Why Donald Trump and other politicians shouldn’t promise a cancer cure

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Donald Trump is seen during his rally where he announced his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Image: Joe Raedle
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President Trump made a new promise if voters grant him a second term: “We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases, including cancer.”

But scientists and health experts say that curing cancer is going to take a lot more than promises on the campaign trail. Here are three reasons why:

With cancer, the biology is especially tricky

Cancer is multifaceted and uniquely complex. It’s not so much one disease as a class of related diseases.

“‘One cure’ is not a tenable concept,” said Dr. Edward Giovannucci.

We already have treatments. But there’s an affordability problem

Many cancers, including certain types of breast or colon cancer, are already curable. But they need to be promptly diagnosed and treated. That can be a challenge when 27.4 million Americans don’t have health insurance.

The importance of healthy habits

When it comes to advancing cancer treatment, experts stressed the importance of disease prevention.

In practice, that means developing strategies to bring down rates of smoking and obesity, or improving access to nutritious food. Those require funding, political will and a robust public health infrastructure — none of which is easy to come by.

Read full, original post: Promising to cure cancer is easy politics. The science is much more difficult

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