In the late 1970s, President Nixon declared a war on cancer that exponentially grew research and changed prevention, screening, and treatment, leading to improved cancer survival.
Yet, we have a long way to go. If you’ve seen the PBS special, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, it is an excellent summary of where we were when the war on cancer started, the advances in our understanding of the biology and immunology of cancer, what worked and what didn’t, and what we yet have to do. Where the current moonshot will take us is still unknown, but the fight against cancer is again at the forefront of attention.
Why is this important? Because it is an election year and each of us has a responsibility. If you vote, or if you don’t, you impact the outcome. Think of how close the Iowa caucus results were between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, how close the margin in New Hampshire was for Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. How would the results have been different if more, or less, people had voted? Inform yourself about the issues related to nursing and healthcare: go to www.ons.org and click on “Advocacy and Policy” to find information on ONS policy priorities, position statements, how to get involved, health policy resources, public health issues, and health policy coalitions with which we affiliate. Make a difference!
On another note, choices within ONS to make ONS Connect a monthly publication and increase responsiveness to current issues will benefit our members. The news magazine’s structure is also changing: the responsibility for the content has transitioned and I will be passing the reins on to staff to produce ONS Connect. I want to thank my wonderful contributing editors for all their hard work and ONS for the opportunity to serve as editor for the past year and a half. On to new opportunities!