GYNECOLOGICAL RESOLUTION FOR ADVANCEMENT OF OVARIAN CANCER EDUCATION -- (House of Representatives - November 07, 2005)
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Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I think some of the statistics that have been spoken here on the floor do bear repeating because they are not widely known either in the medical community or among the citizenry of our country.
Ovarian cancer is more common than many believe. One out of 57 women will have an occurrence. It is expected that 22,200 will be diagnosed with the disease this year, again, something that is not widely known, near epidemic proportions here.
It is, as those speakers who preceded me have said, difficult to diagnose because of subtle symptoms, and they can be confused with other diseases.
It is key that we better inform the medical community, key that we begin to invest more money in research toward a test which could more reliably detect the cancer; and if we are successful there, we will dramatically increase survival rates. Early detection causes a dramatic chance in a woman's minimum 5-year survival possibility.
It is key that we invest in those areas, and we are not. Ovarian cancer is rather dramatically underfunded relative to its high mortality rate.
In 2004, the National Cancer Institute allocated only about 20 percent as much funding to ovarian cancer research as to breast cancer research, not that breast cancer should be minimized, but I think we should be investing more in both for humane purposes and for avoiding huge medical costs and complications as these diseases progress to more serious stages. Unfortunately, there was only about a third as much as was allocated to prostate cancer, again, not that we should reduce prostate cancer research, but we should increase ovarian cancer research and the others.
These are investments we are making in the health and well-being of the American people. They ultimately will be not only lifesaving, but cost saving. They are good investments to make, even in tough economic and budgetary times.
So I am hopeful that the passage of this resolution will lead not only to more education among our populace, but more education in the medical community, better diagnostic tools and more money invested in research.
To paraphrase former Vice President Gore, this is not just a women's disease. Everyone has a grandmother or a mother. It is someone's spouse or sister or aunt or friend who are afflicted by this disease, and in that we all cannot feel their pain, but we understand how life changing or how horrible this disease can be for the individuals and for their families.
With that, I urge my colleagues to urge the resolution, and in the near future to support increases in funding for finding better ways to detect and cure this disease.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
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