CBS News poll: Majority of U.S. families touched by cancer

(CBS News) - Cancer has touched the lives of most American families, according to a recent CBS News Poll.  Fifty-four percent of Americans say they or someone else in their immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer at some point. Forty-six percent said no.

Cancer seems to have affected Americans of all income levels and geographic locations, particularly Americans age 50 and over.  Women report having a cancer diagnosis in their family more often than men do.

When it comes to the amount of spending by the federal government on cancer research, 39% of Americans think there has been too little spent compared with other medical research -- a slightly higher percentage than said so back in 2009. Only 6% think there has been too much federal spending on cancer research.

There is little in the way of demographic difference on the issue of government spending for cancer research, though more Democrats (41%) and independents (41%) think too little is spent than Republicans (34%).

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) think it's at least somewhat likely that a cure for cancer will be found in their lifetime, including 28% who believe that's very likely to happen. These percentages are similar to what they were four years ago, though more optimistic than they were in 2009.

This poll was conducted by telephone March 3-7, 2017 among a random sample of 1,033 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, Pa.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers.

The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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