The answer is twelve. A dozen medical research groups from across the United States have requested funding for their research projects specifically dedicated to esophageal cancer.
Research funding for esophageal cancer is crucial to saving lives and finding a cure. Unfortunately, esophageal cancer research is extremely underfunded, both from private funders and the government.
The National Cancer Institute decreased funding for research of esophageal cancer by 15% in 2012. Esophageal cancer now receives a mere $28.0 million out of NCI’s total $5.07 billion budget. That is approximately half of one percent.
While The American Cancer Society reports that they currently fund 1,165 cancer research projects, only 8 of those research projects are related to esophageal cancer.
Diagnosis of esophageal cancer is skyrocketing, with over a 600% increase in the past decades, making esophageal adenocarcinoma the fastest growing cancer in the United States. In order to reduce these incidences of esophageal cancer, we aim to fund research projects whose emphasis is to prevent esophageal cancer and to discover innovative screening tests to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages, when the tumors are more treatable.
Esophageal cancer is also amongst the deadliest of cancers, with a five year survival rate of only 17.85%. In order to combat these dismal survival rates, we work to fund research that will improve current treatment options.
The survival rate for Stage IV esophageal cancer is only 3.8%. Unfortunately, at later stages, esophageal cancer can be treated but rarely cured. Patients diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer often have widespread cancer at the time of diagnosis and cannot be cured with surgery. Treatment options are usually to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer and to improve quality of life.
While the ultimate goal is to prevent 100% of any diagnosis of esophageal cancer through prevention and early detection, right now there is a drastic need to discover treatment options which have the potential of curing metastatic (advanced) esophageal cancer.
Our mission is to fund research projects to save lives and find a cure. One day, esophageal cancer will be history. Any donation will help make a difference. It is through small developments which generate knowledge that guides the way to significant advances and breakthroughs.
To make a 100% tax-deductible donation to life-saving esophageal cancer research projects, please click here.
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Sources: cancer.gov surgery.ucsf.edu cancer.org