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Rep. Fazio Urges Funds for Childhood Cancer

Rep. Fazio Urges Funds for Childhood Cancer

WASHINGTON--A leading House Democrat has urged his colleagues to approve the funds necessary to make a proposed National Environmental Childhood Cancer Registry a reality.

"I am very excited about this idea because the nation does not have a childhood cancer registry to quantify and evaluate child-specific risks of cancer," Rep. Vic Fazio (D-Calif) told a congressional briefing sponsored by the National Coalition for Cancer Research.

He noted that researchers have long studied environmental, chemical, physical, and biological agents for their possible role in childhood cancers. "However, these studies are limited by inadequate exposure data and sample sizes that just don’t pass scientific muster," the congressman said. "More data are needed, and a national registry for children’s cancer could be the most effective way to explore the potential causes of this disease in children."

The registry would be operated by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with HHS, the Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, and community organizations. A House appropriations subcommittee is currently considering a budget request for $350,000 to implement the plan.

"This seems like a very small price tag for something that could have a major impact on how we understand, ultimately prevent, and treat childhood cancer in the future," Rep. Fazio said.

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