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Posts Tagged ‘National Cancer Institute’

Cancer is Just Not Scary Enough

In 2010 we wrote a blog post titled Cancer Research or Halloween and since then not much has changed.

To get our fright on, it is estimated that Americans will spend between $6.9 billion and $8 billion on Halloween festivities this year. U.S. News and World Report reports that the average participant will spend $80 which is up from the $72 spent on Halloween for 2012.


To put these large numbers into perspective the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to only spend $5.6 billion on cancer research in 2013 via the National Cancer Institute (NCI).


Does that mean that cancer isn’t scary enough so we have to supplement the frights with Halloween spending?


We think it shows the financial power of the public.


The federal government uses our tax dollars to fund the NIH and NCI but the best that they can come up with is $5.6 billion dollars. Note that this is in spite of the Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer in which they promised in September of 2008 to double the funding for cancer research within 5 years. We have yet to find any proof that the budget has doubled.


If all the Americans that participated in Halloween were to give the average of $80 a year to fund cancer research then we would be able to double the funding provided by the NIH. Our point being is that to many people $80 a year or $6.67 a month isn’t an enormous amount of money. In fact, most people would feel that even if they gave $10 a month to cancer research or to a charity that helps reduce the burden of cancer that it wouldn’t amount to much.


In fact, that is not the case. Giving $10 a month and encouraging your ghoulish friends to do the same can add up and make a huge different. Every little bit helps but don’t skip out on the Halloween candy to make a donation towards cancer because we don’t want the American Dental Association to get angry at us for reducing the rate of caries.






Cancer Research or Halloween

The budget for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is downright scary.

The Federal Government  fiscal year started on October 1st and the announced budget for the National Cancer Institute should scare anyone. For 2011, the NCI budget is $5,264,643,000 or $5.2 billion to make it simple. This is a 3.2% increase ($163 million) to the 2010 budget.

Let’s Put the NCI budget into perspective.

A budget of $5.2 billion appears very robust but how does it relate to say Halloween? According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the amount of money spent by U.S. consumers for Halloween this year is expected to reach $5.8 billion. Can this be correct? Yes, unfortunately, it is. U.S. consumers will spend more on candy, costumes and decorations for Halloween than is spent all year on cancer research by the National Cancer Institute.

The average Halloween participant was expected to spend $66.28 because…

In recent years, Halloween has provided a welcome break from reality, allowing many Americans a chance to escape from the stress the economy has put on their family and incomes,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This year, people are expected to embrace Halloween with even more enthusiasm, and will have an entire weekend to celebrate since the holiday falls on a Sunday.

What we need is a break from the cancer reality

However, this break is unlikely to occur anytime soon if the NCI is spending $5.2 billion on 310 million American or less than $17 per American on cancer research. Hopefully, the NCI budget will be increased. In 2008, the The Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer stated that

The Obama-Biden plan will double federal funding for cancer research within 5 years, focusing on NIH and NCI.

Lets hope that the increased funding of the NCI comes soon. However, from 2009 to 2010 the budget increased only 2.7% and from 2010 to 2011 the increase was only 3.2%. Thus, unless something is in the works the doubling of the budget is unlikely to become a reality in 5 years. There was an additional $1.2 billion added in 2009-2010 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act but that is still far from doubling.

Perhaps the answer to cancer research funding relies with Americans and not America. Perhaps we need to spend a little less every Halloween and donate this money to cancer research. If we spent just half the amount on Halloween and donated it to cancer research our goal of doubling the NCI budget would be halfway accomplished and take no political intervention at all.

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