Since the founding of The Next Generation Choices Foundation close to twenty years ago, the organization is now more widely known by its elevator speech “Less Cancer,” and we have engaged legislators as one of the many tools for cancer prevention.
Unlike cancer treatment with medical centers, medications, and care providers, the tools for prevention are unique.
Our tools for cancer prevention include a combination of educational strategizes, continuing medical education and evidenced-based content utilizing health care providers, scientists, educators, and policymakers to bridge the widening gap on increasing cancer incidence.
Because of that, we work with many types of people and people from different political parties. The work for cancer prevention is all for Less Cancer and Less Cancer for all.
Every year, we produce The National Cancer Prevention Workshop as part of the work we have accomplished on the resolution for National Cancer Prevention Day and the United States Congressional Bipartisan Cancer Prevention Caucus. That involves all kinds of people and legislators that some relate to and others do not for a wide breadth of reasons. They may be relatable depending on where they stand on priorities shared by any given individual on issues from gun control to abortion to immigration.
I am always surprised to learn that if any given legislator is on board helping with the work for cancer prevention, someone still loses focus of why we are all around the table. Thus, if a legislator has advocated for something someone did not agree with, he or she cannot be on the same side of cancer prevention? It is ridiculous.
We live in a world of unlikely thinkers, and the work to unify is no easy task. Despite the assumption that ending cancer is everyone’s priority, it frequently is not for a host of reasons unrelated to cancer.
Policy can make all the difference in cancer prevention. The representatives we elect to office have the power to make a difference in public health and cancer.
When a cancer diagnosis is prevented, also prevented is the unnecessary and preventable suffering that comes with today’s increased incidence of cancer. Not only does cancer cause physical pain but it also sets off a multitude of things that comes with a cancer diagnosis, such as emotional distress, bankruptcy, and dismantling of families and communities.
The magnitude of cancer requires all of us to be on board no matter what side we part our hair. Those details plain and simple are what prevent the work from cancer prevention from being addressed in a meaningful way.
Getting behind the work of Less Cancer requires all flavors of people working together for Less Cancer for all.