World Cancer Day - A "Moonshot" to Cure Cancer
(February 4, 2016)
During his final State of the Union Address on January 12, President Barack Obama issued a bold challenge to America: cure cancer. He charged Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his son Beau to cancer in May of 2015, with spearheading a "moonshot" type effort to make America the country that cures cancer. February 4th is World Cancer Day. Can America show the world how to cure cancer? It's worth a shot!
What does a "moonshot" have to do with cancer? The president was referring to a bold challenge an earlier president made to the nation. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech that rallied the nation to support an all-out effort to surpass the Soviet Union in the "space race," and land a man on the moon. It was an audacious goal for a nation that had only put its first man in orbit seven months earlier. And yet, just seven years later, astronaut Neil Armstrong made the first human footprints on the moon.
Can Americans rise to the challenge again, and this time support an all-out effort to cure cancer? The benefits would be astounding. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. And what is the leading cancer killer in America? It's lung cancer. That makes supporting this "moonshot" particularly important, because so many of us know someone who has been touched by lung cancer.
The American Lung Association launched LUNG FORCE to unite and mobilize women against lung cancer. Now, both women and men can show their LUNG FORCE unity by supporting the "moonshot" to cure cancer. Please stand with Vice President Biden to urge Congress to support this drive for a cure.
The Lung Association has effectively advocated to increase federal research funding. Last month, members of Congress from both parties came together to pass a budget that increases funding for the National Institutes of Health by five percent to $32 billion. Let's keep the momentum going. Please send a note to your Senators and Representative to tell them that you are on Vice President Biden's team and support the "moonshot" to cure cancer.
The Lung Association has already targeted lung cancer as a top priority. Each year, far too many families face a diagnosis of lung cancer. We created LUNG FORCE to fight this devastating disease – and our efforts have already made an impact on lung cancer by increasing awareness, improving education, mobilizing action and expanding and updating our suite of lung cancer research.
We increased our funding for lung cancer research, committing more than $2 million this year to promising lung cancer research. And this research is yielding exciting results in the areas of drug resistant lung cancer, using targeted therapies to take aim at lung cancer, helping patients find and enroll in clinical trials and much more. We've also helped create the first ever national action plan to fight the second leading cause of lung cancer – radon exposure.
Early detection is key to improving lung cancer survival, and we have worked diligently to increase access to lung cancer screening and to provide tools to help people learn if screening is right for them. For those diagnosed with lung cancer, we have increased and updated our suite of tools and information to help them navigate their lung cancer journey.
There has never been a more promising time for early detection and treatment options for lung cancer but the momentum must continue. Investing in research will lead to better detection, improved treatments, longer survival, and new hope for those who are facing lung cancer. With your support, America can cure cancer.