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Tags Current Affairs

Cancer moonshot project

Date: 05 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In an effort to bring down cancer death rates by 50 per cent by the year 2047, US President Joe Biden has launched the Cancer moonshot project.

 

Background

The project was first launched in 2016 by Biden, when he was the Vice-President. The launch came after Biden lost his eldest son to the disease.

 

Details

  • The term ‘moonshot’ represents the space race initiated by former President John F Kennedy to send a man on the Moon before the Russians could.  This led to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

  • The announcement has been made in light of the progress made in cancer therapeutics, diagnostics and patient-driven care.

 

US Cancer statistics

  • For every 100,000 people screened for the disease, 436 cases of cancer were reported, while 149 people died.

  • Skin cancer is about 42% of all new cancers, which could have been avoidable. Majority of them are caused due to combination of excess body weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.

  • The five year survival rate for cancer patients has increased substantially due to advances in treatment and early diagnosis for some cancers.

 

The aim

  • The programme aims to encourage people to undergo cancer screening. It is known to reduce mortality for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix and lung.

  • It also includes cancer-related projects such as improving immunotherapy, mapping tumours, engaging with patients, addressing drug resistance, early detection etc.

  • Other goals include reducing cancer deaths by 50 per cent and improving the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. 

 

Achieving goals

The goals will be achieved through methods such as providing equitable access to cancer screenings, using vaccines and evaluating multi-cancer detection tests.

 

Significance

  • The President has announced the formations of a Cancer Cabinet, which will be responsible for carving a path for the Cancer Moonshot for 2022 and beyond.

  • The announcement has indicated that the matter has now become a presidential priority under the Biden administration. 

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