Campaigning The Fight Against Cancer

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

August 28, 2007

The presidential Candidates have been talking about was the war in Iraq.

Now, some of the presidential candidates are talking about how they'd declare a war against cancer.

Cancer survivor and cyclist Lance Armstrong has sponsored the a presidential candidate forum on cancer.

As presidential hopefuls blaze the campaign trails, some say what better way to gain attention than to have cancer be a leading platform in your campaign.

"I'm the one candidate willing to break hold that these private insurers have on our health care system," said democratic candidate, Dennis Kucinich.

On Monday the Democrats had their turn at the microphone and Tuesday the Republicans will take the stand.

The Director of UVA's Cancer Center, Dr. Michael Weber, says that progress to defeat some of the major killers like cancer has really slipped in the last few years because federal grant money has slipped as well.

"With cancer especially, clinical trials is where the rubber hits the road. Its where new knowledge really comes into helping patients," said Dr. Weber.

Five years ago one in four research grants were funded, now that number is around one in ten; do the math, and that means new research ideas can't be explored.

"One. Nobody asks about how much we spend on the war in Iraq: $450 billion. That would go to domestic needs: health care, education, cancer research, number one," said democratic candidate Bill Richardson.

Dr. Weber said, "Cancer and other health problems those are things that really can't be postponed. You can always build another road next year and people are will be frustrated. But if you delay finding a cure for a disease, people are going to die."

UVA Health System is in process of constructing the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center; that will break ground in less than two years.

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