Biden aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50% over the next 25 years

President Joe Biden is pledging to reduce cancer mortality by 50%—a new goal for the “glow” initiative against the disease announced in 2016 when he was vice president. system.

Biden has set a 25-year timeline for achieving that goal, part of his broader effort to end cancer as we know it, according to senior administration officials who previewed it. announced Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

The issue is deeply personal for Biden: He lost his eldest son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015.

The pain that the president has to go through is shared by many Americans. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 1,918,030 new cancer cases and 609,360 cancer deaths this year. What Biden is aiming for is essentially saving more than 300,000 lives annually from the disease, which the administration believes is possible because the age-adjusted mortality rate has dropped by about 25% in the past year. past two decades.
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Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks Wednesday from the East Room of the White House, along with his wife, Jill, and Vice President Kamala Harris. Also expected to attend the speech: members of Congress and the administration and approximately 100 members of the cancer community including patients, survivors, caregivers, families, advocacy groups and research organization.

As part of the effort, Biden will form a “Cancer Cabinet” made up of 18 federal departments, divisions, sectors and offices, including leaders from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs , Defense, Energy and Agriculture.

Read more: We need more data in the fight against cancer. Here’s a plan to help us get there

There are no plans to announce new funding pledges on Wednesday, although the administration will outline why it believes it can curb cancer through efforts such as increased screening and eradication of any cancer. equality in treatment. The coronavirus pandemic has consumed healthcare resources and caused people to miss more than 9.5 million cancer screenings.

The White House will also host a summit on the cancer initiative and continue the roundtable discussion on the topic. The goal is to improve the quality of treatment and people’s lives, something that also has a profound economic impact. The National Cancer Institute reported in October that the economic burden of treatment was more than $21 billion in 2019, including $16.22 billion in patient out-of-pocket costs.

President Barack Obama announced a cancer treatment program during his final year in office and secured $1.8 billion over seven years to fund research. Obama designated Biden, then his vice president, as a “mission controller,” in recognition of Biden’s grief as a parent and his desire to do something about it. Biden wrote in his memoir “Promise Me, Dad” that he chose not to run for president in 2016 primarily because of Beau’s death.

When Biden announced he was not seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016, he said he regretted not being president because “I wanted to be the president that ended cancer, because that that can happen”.

The effort went somewhat unnoticed when Donald Trump became president, although Trump, a Republican, proposed $500 million over 10 years for childhood cancer research in a speech. at his State of the Union in 2019.

Biden continued his work as a private citizen by founding the Biden Cancer Initiative to help organize resources to improve cancer care. When Biden sought the presidency in 2020, he broke into tears when he said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “Beau should be running for president, not me.”

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