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March 22/29, 2016

Equity in Cancer Care and Outcomes of Treatment: A Different Type of Cancer Moonshot

Author Affiliations
  • 1Temple Institute for Transformative Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2016;315(12):1231-1232. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2242

“For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the families we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”1 With those stirring words, President Obama challenged the nation to advance the science and care of cancer to alleviate the burden of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. However, deaths from cancer are not equally distributed in the US population. Without the equivalent of a moonshot effort to achieve equality of outcomes in both the length and quality of survival, further advances in the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer will continue to favor the well off and well educated, leaving the poor and poorly educated behind.