Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:
Monica.Garay@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Support H.R. 3016 the Liver Illness Visibility, Education, and Research (LIVER) Act of 2019

Endorsing Organizations (46): Hepatitis Education Project, Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA), Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center, Asian Pacific Liver Center at St. Vincent Medical Center, Liver Health Connection, Hep B United,
End Hep C SF, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Caring Ambassadors Program, Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association, Treatment Action Group (TAG), Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Hepatitis
Education Project, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors), Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership (HAP), Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia, Mercy Housing and Human Development,
The American Liver Foundation, New Jersey Hepatitis B Coalition, SF Hep B Free – Bay Area, Lazarex Cancer Foundation, ASIAN LIVER CENTER AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Asian America Foundation, APA Family Support Services, National Task Force on Hepatitis B Focus
on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, The AIDS Institute, Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, International Community Health Services, AIDS
United, Digestive Disease National Coalition, American Liver Foundation, The Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group, Inc. – HCMSG, American Liver Fdn – Northern CA. Division, Help & Education for Liver Patients (HELP!), Stanford Health Care, Community Access
National Network (CANN), ADAP Advocacy Association, Hepatitis C Association, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington, Hepatitis B Foundation, The Liver Health Initiative

116th Original Cosponsors (10): Rep. Fitzpatrick, Rep. Norton, Rep. Espaillat, Rep. Lee, Rep. Gabbard, Rep. Vela, Rep. Meeks, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Hasting

Dear Colleague,

Please join me to mitigate the epidemic of liver cancer & illness by co-sponsoring my legislation, the
Liver Illness Visibility, Education, and Research (LIVER) Act of 2019.

In 2018, approximately 42,220 people in the United States were diagnosed with primary liver cancer, and nearly 31,000 died from the disease because it is rarely detected early for successful treatment.[1] The five-year
survival rate of 18 percent makes liver cancer one of the deadliest forms of cancer,[2] and though the overall cancer death rate has decreased recently, the liver cancer death rate is on the rise.[3]

As illustrated, early detection is key towards a higher survival rate- when diagnosed in the early stages, liver cancer has a five-year survival rate of 31 percent,[4] but shrinks drastically to only 3 percent
when liver cancer is diagnosed in the later stages.[5]

Additionally, liver cancer kills three times as many Americans as skin cancer,[6] but receives about half of the research dollars at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).[7]
Unfortunately, research, prevention, and awareness initiatives remain underfunded and deprioritized at the federal level relative to other major cancers. This disparity must no longer be tolerated, and swift action is needed to rectify this lack of funding.

For these reasons, I ask you to support my legislation, the
Liver Illness Visibility, Education, and Research (LIVER) Act of 201
9. The LIVER Act is a public health initiative that will help people of all ages, lifestyles, and ethnic backgrounds reduce their risk for liver cancer and related illnesses by enhancing
the federal government’s research initiatives while empowering local entities to promote treatment and raise awareness.

Specifically, my bill directs NCI to initiate the process for creating a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) for primary liver cancer and makes hospitals and healthcare facilities eligible to receive funding for experimental
treatment and prevention programs.

Additionally, it creates two new grant programs at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): one for liver cancer prevention activities (including screenings, vaccinations, and treatments), and another for awareness activities, including the distribution of
public informational materials targeted towards Americans in communities at a higher risk for liver illnesses. In order to ensure awareness efforts are as locally-tailored as possible, the awareness grant program gives a preference for applicants who are or
can demonstrate they work with Federally qualified health centers.

Finally, the bill elevates the necessity of funds towards combatting liver cancer & illnesses by creating a Liver Disease Division within National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), establishing an inter-institute working group
to coordinate research efforts, and directing the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and NIDDK to issue targeted calls for research proposals.

This important legislation is a first step to ensure that communities suffering from liver cancer and liver illnesses receive strong federal support. Please join me in this effort by supporting, quite literally, lifesaving legislation.

For more information, or to cosponsor the bill, please contact Monica Garay in my office at
monica.garay@mail.house.gov  

 

Sincerely,

 

Nydia M. Velázquez

Member of Congress

 


[1] American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Key Statistics About Liver Cancer. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/about/what-is-key-statistics.html

[2] Cancer.Net. (2018, January). Liver Cancer: Statistics. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from
https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/liver-cancer/statistics

[3] NIH National Cancer Institute (2018, September). Annual Plan & Budget Proposal FY 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from

https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/budget/plan/2020-annual-plan-budget-proposal.pdf

[4] Cancer.Net. (2018, January). Liver Cancer: Statistics. Retrieved July 31, 2018, from
https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/liver-cancer/statistics

[5] American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Liver Cancer Survival Rates. Retrieved July 30, 2018, from

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html

[6] NIH National Cancer Institute (2018, September). Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin. Retrieved September 26, 2018 from
https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

[7] NIH National Cancer Institute (2018, February). Budget Summary Data: Research Funding. Retrieved September 26, 2018 from

https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/budget/fact-book/data/research-funding

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