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Oxford Press: Cancer is No Moonshot

Feb 29, 2016

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A tired old elephant hunched in the room as President Obama announced the launch of a new moonshot against cancer during his State of the Union address a month ago. We’ve heard that promise before. On 23 December 1971, when President Nixon first declared a national war on cancer, he also based his conviction on the successfully completed moonwalk. In truth, what it will take to reduce the burden of cancer in our lives has little to do with what it took to land a man on the moon. That stellar accomplishment came about by spending money on existing technologies. In fact, for more than fifty years we have known a lot about how to prevent cancer, yet we remain focused on finding and treating the disease. In 1971, one in six Americans developed cancer. Today the toll is far greater, affecting one in every two men and one in every three women during their lifetimes.

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