Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Dave Reichert
Date: Oct. 5, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. REICHERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 733, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012, and to thank the bill's sponsors, Representatives Eshoo and Lance for all of their work on this legislation.

This bill is crucial to the search for a cure for pancreatic and other deadly cancers and it is important to everyone whose life has been touched by the deadly disease--those suffering now, survivors, and of course the loved ones that cancer leaves in its wake.

This bill is a great first step to addressing some significant scientific challenges.
A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is all too often a death sentence. It is the only major cancer that carries with it a 5 year survival rate of just 6 percent--a statistic that has not improved in the last 40 years.

Sadly, cases are projected to rise if we do nothing. It's the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death and there are no proven early detection methods. In fact, a typical narrative is that a patient feels not quite right. She goes in for an unrelated problem or illness, often difficult to diagnose. It can be weeks or months before the cause--pancreatic cancer--is identified.

I am all too familiar with that story. It is my mother's.

My mother fought a brave, years-long battle with pancreatic cancer, ultimately succumbing to the disease last year. There is nothing that I wouldn't have done to help her, but there is nothing I could have done to save her. When she was diagnosed, as now, there were no proven early detection and treatment methods.

We simply must reverse these statistics. The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act will help do just that--it calls on the National Cancer Institute to develop a scientific framework to deal with these types of cancers.

By defining a roadmap for success and creating a strategy for research in this area, we can begin the process of reversing the abysmal statistics.

Cancer is not partisan, and neither is this bill--with over 290 bipartisan cosponsors, I am thrilled to see this bill move forward. It is time to address these issues and really make a difference in pancreatic cancer and other resistant cancers.

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