Defeating cancer was once a ‘war’; now it’s a ‘moonshot’

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Defeating cancer was once a ‘war’; now it’s a ‘moonshot’

The language surrounding cancer treatment is morphing in society.

For more than a century, we have used military terms — such as wars, battles, survivors and victims — to discuss our relationship with cancer. But some critics are bothered by the implicit suggestion that those who die might not have fought heroically enough.

When the Obama administration launched its anti-cancer effort earlier this year, “moonshot” rhetoric came to the fore, but that, too, drew dissent. Some say it suggests that curing cancer involves a massive engineering effort rather than a multitude of new insights into the biology of hundreds of different diseases.

Barron H. Lerner, author of “The Breast Cancer Wars” and “The Good Doctor,” and a professor in the division of medical ethics at New York University, has spent years thinking about these issues. He recently talked to health-care journalists about the history of cancer activism and answered some follow-up questions posed by The Washington Post.

Read full article: Defeating cancer was once a ‘war’; now it’s a ‘moonshot’ – The Washington Post

Read Full Article: Defeating cancer was once a ‘war’; now it’s a ‘moonshot’ – The Washington Post

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