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Reader's View: Cancer research where 'better' begins

I was delighted to read the April 2 "Local View" commentary, "Legislature could help University of Minnesota improve rural cancer care."

University of Minnesota Medical School Brooks Jackson was absolutely right. I am a hospital chaplain and was a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, one of the many organizations that supported the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in Congress for the same reasons as Jackson detailed.

We can't have better, new treatments and stronger prevention without cancer research. Research is where "better" starts, and not just for cancer patients but for all patients and preventive efforts. As we look across the national landscape, we see alarming threats to cancer-research funding in the president's proposals for this year and next. If those proposals come to pass, it will be impossible to make up the whole difference here.

But there are things we can do to secure a brighter future for cancer research. As Jackson pointed out, Minnesota can support cancer research through funding and a system to increase enrollment in clinical trials, accelerating the pace of discovery and creating a healthier future for all of us.

I will continue to contact my lawmakers to ask them to do their part in funding cancer research, and I urge you to do the same.

Patti Maguire