On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their families, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds the president’s continued focus and dedication to achieving the goal of the Cancer Moonshot, to end cancer as we know it. President Biden outlined several strategies in the State of the Union to reduce the cancer burden nationwide, including accelerated cancer discovery through investment in research, increased access to cancer prevention, and improved access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage.

“President Biden’s unequivocal commitment to changing the trajectory of the more than 200 diseases known as cancer is paramount to our ability to make strides against a disease that is projected to kill more than 600,00 Americans this year,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “If we are to realize the President’s Moonshot goal, we must make advances that address the full cancer continuum, from prevention and screening, through treatment and survivorship.”

Increased federal investment in the fight against cancer, particularly for medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), critical cancer prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as continued funding for the Advanced Research Project Agency on Health (ARPA-H) are critical components to reducing suffering and death from cancer.

“For decades, cancer research funding has enjoyed strong bipartisan support—and with good reason. Federal cancer research represents American government at its best—saving lives, driving innovation, and fueling economic growth,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “Congress has an opportunity to double down on investments that have spurred discovery over the past half century and provide hope to the more than 1.9 million who will hear the words, ‘You have cancer’ this year alone.”

To truly realize the potential of the advances we have made and will make in how we prevent, detect, treat and promote survivorship, equitable access to affordable, comprehensive care is imperative. Making Marketplace subsidies permanent and closing the Medicaid coverage gap both play a pivotal role in achieving the president’s ambitious Cancer Moonshot goal of significantly reducing cancer incidence and deaths in the next 25 years.

“For the 2 million people who remain uninsured in the 11 states that have refused to expand access to Medicaid, lack of access to meaningful, affordable coverage could be the difference between life and death,” Lacasse said. “As states move toward ending continuous eligibility for Medicaid, the number of people in this country forced to go without health insurance will only grow. American Cancer Society research has continually shown that health insurance status directly affects a person’s ability to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. This is why ACS CAN continues to advocate to close the Medicaid coverage gap nationwide and urges Congress to permanently expand enhanced tax credits making comprehensive health care purchased through the Marketplace more affordable for millions of individuals and families across the country.”

“On behalf of families impacted by cancer, we applaud President Biden’s commitment to take deliberate administrative actions and call to Congress to remain committed to the Cancer Moonshot by enacting laws and policies that will promote progress from prevention through survivorship,” said Lacasse.

“We will continue to work alongside the Administration and Congress to end cancer as we know it, for everyone.”

This press release was originally published February 7, 2023, by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It is republished with permission.