Pink ribbons are for breast cancer, dark blue ribbons are for colon cancer, and so on. But cancer is more a disease of genes than one of specific tissues, so the specialization of our research and educational efforts based solely on a given cancer's tissue of origin could have detrimental aspects.
Cancer prevention should not be just experiments performed in a laboratory or a reason for building a new medical center, but rather cancer prevention must include looking at the choices we make in our everyday lives and in business.
I admit it. I am a huge fan of the animated show Family Guy. The Griffin family has provided me with much distraction at some of the most stressful points of my daughter Alexis' cancer journey and beyond.
Now the pink has been put away for another year and breast cancer is no longer in the spotlight. Unless you happen to be a breast cancer survivor or be battling the disease yourself, that is -- like me and millions of other women, many of us lesbians.
As a parent who lost her child to a brain tumor, I'm commemorating September's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by red-flagging those obstacles that prevent us from raising survival rates for our youngest warriors.
In the new book The Truth in Small Doses, Clifton Leaf asks why there hasn't been more success in reducing the cancer threat, considering the enormous investment in research. He argues that a "strange, dispiriting, dysfunctional" cancer culture has actually stood in the way of progress.
How do we know which newly touted treatments really work (i.e., are safe and effective) and which do not? The best way, and one that has led to steady progress in the treatment of many types of cancer in recent decades, is through the randomized controlled clinical trial.
Even though basic science is vital for clinical development of new medicines, research as a whole still needs to find a way to rise above incremental improvements and "think outside the box." Innovative and unorthodox approaches are the tickets to major advances.
The manner in which we as a country have been attacking the cancer problem is not working. Cancer still takes kids from their families on a daily, weekly and yearly basis and the incidence rates are not lessening. That is unacceptable.
From my earliest entree into blogging in my daughter Alexis' journal, I learned quickly that the childhood cancer community was a very disorganized and dis-unified group of entities and individuals who all had the same ultimate goal: a cure.
Money makes the world go 'round. Or so we are told. Certainly for medical research, this is true. And, for the childhood cancer community, it is clear where we fall in the federal spectrum, i.e. on the low end of the stick.
If you want to reduce your cancer risks, be careful what advice you follow. A number of activist groups offer a range of cancer-fighting tips that don't mesh with the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) latest report on cancer trends.
Is it so radical to believe that smoking--like junk food snarfing, motorcycle riding, sky diving, mountain climbing, promiscuous sex, and running with scissors--is a matter of individual choice, otherwise known as freedom?
Don't get me wrong. We must continue to support the goal of conquering cancer. But we must ask the National Cancer Institute to allocate more funding for prevention, and we must research better, more accurate diagnostics.
I wanted to take this opportunity to bring to light an issue that I think deserves much more awareness and attention on the federal level. Childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of our children in this country. Were you aware of this fact?
While improvements have been made in the curriculum of American medical schools over the past few decades, cancer prevention is one essential area that is still neglected. The emphasis is on treatment, rather than prevention.