During his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden reiterated his goal to “end cancer as we know it” over the next 25 years by reducing America’s cancer death rates and contributing more funding to cancer research.
A recent YouGov poll shows that slightly more Americans are pessimistic than optimistic about the cure for cancer being discovered in their lifetime. Four in 10 Americans (40%) say it’s somewhat or very likely that this will happen, including about half of Democrats and 30- to 44-year-olds. More Americans say it is not very or not at all likely (46%, compared to 40% who say it is likely), including majorities of Republicans (54%), people 65 and older (58%), and people who personally know someone who had cancer (51%).
Americans tend to believe, however, that the average lifespan for Americans will be longer in 25 years. More than one-third (37%) say the average American lifespan will be much or a little longer in 25 years, while 28% expect it will be much or a little shorter. About one in five (21%) believe the lifespan will be the same, and 14% are unsure.
There is less of a difference by political party on this question: Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all are more likely to say the average lifespan for an American will be longer in 25 years than to say it will be shorter.
Methodology: This U.S. News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between February 9 and February 4 - 7, 2022. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the entire sample.