In an article published on February 7, 2019, Laura Vandenberg from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, U.S., commented on the State of the Union address delivered by President Trump on February 5, 2019.

Vandenberg points out that, while cancer mortality rates “have dropped considerably from the 1960s,” largely due to improved diagnostics and better medical care, at the same the incidence rates of many different cancers have risen, in some cases by as much as 4 percent. She observes that “the call for better cancer prevention” has been largely missing from the President’s address. Further, she finds that “as rates of numerous cancers continue to rise, the failure to identify the causes of cancer remains a disappointment for public health officials and researchers alike.”

Vandenberg reminds that “environmental factors can contribute to cancer risk” (FPF reported) and chemical exposures may in fact be significant contributors to disease (FPF reported). She discusses several examples such as involvement of endocrine disruptors in breast cancer (FPF reported) and the links between certain cancers and per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS).

Vandenberg highlights the need to “focus on prevention, . . . to acknowledge the role of environment in causing cancer, and . . .  to allocate funds to prevention research” in order to improve public health.

Read more

Laura Vandenberg (February 7, 2019). “Laura N. Vandenberg: It’s time to talk about cancer prevention – and the role of the environment.Environmental Health News

Nicole Fallert (February 5, 2019). “President Trump’s State of the Union address: transcript.Vox