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POTUS Relaunches ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Program Aimed at Reducing Cancer-Related Deaths By 50%

POTUS Relaunches ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Program Aimed at Reducing Cancer-Related Deaths By 50%

President Joe Biden announced a relaunch of the “Cancer Moonshot” program, which started during the Obama administration with the goal of ending a disease that kills more than 600,000 people a year in the U.S. The President also announced a campaign to get more people screened for cancer on Wednesday, noting that more than 9 million cancer screenings have been skipped during the Covid pandemic.

President Biden, who is 79, received a colonoscopy in November. The fight against cancer is personal to the President, who lost his son Beau in 2015 to brain cancer.

President Biden previously oversaw the Cancer Moonshot program, which was launched during former President Barack Obama’s last year in office, and he later founded the Biden Cancer Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention and research. The initiative closed in 2019 after President Biden announced his White House bid. A Biden administration official said the Cancer Moonshot program was being revamped now because “a lot has changed that makes it possible to set really ambitious goals.”

Congress provided $1.8 billion for the Cancer Moonshot program in 2016, very little of which is left. The Biden official said the administration is “very confident that there will be robust funding going forward.”

In his speech at the White House, President Biden said the revamped initiative aims to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experiences of patients and their families. “We can end cancer as we know it,” President Biden said. “This is a presidential White House priority.”

President Biden said that part of the Cancer Moonshot’s goal would be to help people diagnosed with cancer navigate the overwhelming amount of treatment information and a bureaucratic health care system that can often leave patients feeling helpless. “Despite all the progress, there’s still a sense of powerlessness,” President Biden said, drawing on his own experience with his son’s diagnosis. “Guilt that maybe you’re not doing enough because you don’t know enough.”

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President Biden said the fight against cancer should be a bipartisan issue that unifies the nation, and encouraged a similar “urgency” to be applied to cancer as was brought to developing a Covid-19 vaccine.

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