More than 270 events in communities across the United States took place on June 28th as a part of the Cancer Moonshot Summit. Vice President Joe Biden joined over 350 researchers, oncologists and other care providers, data and technology experts, patients, families, and patient advocates, among others at Howard University and addressed the nation. Joined by more than 6,000 individuals at events in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam a great initiative was put into motion. This was the first time a group this expansive and diverse met under a government charge. It was very powerful to take part in such an amazing initiative.
The Summit I attended was a group of 35 individuals who all have some sort of "stake in the cancer game." These individuals ranged from the President and CEO of the Cancer Support Center of Central Indiana, President of the Indiana Cancer Consortium, Little Red Door, various hospital representatives, nurses, and advocates. It was a passionate room! I was honored to attend as a Cervivor Ambassador and cervical cancer advocate.
We met first as a whole group and discussed what we are doing now to help with the progress in understanding, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of cancer. We also were able to hear about some of the lead up to the event, such as each of the centers being on a conference call with Vice President Joe Biden. This was quite an amazingly orchestrated event. We watched Vice President Biden's address and then we broke off into our focus groups.
I went with the group charged with discussing early prevention and screening. Our discussions really focused on how to get education about cancer screenings out to the public. We had great discussions primarily about cervical, breast, and colorectal screenings. We also talked about the benefits of the HPV vaccination and how Indiana could really increase its efforts in wide spread HPV vaccination and education.
We ended by coming back together as a whole group and discussing what each group came up with. There was a reoccurring theme: You don't know what you don't know. Education of the general public is one of the main things that needs to occur. In addition to education of the public it is important for individuals with cancer to have better access to information about clinical trials. It is also important for organizations and researchers to share information across platforms. It is time to speed up the progress!
Cervical cancer is poised to be at the forefront of the Moonshot Summit. We know there is a preventative measure and that we could eradicate cervical cancer! It is time for individuals to take vaccination as a key step to prevention of cervical cancer. Co-testing, Pap and HPV tests, are also an important screening measure which should be taken for cervical cancer. It is our responsibility to speak up and make a difference.
#CanServe: What type of goal can you create to support the #CancerMoonshot initiative?
it is time for a change!
I personally made three goals:
- Commit to join the Indiana Cancer Consortium
- Commit to visiting local clinics and Planned Parenthoods to explore what type of HPV education is currently being provided
- Commit to being an active advocate for cervical cancer prevention and screening