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CDC Helps “Shoot for the Moon”

Posted on by DCPC

Photo of Dr. Lisa RichardsonBy Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH
Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

As a medical oncologist, I have seen the devastating toll cancer can take on its victims. Unfortunately, I also know first-hand about the heartache of watching someone you love suffer…not as a doctor, but as a niece who lost her aunt to colon cancer.

However, I am inspired today by the new national effort that aims to double the pace of progress in the fight against cancer. The Cancer Moonshot is being led by Vice President Biden, who lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in May of 2015. Using his son’s life and death as inspiration, Biden has created a Cancer Moonshot Task Force, of which I am honored to be a member. This summer, I represented the task force in Atlanta at one of the many Cancer Moonshot Summits held around the country. These summits were groundbreaking events that brought together people and organizations across the cancer community and beyond to reinvigorate cancer control efforts in the United States.

We have been charged with making the most of our federal investments, research and data, computing capabilities, targeted incentives, and private-sector efforts, and with elevating the patient’s voice as a partner in health care. We will combine our efforts and resources to find better and faster ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and ultimately cure a disease that touches almost every family.

As part of Cancer Moonshot, the Cancer Support Community recently announced a new program, “Frankly Speaking about Clinical Trials.” This program will address an important gap in clinical trials participation by clearly explaining to people what clinical trials are and are not. Although I am hopeful about new and innovative therapies and precision medicine, I also know that we can’t take our foot off the pedal for prevention.

My heart was warmed when I heard Vice President Biden say, “Prevention can save more lives than anything else we can do.” So true. Most of the progress we have seen in cancer control is due to prevention. For example, the number of Americans who report being current cigarette smokers is at its lowest level ever, around 17% of the U.S. population. We cannot let up. Let’s keep doing what we do best and encourage each other to do everything we can to lower the risk of developing cancer, including—

Over the next five years, CDC will play a part by working through partnerships, comprehensive cancer control programs, and education efforts, but ultimately, the patient is central to the Cancer Moonshot—from risk factor reductions through diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

CDC and all Cancer Moonshot partners are here to make sure fewer people get cancer, but if cancer develops, we must respect the individuals and meet their needs while giving hope.

As Vice President Biden said recently, the Cancer Moonshot is “for the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the families that we can still save; let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.” Many have asked, “Why now?” I would ask another question: “Why not?”

For more information, visit How to Prevent Cancer or Find It Early, Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients, and 3 Steps Toward Preventing Infections During Cancer Treatment from the CDC Foundation.

Posted on by DCPC

One comment on “CDC Helps “Shoot for the Moon””

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    Prevention of cancer in Idaho, Washington, Tennessee,Kentucky, South Carolina and other states that have Nuclear facilities, has be the #1 priority for the safety of workers who are in contact with Plutonium 239, Americium 240 and alpha grade uranium. Alarms need to be upgraded and up-to-date rather than downgraded by contractors who are in a hurry to meet goals. Exhaust systems have to be in place and not downgraded as they were in Idaho (DOE report of the Nov. 8, 2011 contamination of 16 workers at MFC facility of INL and several more incidents since then with worker contamination). Systems should be working at top efficiency to protect workers. Prevention of contamination is a huge failing in Nuclear facilities. Money, rather that employee safety seems to be the priority.

    I believe that a cancer map should be in place to show areas that have large groups of cancer victims. A cluster off victims would show where ground water and air contamination inspections are needed to determine a fix. It seems to me that areas around the states that I mentioned in the first paragraph are showing more and more cancer pods around the Nuclear facilities.

    I don’t believe that more money is the answer, I believe that safety minded contractors who follow safety manuals and work to keep workers and the public safe is what is needed. It seems to me that in Idaho, when a contractor loses the bid, a new one comes in and hires the same managers, the same workers and continue to contaminate at will with no over-site from the DOE. And, the Price-Anderson Act seems to give all managers the idea that they can do anything and be given “”diplomatic immunity” as long as they reach their goals in time for the next big bonus. I believe that when the Price-Anderson Act is up for renewal in 2017, it should be rejected and contractors along with DOE officials should be held responsible for their acts of willful negligence that endangers workers and exposes them to cancer contaminates.

    I am a citizen who sees many senior citizens during my work day and more and more cancer happening to younger people. The North Western USA seems to be the Cancer Capital of the country and it is my belief that government negligence is the biggest cause.

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