President Joe Biden: Cancer Moonshot 

By Nupur Kudapkar

Almost every American family has been affected by the experience of cancer, whether it be receiving a cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer, or losing a loved one to the disease. September 12th, 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Rice University speech, in which he pledged to send a man to the moon and return him safely. President Biden’s goal is to put an end to cancer as we know it. It is a vision that will enhance people’s quality of life, enhance their health, and lessen the impact of the illness.

President Joe Biden launched Cancer Moonshot in January 2016 as Vice President with the goal of accelerating the rate of progress against cancer. The Biden-Harris administration’s objective is to end cancer as we now know it by reducing the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the course of the next 25 years, improving the quality of life for those who are living with and surviving cancer, and achieving all of the above. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “in the United States in 2019, 1,752,735 new cancer cases were reported and 599,589 people died of cancer. For every 100,000 people, 439 new cancer cases were reported and 146 people died of cancer.” (CDC). Joe Biden is no stranger to this broad disease, his son Joseph (Beau) Biden III passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from a brain tumor called a glioblastoma. He was Delaware’s attorney general and a Bronze Star recipient who had fought in the Iraq War. 

The White House comments on, “Building on a Quarter Century of Bipartisan Support, Public Health Progress, and Scientific Advances. Over the first 20 years of this century, the age-adjusted death rate from cancer has fallen by about 25 percent, which means more people are surviving cancer and living longer after being diagnosed with cancer. That was enabled by progress on multiple fronts” 

  • Science brought us treatments that target specific mutations in many types of cancer –for example, in certain types of lung cancer, leukemia, and skin cancers.
  • It has also provided therapies that use our immune system to detect and kill cancer cells and these immunotherapies are making a big difference in certain skin cancers, blood cancers, and others.
  • We also have cancer vaccines – like the HPV vaccine –which prevents the cause of up to seven kinds of cancer. 
  • We developed tools, like low-dose CT scans and refined use of colonoscopies, which help us detect lung cancer and colorectal cancers early when there are better treatment options.
  • Starting in the early 1990s, we also made progress against tobacco use through targeted public health education campaigns as well as new, more effective approaches to smoking cessation. We have seen a 50 percent decrease in adult long-term cigarette smoking and a 68 percent drop in smoking rates among youth (White House). 

By bringing down prices and raising coverage, the Biden-Harris administration has made improving health care for Americans a top priority. The President’s health care agenda is the largest expansion of affordable health care in a decade, and it includes covering millions of uninsured Americans in states that have not expanded Medicare, strengthening the Affordable Care Act and lowering premiums for 9 million Americans, cutting prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices, and improving Medicare benefits by capping out-of-pocket costs on medications, including cancer drugs, purchased at a pharmacy. President Biden’s goal is to put an end to cancer as we know it and all Americans hope he succeeds in his plan. The “Fact Sheet: President Biden Reignites Cancer Moonshot to End Cancer as We Know It” has been linked for a more in-depth comprehension of the plan.