Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A World of Limitless Possibilities

Last night, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted "Progress & Promise," its annual address to the community. This is a chance for the general public to hear about the advancements made at the Cancer Center during the past year, as well as future plans for 2012 and beyond.

This year's program highlighted two important aspects of the Cancer Center. The first being that 2011 marked the center's 40th anniversary. While the seeds of UAB's cancer program were first planted in 1968 with the death of Governor Lurleen B. Wallace from cancer, the Cancer Center really took shape in 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer by signing the National Cancer Act. This piece of legislation established "comprehensive" cancer centers that would be at the forefront of cancer research, treatment and education. UAB was designated one of the first of these centers, and it has maintained that prestigious status ever since.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What We Know About Cancer

A new study in the British Journal of Cancer has reported that more than 60 percent of cancer cases in Great Britain can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes. Those numbers apply to those of us here "across the pond" as well.

We know that at least 70 percent of cancer cases in the United States can be prevented by lifestyle modifications, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and reducing or, even better, eliminating tobacco use. This is especially important for those of us in Alabama, which ranks seventh in the nation for cancer mortality with 211.3 cancer deaths per 100,000 people.

During this time of year, when we all make resolutions to improve ourselves, let's make one to apply what we know and end cancer as a public health problem.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.