH budget for fiscal year (FY) 2016, which is $32.31
billion, of which $5.21 billion is dedicated to the NCI.
The increasing personal and economic burden of cancer
underscores the urgent need for more research so that
we can accelerate the pace of progress against cancer.
Recent advances, some of which are highlighted in this
report, were made as a direct result of the cumulative
efforts of researchers from across the spectrum of research
disciplines. Much of their work, as well as the federal
regulatory agency that ensures the safety and efficacy of
medical device and therapeutic advances—the FDA—is
supported by funds from the federal government. Although
the $2 billion increase to the NIH budget in F Y 2016 was
a welcome boost, it is imperative that Congress and the
Administration provide sustained, robust, and predictable
increases in investments in the federal agencies that are
vital for fueling progress against cancer, in particular the
NIH, NCI, and FDA, in the years ahead.
Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and
mortality in the United States ( 16, 17). It is expected
that the public health challenge it poses will grow
considerably in the coming decades if more effective
strategies for cancer prevention, early detection,
and treatment are not developed ( 8, 18).
This growing challenge will be fueled by an increase
in the number of U.S. adults age 65 and older ( 19),
continued use of cigarettes by 15 percent of U. S.
adults ( 20), and high rates of obesity and
physical inactivity (17).
THE GROWING PUBLIC
OF CANCER IN THE