On an annual basis three national organizations, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, arrange for local delegations to brief their Congressional representatives on the “state” of cancer research discovery. 

Nationwide, death records from the National Center for Health Statistics have reported a 20.1% relative decrease in cancer mortality between 1980 and 2014. At the county level, however, disparities actually widened, with some counties reporting overall cancer mortality roughly seven times higher than the lowest counties. Factors driving these disparities include socio-economic status, access to care, quality of care, and prevalence of risky health behaviors. 

The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration represents a forum to capitalize on the sharing of evidence-based best practices and pursuing their dissemination to the diverse local communities we represent.  

As the number of cancer survivors nationwide surpasses 15.5M, with two out of three people with cancer now living at least five years after diagnosis, the importance of our attention to local Quality of Life initiatives continues to grow.  At the same time, the daunting number of new cancers (estimated at 8,670 in New Hampshire in 2017) highlights the need for further promotion in the general community of healthy lifestyles that address cancer risk reduction. Of course, national societies brief Congress to advocate for continued investment in cancer research at a time of limited resources and competing priorities. 

As you encounter such challenges in your local communities, you may wish to draw on references to the local economic impact of cancer research, which we were able to estimate to our elected representatives in 2016 that brought back $103.4M in National Institutes of Health funding to New Hampshire, supporting 1,333 jobs and $244.5M in local economic activity. The Collaboration can characterize its work to control cancer on behalf of both the health of our current communities in general and their future generations.