Hundreds of cancer treatment funding advocates gathered in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to lobby members of Congress to prioritize cancer research and treatment.

This year alone, it is estimated that nearly 52,000 New Jerseyans will get cancer and 16,000 will die from it.

Diana Hoover Sulewski, New Jersey's lead American Cancer Society ambassador, says "we want to make sure that we are making cancer a national priority." Sulewski is a 23-year cancer survivor who has also lost some relatives to cancer.

"Right now, we are looking to get a $2 billion increase for the  National Institutes of Health, and also to include the earmarking of $300 million for the National Cancer Institute, what we call the NCI. That would be a total of $6 billion in fiscal year 2018."

Sulewski says palliative cancer care and hospice education training act is a separate issue that they are also addressing.

She says their group of about 15 were well received at the offices of New Jersey U.S. Sens. Menendez and Booker in their quest to greatly increase funding for cancer research and treatment.

"We met with several congress people, and again, we did get favorable responses from them."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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