Friday, June 29, 2012

Designated for a Purpose

155,930 - the estimated number of new cancer cases in 2012 in the southeastern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, according to the American Cancer Society. In that six-state region, The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. It provides care for more than 20,000 patients, with more than 5,000 new cancer cases evaluated each year.

We diagnose and treat patients from all areas of the United States, as well as from different countries around the world. However, many of our patients come from Alabama and the five surrounding states to seek the care and counsel of one of only 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country. Because of the number of new cases each year in these states, the UAB cancer center strives to offer the best treatment to its patients, as well as advance the world's understanding of cancer.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, let us take this journey with you. If you would like to learn more, or donate to advance our cutting-edge research and treatment, visit our website.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Clearing the Air

If you don't think policy and excise taxes on cigarettes don't make a difference, I encourage you to check out an article recently published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In recent years, the state of California has systematically imposed excise taxes on cigarettes, banned smoking in public places through clean indoor air laws and helped residents of the state to stop smoking. Meanwhile, Alabama has done very little as a state to address these issues. In this article, entitled "Why Are Women More Likely to Die from Lung Cancer in Alabama?," researchers found that for Caucasian women born since 1933 lung cancer death rates in California have dropped by more than half while in Alabama they have more than doubled.

The evidence of policy impact could not be clearer! While Birmingham has recently taken a stand to enforce clean indoor air laws and tighten regulations on smoking in public spaces, the entire state of Alabama must continue to advocate for stricter policies across the board. Otherwise, I fear that we will continue to pay the price.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Developing Cutting-Edge Therapies to Offer More Clinical Trials

Did you know that our physicians and scientists at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center are on the cutting-edge of breakthrough therapies? This team of more than 350 physician-scientists is committed to developing and discovering the best therapy treatments possible for our cancer patients. In fact, many clinical trials offered at UAB use treatments that were created right here. When you come to our Cancer Center, you're often in the capable hands of the very doctors who developed your specific therapy.

We currently offer more than 120 clinical trials, many of which have led to the approval of cancer drugs, including Erbitux, Avastin, Rituxan, Herceptin, Zevalin and Bexxar. Millions of people benefit from the discovery of these leading-edge monoclonal antibodies. They not only help patients at the UAB Cancer Center, but those in hospitals and cancer centers all over the nation. Although our physicians and scientists have taken great strides in the race against cancer, they continue researching every day to discover new clinical trials that will help cancer patients around the world.

If you would like to learn more or get involved, visit our website at

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Alabama Ranks 24th in Ovarian Cancer Provision

A new report from Ovarian Cancer: A Call For State Action ranked Alabama 24th in the nation based on four categories affecting women with ovarian cancer. These categories include access to care, education, quality of life and research support.

California was ranked first, while Iowa, Kentucky and Maine were ranked 24th, along with Alabama. Susan Greene, executive director of the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation, cited the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center as a contributor to the top-notch research and care in the state.

Alabama received high marks for its legislative efforts to provide women with direct access to gynecologists and its provision for end-of-life and hospice programs. Greene said the state also offers many support groups for those with gynecological cancers. The Cancer Center always strives to inform its patients of these support groups.

The report indicated Alabama lacked laws addressing caps on co-payments, standing referrals to specialists and second opinions. The report did not include treatment outcomes, quality of care or the type of care given to cancer patients.

We are proud to be the only comprehensive cancer center in the state of Alabama, but also realize the great responsibility that accompanies this. Our scientists and physicians are working everyday to provide cutting-edge research that will make Alabama the best place for ovarian cancer provision.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Celebrating Cancer Survivorship

This weekend people all over the country gathered to celebrate life for National Cancer Survivorship Day. The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted "Celebrating Life" at Regions Park on Friday to recognize thousands of cancer survivors and cheer on the Birmingham Barons. Many reflected on the hardships and treatments they overcame to get to the place they are today, and gave thanks for life. The event also featured educational opportunities, children's activities and giveaways.

While it is wonderful to celebrate on a specific day, let's not forget that survivorship is an ongoing issue. At the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, our doctors and researchers are working around the clock to give more patients a reason to celebrate next year's National Cancer Survivorship Day.
From bench to bedside, our center is at the forefront of improving cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and researchers here have pioneered advances in chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and nutrition.

To see the progress we have made in our fight to win the battle against cancer, you can read survivors' stories on our website and celebrate their lives with us.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.