Giving Patients Nearly 1,000 Reasons to Smile

Giving Patients Nearly 1,000 Reasons to Smile

06.05.12 | By Jennifer Wall

We believe it is only fitting that on the last day of the American Society of Clinical Oncologist's (ASCO) annual meeting that the researchers and developers of life-enhancing medicines - biopharmaceutical research companies - highlight the progress that has been made in the war against cancer. As all the participants at ASCO's meeting look ahead at all the potential advances that are on the horizon in the oncology field, it is important to also reflect and celebrate all of the incredible cancer milestones that have been made to help millions of patients battle this devastating disease.

When Congress declared war on cancer in 1971, there were three million cancer survivors living in the United States. Today, there are nearly 12 million survivors - thanks to earlier detection and life-saving medicines. Millions of cancer patients, including children, are also seeing their lives extended by at least five years because of new treatments. In fact, a study found that the number of children surviving five years after diagnosis has grown from 58 percent in 1975 to 81 percent three decades later.

These are just a couple of milestones that PhRMA highlights in a full page advertisement featured in today's Politico. I urge you to check it out.

Nearly 1,000 Reasons to Smile

As we look at all the progress has been made since the 1970's, we should all have a reason to smile. Many cancer battles have been won and millions of lives have been saved. But the reality is that many new battles have just begun and patients, with their families and friends, are depending on future medical advances to help them carry their fight against cancer forward. The good news is that biopharmaceutical research companies are testing nearly 1,000 medicines and vaccines that are providing hope to patients who rely on biopharmaceutical innovation to win their war against cancer.

So my message to patients out there is that you're not alone in your battle against cancer. We're right by your side and hopefully giving you nearly 1,000 reasons to smile as we continue to research and develop new treatments to add to your war arsenal.

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