I am a constituent and member of the colorectal cancer community. I am writing to urge you to support $20 million for the creation of a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined. While colorectal cancer incidence rates in individuals over 50 have largely stabilized or declined due to significant advancements in preventive screening, incidence rates have been increasing among individuals under 50 - a key demographic for our active duty military. It is estimated that by 2030, colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of cancer death for Americans ages 20-49.
Individuals born in the 1990s have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer as those born in the 1950s. Additionally, 3 of 4 colorectal cancer patients under the age of 50 have no family history of the disease and over 60% are diagnosed at a late stage when the disease is far more difficult to treat.
For the past ten years colorectal cancer has been eligible for funding through the Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), competing against over a dozen other cancers for funding and without a strategic plan to guide investment.
Of the top five cancer killers, colorectal cancer is the only cancer not to have its own program within CDMRP.
We are leaving good science on the table. In FY21, the PRCRP received 52 colorectal cancer applications and, of that, 21 scored in the “excellent” to “outstanding” range, but only 5 were funded.
It is critical that there is a dedicated funding stream and strategic approach to make meaningful advancements in the fight against colorectal cancer.
I respectfully urge you to support the creation of a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the CDMRP in the FY24 Defense Appropriations bill. To sign the House letter in support of a Colorectal Cancer Research Program please contact Sam Morgante in Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign the Senate letter, please contact Gloria Nunez in Sen. Cory Booker’s office at email@example.com.