Cancer survivor and Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong visited Capitol Hill recently in an effort to spur government action in the battle against cancer. Armstrong testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee hearing on May 8, 2008.
"It's time for our country to refocus and relaunch a comprehensive war on this disease," Armstrong told the committee.
In 1996 Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brain. He survived his battle with cancer and went on to win the Tour de France cycling race seven times.
Armstrong appeared on Capitol Hill with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator John Edwards. Mrs. Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and continues to fight the disease.
"I urge you to reform healthcare responsibly, morally and aggressively and save millions of us," said Edwards.
Armstrong is backing legislation sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to create a more comprehensive approach to fighting cancer.
The legislation is intended to encourage more coordination of cancer research, prevention and treatment. The legislation would give more money to the National Cancer Institute and other public research agencies.
According to an AFP report, the annual budget of the National Cancer Institute, which is the primary federally funded US agency for cancer research, has remained flat since 2004.