Like so many other Americans we lost my son Bo to cancer during both fight with glioblastoma a deadly form of brain cancer we learned so much about the incredible breakthroughs are just over the horizon and cancer treatment and those that are right in front of us but I also learned that kids our research and the care system are.
Not set up in a way to deliver the best possible experience and outcomes to every patient for example I’d like.
You all that affordability of cancer treatment is getting better not worse but I can even if treatment is fairly priced hundreds of thousands of people here in the United States still cannot afford the treatment look folks no one should lose their home.
Because they have cancer no one should be cutting the number of pills and.
A half that they have to take in order to save money risking their health no one should be skipping treatments for months when it’s a single best hope for survival and recovery but.
For so many cancer patients these are the choices they’re making as I speak how can we say as a nation you know there’s a treatment drug out there that could save your lives but we’re sorry it can’t afford it the cost end the only impediment we face coordination of research and care across docs and hospitals also needs to be improved they’re wonderful people but they need help for.
Example I’d like to say that a cancer diagnosis to st.
Louis is understandable by another doctor in Minneapolis in the case of a patient moves to seek a second opinion but I can I’d like.
To be able to save the doctor in Bemidji Minnesota has all the tools needed to treat whichever cancer may have been discovered just as the doctor at dana-farber or sloan-kettering or MD Anderson but I can folks have spoken an awful lot of physicians across this country and I’ve heard them say because of the lack of uniform.
Standards they wouldn’t trust a pathology report from another doc in their own.
Institution much less one from another state I like to say that the government is moving quickly to modernize our to funding research but I can’t in each of these problems there’s there are reasons.
Grounded in a tradition in culture and history and a personal advancement that may have been valid but certainly are not any longer and they’re strongly resistant to change like nearly every American has lost a loved.
Terrible disease the fight to end cancer as we know it is personal to me how many of you had gone to your oncologist for your loved one or for you and saying doc can you give me another 10 days can you give me another month I want to see your marriage every day every.
Minute matters to patients and the loved ones so we must bring the same sense of urgency to changing the system now.
The urgency of now as I travel a country and talk to people fighting tirelessly against this disease I find myself hopeful things are beginning to change for I see the day where prevention.
Is more effective when we reach all communities or early detection so the treatable.
Cancers are found before it’s too late I see the day when you can.
Take your child or grandchild for their school physical and to be vaccinated against certain cancers just as you can now be vaccinated against HPV and.
The five or so cancers it causes I see today we’ll be able to identify through markers in the blood cancers that haven’t even yet developed I see the day when care is personalized and more effective with less harmful side effects we treat each patient with the right therapy the first time.
When it’s most likely to be effective these possibilities give us hope it gives me hope I saw it through Beau’s fight so since leaving office my wife Jill and I have launched the Biden cancer initiative to continue this work and give millions of.
Families struggling with this diagnosis hope if we can change the culture around cancer research and improve our system of care we’re on the cusp of remarkable breakthroughs and have a chance.
To give patients and their families real tangible this is all within our grasp but we have to grasp it now.