Presidential hopefuls in person and in prerecorded statements pledged to spend more research money to eradicate breast and other types of cancers over the next 10 to 15 years. Participants at the Susan G. Komen for the Cures 10th annual conference in Crystal City, Va., aired their comments during a two-day forum on the upcoming presidential election. In their video statements, Democratic presidential contenders John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton said they would boost federal funding to support cancer prevention research, with Clinton promising to increase the National Institutes of Healths budget by 50% over five years, and doubling that budget over 10. Republican candidate Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said he would push earlier access to clinical trials to end cancer deaths in a decades time, and Rudy Giuliani, another GOP contender, said he would urge the private sector to help fund cancer research.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the only presidential candidate to appear at the forum in person, said he also favors a private market approach and earned applause when he said that every American should be insured.
To entice candidates to keep their promises once elected president, former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, a panelist on Monday at the conference, recommended issuing a yearly report card on breast cancer and other cancer research. -- by Jennifer Lubell and Matthew DoBias