According to the Texas Cancer Registry (TCR), cancer is currently ranked as the main cause of death among residents of Texas aged 85 years old and younger. Last year, in 2013, the registry estimated nearly 120,000 Texans were diagnosed with cancer, and over 40,000 of the state’s residents died of some form of the disease.
John Otto, a Texas State Representative, recently received an award from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) for his valuable, professional contributions to the field of oncology and for supporting the ongoing battle against cancer in the state of Texas. ACS CAN is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works with the American Cancer Society to shape and implement evidence-based policies and law-based resolutions in order to raise awareness, funding, and research objectives for cancer.
Rep. Otto’s recognition from the organization stemmed primarily from his principal role in affecting improvements for the recently relaunched Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), as well as obtaining funds to support and help further the institute’s research endeavors.
The state’s government relations director for ACS CAN, Cam Scott, said in a press release that Otto had devoted much of his efforts to ensuring Texas remains at the forefront of the fight against cancer. Scott said that Otto’s leadership and work will prove essential for the many years to come.
In 2007, the state voted for the establishment of the CPRIT and endorsed a $3 billion fund for research and development efforts against the disease for up to 10 years. The institute finances cutting edge research on cancer and spearheads Texas’ undertakings in discovering and promoting better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. It is also important to note that, because each one of CPRIT’s sponsored research projects is led by Texas-based scientists, the state economy benefits significantly from the organization’s cancer research and prevention funding efforts, which have led to the creation of more than 24,000 jobs since CPRIT’s inception.