Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, today responded to the President’s call for a national effort to fight cancer.
“The President’s commitment to a moonshot against cancer led by Vice President Biden is a galvanizing call for a renewed effort to find new tools to fight cancer. It is imperative that we continue to fund the brightest minds to explore the nature and biology of our nation’s number two killer. Done right, we can build on our past investment, and spur even more progress against the disease.
“Medical science has already made huge leaps in our understanding of the inner workings of the cancer cell, and there is much left to learn. But just as important as continuing to explore new science is a concerted
effort to gather what we already know about cancer and find ways to apply these tools more effectively to save lives. If we applied what we already know about cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, we could prevent a substantial proportion of the nearly 600,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. These remarkable tools mean nothing if they sit unused, unavailable to those in need because of gaps in care caused by poverty and other factors.
“Cancer will not be cured this year. But we should do all we can to ensure 2016 is remembered as the year we came together in an effort to work smartly, and with all the resources we needed, to harness the power in our hands to reduce the devastating impact of cancer.”