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Patients rally to remind lawmakers of cancer’s importance

PHOENIX — Cancer patients gathered at the Arizona State Capitol Building on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to keep cancer research in the forefront of the conversation.

“There are signs that cancer is getting lost in the shuffle,” said Brian Hummell of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We want to make sure cancer is, if not the top priority, a priority for a legislators and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Cancer patients are asking legislators to support the Fair Access To Cancer Treatment (FACT) Act, maintain and protect funding for the Well Woman HealthCheck program and support initiatives to assess the state’s palliative care capacity.

This year, 32,830 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Arizona and an estimated 11,400 will lose their battle with the disease.

“It is the number one killer in the state of Arizona,” said Hummell. “The number of cancer deaths has increased over the last three years and so we want to make sure legislators are aware of that when they make decisions about funding for research and treatment.”