[Marxism] Fwd: Reframing the “Cancer Moonshot” | EMBO Reports

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 6 14:30:26 MST 2016

The way people understand cancer is essential to national policy making 
as well as individuals’ attitude and behavior toward the disease. 
Earlier this year, therefore, I wrote an Op‐Ed in The New York Times [1] 
that challenged the rationale of the Obama administration's initiative 
for a “Cancer Moonshot” [2]. Contrary to the President's call on America 
to “cure cancer once and for all” (State of the Union Address, 2016), I 
argued that we cannot treat ourselves out of the cancer epidemic. Cancer 
is a natural consequence of aging, and the better medical science gets 
at keeping people alive, the more cancer there will be in the 
population. Whether I am right or not is open to debate. What is just as 
interesting, however, is how people reacted to this message.

The New York Times gave my Op‐Ed the provocative headline, “We Won't 
Cure Cancer”, for the printed paper, and “Obama's Pointless Cancer 
Moonshot”, for the online version, which assured broad distribution in 
the social media. Responses were communicated through the newspaper's 
online comment section, Letters to the Editor, Facebook, Twitter, and my 
personal e‐mail account. They communicated the voices of cancer experts 
and non‐experts and represent a rich material of how people understand 
the problem of cancer. In order to share this insight and structure 
further debate, I here present a summary of the approximately 200 
meaningful responses, organized as seven different ways of framing the 

full: http://embor.embopress.org/content/early/2016/11/04/embr.201643467

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