Congress: Help address disparities in cancer care by funding cancer registries


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Dear [Decision Maker],

As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I am writing to ask that you work to increase funding for cancer control programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These programs work to increase early diagnosis, improve survival and reduce costs from cancer.

CDC-funded cancer control programs work to reduce cancer risk factors and promote cancer screenings for all Americans especially those affected by disparities. Additionally, increased investment in cancer registries will drive faster progress by developing insights through expanded data. While overall mortality from cancer is dropping, we know that not everyone benefits equally. Marginalized populations are bearing a disproportionate burden of preventable death and disease.

An important piece of this puzzle is ensuring equity in the data collection process. Our nation's public health data systems are in dire need of upgrades. Antiquated, paper-based systems slowed our response to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, costing American lives and bringing much needed attention to this issue. Right now, there is an effort to modernize our public health data collection and surveillance systems. This effort includes the critical information collected by our nation's cancer registries.

Cancer registries collect detailed demographic data on who is getting sick and where. They allow stakeholders to monitor cancer trends, identify higher-risk groups, and create policy that will reduce health disparities. Health equity in cancer care means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or zip code.

Addressing health equity in cancer starts with timely, complete, and accurate data on populations and demographics that need focused attention as a result of identified cancer disparities.

Undoubtedly, cancer programs at the CDC will be become even more essential as we address continued delays in access to screening for many average risk people as a result of COVID-19 and develop strategies to ensure that those most at-risk have access to life-saving cancer screenings.

For these reasons, I ask that you support $559 million for CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) including $70 million for the cancer registry program.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
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[Your Email]