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How Cancer Moonshot will impact Utahns

Posted at 1:27 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 15:27:17-04

Recently the federal government announced a goal to reduce the number of cancer related deaths by 50 percent over the next 25 years in an effort called Cancer Moonshot.

Dr. Donna Milavetz, Executive Medical Director of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says, “We are now thinking of the Cancer Moonshot as a big win for not only the United States but also for Utahns.”

This massive reduction of cancer may seem unattainable, but Dr. Milavetz says a big part of this goal, “is really aiming to improve the overall experience for those who are living with cancer – for patients and their families – and I think there’s opportunity to improve with that.”

Dr. Milavetz says here in in Utah, we are fortunate to have such great healthcare.

Additionally, Utah is home to many medical researchers, and is a top state for genealogy and historical health records, “which significantly add to the value of cancer research, not only for clinical studies, but therapies nationwide,” says Milavetz.

One thing Utahns can do immediately to help reach the goal of cancer reduction is get those routine screenings.

Currently, Utahns are below the national average for mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. “This is a call to action for all Utahns. Really that we have backslided from our cancer prevention rates from two years ago, so it’s time to engage and make up for lost time,” says Dr. Milavetz.

In Utah, colorectal cancer screenings are more on par with the national average, but many Utahns still need to get caught up on those screenings as well.

“Prevention works,” says Dr. Milavetz. “If we can find cancers early, we can cure them. That’s the bottom line.”