Last year, Congress allocated almost $2 billion to cover the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Just recently, however, over 50 prominent U.S. oncologists created a report to accelerate the research. Priority has been placed on prevention and treatment, and all measurable goals are now fixed to a specific time frame. This newly created priority-timeline offers tremendous hope for keeping cancer at bay—sooner than later.
According to the American Cancer Society, mortality rates have dropped 25% over the past 20 twenty years. Although that’s a promising statistic, still, over one 1.5 million Americans, just this year, will be diagnosed with cancer. The Cancer Moonshot Initiative will now accelerate existing progress by steadfastly adhering to the new, detailed research plan.
What originally the initiative expected to accomplish in 7-10 years, the researchers have now vowed, through prioritizing and organization, to complete in five years. Clearer milestones, along with measurable goals, will allow scientists to focus on tangible results in the areas of prevention, drug development, and targeted interventions.
The Moonshot Speedier Specifics
Great steps in medical advancement are expected in this program. With the newly established explicit guidelines, there are 13 areas in which priority focus will be delivered. Some of them are:
Increase rates of screening so as to improve early or earlier cancer detection
Implement greater prevention strategies using new vaccines and programs promoting the extreme importance and practice of healthier lifestyles
Improve assessment of types of tumors so as to better match medication with the particular type of cancer
Identify new ways to boost and use the immune system to fight cancer
Expand use of radiation in conjunction with immunotherapy in order to fight cancer that has spread beyond the area of the original tumor
Improve imaging technology
Progress on less invasive procedures by using improved imaging and margin assessments
Improve access to new treatments in underserved parts of the country
The Upside of the Downside
Cancer is a huge downer, no matter the prognosis. There have been improvements in the recent past in blood tests making diagnoses more accurate. For example, prostate cancer biopsies have decreased with the introduction of a more accurate blood test. Additionally, technology, such as spectroscopy, has made a difference in earlier detection, especially in pancreatic cancer. With programs such as the Moonshot Initiative, there is greater hope for quicker and more effective treatment.
A recent Harris Poll showed that people would accept higher taxes if they knew the money were spent on more effective cancer preventions and treatments. The public wants and needs hope that improvements can be made in decreasing cancer cases and the unfortunate effects that accompany contraction of the illness.
Making healthy lifestyle choices like eating well, getting good sleep, and exercising regularly boosts your immune system. Sometimes getting cancer happens even when we are avidly health-conscious. There are just too many toxins in our food, water, and air that make the potential for illness a very difficult task to avoid. That’s why taking preventative steps such as: being mindful of what we eat, protecting our skin, keeping physically fit, and also keeping emotionally and spiritually balanced are so important. With hope and research, help is on the way.
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