Unfashionable Cancers Receive Less Funding
A report by the UK National Cancer Research Institute reveals that unfashionable cancers receive less research money and attention from scientists, despite increased funding over a 4 year period towards cancer-based research.
Some of the deadliest cancers, such as those affecting the lung and pancreas, get the least amount of public money, while five cancers with some of the best survival rates, including breast and leukaemia, receive nearly two-thirds of the money.
There are a number of factors that come into play in this situation; for one, researchers are more likely to investigate cancers that show the most promise of breakthrough. Secondly, celebrity campaigning raises the profile of certain illnesses, which then attracts more public sympathy and funding.
Roughly 80% of lung cancer patients die within a year of diagnosis, yet this particular cancer retains a negative 'reputation' and receives little funding:
Jesme Fox, the medical director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: "It is soul destroying that nothing much has changed. Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer deaths but is still stigmatised and attracts an unacceptably low amount of research funding. We have known since 2002 how bad the situation was but progress has been too slow and just not good enough. This is a horrid disease and a horrible way to die."
Perhaps a central funding agency should allocate funds towards areas that show the most ingenuity and potential for development; if breast cancer is receiving the most funding but the research remains stagnant and unprogressive, then that money should be diverted to an area where the most headway can be made.