Cancer research is critical to state, nation

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The recent announcement that the University of Kentucky was awarded $11.2 million from the National Institutes of Health for research on cancer and its connections to obesity could be vital to creating a healthy future for the entire state and, ultimately, the nation.

This addresses a significant need here in the state that continues to lead the nation in cancer deaths and continues to place in the top 10 when it comes to obesity.

Part of the bi-partisan 21st Century Cures Act, this funding is significant because it will provide vital support to the University of Kentucky’s efforts when it comes to cancer research and developing comprehensive preventative and curative strategies.

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Money cannot solve every problem, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to research and fighting for a cure.

As reported in Kentucky Today, the statistics are alarming, with more than 10,000 Kentuckians dying from cancer each year and with lung cancer killing 50 percent more Kentuckians than the national average.

The state also ranks in the nation’s top 10 for mortality rates when it comes to breast, colorectal and cervical cancers.

Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr said the funds will be used “to support the University of Kentucky’s groundbreaking efforts in cancer research, and commitment to training early career biomedical research, through mentorships and multi-disciplinary collaborations.”

These dollars will also create thousands of jobs, which is not the primary objective but certainly a welcome side effect.

Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way — most of us very directly and personally.

A commitment to research will be the only way we can ever truly eradicate the disease.