President Donald Trump proclaims April 2017 as Cancer Control Month. Is there an irony to all of this?
According to a statement recently released by the White House, President Donald Trump proclaims April 2017 as Cancer Control Month, which aims to bring awareness to the deadly disease.
What are key points to be taken from the proclamation?
The proclamation emphasizes America’s leading accomplishments in cancer research, but more research must be done if we want to develop treatments and potentially cures for the disease. Three points that can be taken away from the goal of Cancer Control Month is as follows:
1. To honor individuals who died from cancer while celebrating the ones who fought it and survived
According to the proclamation, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in America, presumably after heart disease. Because the deadliness of the disease is no stranger to American families, Cancer Control Month is meant to commemorate the lives lost and applaud the survivors.
2. To educate individuals about the disease and the measures they can take to prevent it
Cancer Control Month educates people to take preventive measures of cancer, such as “healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.” Moreover, it encourages people to undertake other preventive measures such as regular screening, especially for people who have a higher chance of getting the disease.
3. To emphasize that more work is still to be done
Although America is a global leader in healthcare research, due to the complexity of cancer, it is extremely difficult to find treatments and cures. Cancer Control Month emphasizes that more research is to be done, and the proclamation states that Donald Trump will work with his administration to make this possible.
Is there an irony to all of this?
At first glance, anyone who reads the proclamation will likely hold a high amount of respect for Donald Trump. After all, he is recognizing the entire month of April to bring awareness about cancer.
However, part of Trump’s budget is slashing 18% of vital funding from the National Institutes of Health. Given the amount of money that is required for research in the health field, this translates to a deduction of $5.8 billion in real dollars.
The NIH is the home base for cancer treatments and drugs, one example being various immunotherapies. Cutting funding for some of the world’s most important laboratories that have saved millions of lives seems extremely counterintuitive, especially when you consider how Trump is redirecting $54 billion in real dollars to national defense.
Cutting funding from healthcare research will also cut jobs, stop medical advancements, and will downgrade America’s competitive position as a leader in healthcare.
To Americans who do not know about Trump’s budget, they will blindly believe that Trump truly cares about the nation’s health by deciding to devote an entire month to cancer. However, if this is really the case, why would he cut billions of dollars of funding from important research that has saved countless of lives?