Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Cure: My Cause. Our Future.

Last night, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted our Young Supporters Board for an orientation session to begin the new year. This meeting was a chance not only for the new board members, but also the existing members to learn more about the Cancer Center’s mission and the work we do. This group of young men and women, under the leadership of President Sam Todd, has adopted this theme: “The Cure: My Cause. Our Future.”
It was really amazing to look out at these young men and women, all eager to join the fight to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem. And the truth is that they will likely live to see this vision come true.
Based on what we have already discovered – and what will be discovered in the next several decades, there is little doubt that cancer will be conquered in this century. It will not be eliminated like smallpox, as cancer is a much more complex disease, but its impact on society will be reduced such that it is no longer a major public health problem.
The only question that is still outstanding is how early in this century will this occur. If we accelerate the delivery of what we already know that prevents cancer deaths as well as our discovery process by devoting more resources to research, this will become a reality sooner rather than later.
I thank the Young Supporters Board for their involvement. Their support and commitment is critical to our success.
-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Young Supporters Board members at Fiesta Ball 2010.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Take Advantage of What We Already Know

Last week at the American Cancer Society board meeting, I was again struck by the realization that approximately 70 percent of all cancer deaths could be averted by simply applying what we know.
Tobacco use, lack of age-appropriate cancer screenings, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity and lack of access to the highest quality treatment all account for this large percentage of cancer deaths.
We must all rededicate our efforts to eliminate tobacco use, encourage age-appropriate screening, promote healthy eating and physical activity, and assure access to quality treatment. This will require a concerted effort from policy makers, organizations, schools, churches, cancer centers and others.
If we were completely compliant with all of this, there would be almost 750 fewer deaths from cancer every day.
-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking the Next Steps

Last week, before I left for the American Cancer Society meeting, Dr. Lucio Miele and other faculty from the University of Mississippi Cancer Center, along with our community-based staff from the Mississippi Delta and Alabama Black Belt, met with UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty to plan for the third funding period for the Deep South Network for Cancer Control. This network has been working for 10 years to promote breast, cervical and colorectal screening in traditionally underserved populations.

Our focus for the next five years is to determine how best to reach those who are still unreached after 10 years of work. We will get feedback and advice from the community on how best to approach this problem.
In addition, we are planning a research project to compare an individual level intervention to reduce weight with an individual level intervention plus community-based intervention.
Unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity and obesity are becoming a major cause of cancer in developed countries. We must find ways to ameliorate this growing pandemic.
-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Faculty and staff from the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Mississippi meet to discuss their efforts in cancer outreach to minorities and underserved populations.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A New Opportunity

Today, I was elected to serve as the 2010-2011 president of the National Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society. I’ve been volunteering with the American Cancer Society for more than 30 years, so it’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to be a leader in such a well-respected organization.

As director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, I have been involved with the work the Society does to save lives and fight cancer. Throughout my career, I’ve always felt that the work I was doing at UAB was closely linked to the work of ACS. Being president is an opportunity to bring the two even closer together, which is incredibly exciting.

One of my goals for next year is to continue working to eliminate cancer health disparities. Growing up in rural Alabama, I’ve seen firsthand the inequalities in health care for minorities and underserved populations. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t unique to Alabama, but rather a problem across the entire country. As leaders in the fight against cancer, I feel that it is our duty to address this problem.

I’m proud to represent the American Cancer Society and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in this role as we work to save even more lives this year. I firmly believe that we will, early in this century, live in a world where cancer is no longer a major public health problem. I look forward to sharing our progress on this journey with you.

- Ed Partridge, M.D.