Despite the incredible advancements we have made in recent years, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. Behind this statistic are millions of Americans who know the distress of receiving a cancer diagnosis, and millions more who watch family members or friends courageously fight this disease and too often succumb to it. Cancer is brutal and cruel, and I intimately understand the incalculable human toll that this disease inflicts on patients and their loved ones — a toll that strikes communities of color at disproportionately high rates.
During National Cancer Control Month, we celebrate the progress made against this disease, and we reaffirm our national commitment to preventing cancer, improving treatments and the delivery of care, and finding a cure. This includes efforts to improve cancer prevention, promote early detection, enhance treatment, and support the needs of cancer survivors and caregivers. This issue is deeply personal for me — and as President, I am committed to ending cancer as we know it.
Progress begins with helping people take steps to lower their risk for many kinds of cancer. Tobacco use remains the top cause of cancer deaths in the United States. By helping people quit smoking and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, we can reduce cancer risk and save lives. Resources to help quit smoking can be found at SmokeFree.gov or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Eating healthy, getting regular physical activity, limiting alcohol consumption, and reducing sun exposure when the sun is at its peak can also help reduce the risk of getting cancer.