In 2007, LIVESTRONG campaigned for the largest state-level initiative for cancer research and prevention in history – Proposition 15 – a 10-year, $3 billion investment that Texas voters overwhelmingly supported. The passage of this legislation and subsequent ballot initiative led to the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which to date has awarded nearly $600 million in cancer prevention, research and commercialization grants.
Last year an estimated 107,000 Texans were diagnosed with cancer and more than 38,000 Texans died from the disease. A report released yesterday by CPRIT found the direct cost of cancer in Texas in 2011 to be $28.1 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion since last year’s report and an overall increase of 28.6 percent since the report was first published in 2007.
As predicted, these numbers unequivocally support what we at LIVESTRONG already believe – Investing in cancer research and prevention isn’t a luxury; it is a necessity.
CPRIT’s taking a direct aim at the world’s leading cause of death through its innovative approach in the fight against cancer. Through CPRIT funded programs 145,000 public and professionals have received education, outreach and/or navigation services; 71,000 Texans have been screened for various types of cancer – 28,894 of which have never been screened before; and 225 cancers have been detected.
In addition to saving lives, the same report found CPRIT investments in cancer research, commercialization and prevention programs have pumped more $1.1 billion into local economies and created more than 14,000 jobs in 2011. LIVESTRONG applauds CPRIT’s innovation and success over the last three years. The eyes of the nation are upon Texas as it leads the way in the fight against cancer.