The 2019 November Election brought many surprises, including several run-off elections in the City of Houston. But, in addition to the run-offs, Texas voters passed nine out of the ten State of Texas propositions. One, in particular, will have a significant impact on Texas and our region.
Texas Proposition 6 allows the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to increase its authorized bonds from $3 billion to $6 billion, doubling its initial bonding authority since its creation in 2007. The work CPRIT has done to prevent and fight cancer since voters approved its initial funding in 2007 has been nothing short of incredible. We are fortunate to have the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center in our backyard, which includes many cancer research institutions that make strides every day to finding a cure and preventing cancer using CPRIT funding.
More than 18,000 Texans have had cancer or cancer precursors detected by screenings funded by CPRIT— which is pivotal for a disease in which early diagnosis can make all the difference. And CPRIT is funding groundbreaking research. It’s also helping us build the infrastructure for future discovery.
We all know someone or are related to someone who has been touched by cancer. We see the pain, the struggle, and the toll that it takes on their bodies. But we also see the determination to fight this deadly disease and prevent it. Like many Texans, this is personal to me. It makes me happy that from 2011-2016, the cancer mortality rate in our state has fallen 8 percent due to CPRIT and other good work.
So, in honor of the passage of this extraordinary life-saving state proposition, I am asking men to join me for Movember, an annual event where men grow out their mustaches during November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, like anxiety, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The goal is to encourage men to visit their doctor for an annual check-up to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments. Let’s save some lives and reduce the number of preventable deaths.