Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Become a Cancer Champion: Enroll in CPS-3

Last year, the American Cancer Society launched its Cancer Prevention Study-3, a historic research study enrolling at least 300,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. in order to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations.

Today, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, along with the American Cancer Society, launched our own effort to help CPS-3. Between now and October 2-3, we at the Cancer Center will be working with our colleagues within UAB to recruit and enroll 1,201 individuals in the CPS-3 study. In doing so, we will be tremendously helping the ACS to reach its recruitment goal.

Cancer affects everyone, and our employees at UAB are no exception. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a video explaining CPS-3 with several UAB employees, all of whom have been touched by cancer, which you can watch below.

Help scientists better understand cancer. Enroll in the CPS-3 study from uabnews on Vimeo.

For more information on the study, as well as how to enroll, you can visit our website. I highly encourage you to join me in participating and helping us achieve our vision of a world where cancer is no longer a major public health problem.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Soak Up the Sun with SPF

With the upcoming July 4th holiday, many of us will be heading outdoors to enjoy our favorite summer activities. With that in mind, it's important for everyone to be reminded about the importance of proper sun protection. It may seem repetitive, but the fact remains that more than 2 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, making it the most common form of cancer in the U.S., according to the Skin Cancer Foundation

So while you are having fun soaking up the sun, remember to protect yourself from those harmful UV rays - the ones that can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, brown spots and spider veins. About 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure; therefore, you must protect your skin this summer! Remember these helpful tips: 

  • Use sunscreen. Apply a minimum of 30 SPF sunscreen or moisturizer that protects against UVB/ UVA rays (look for the term "broad spectrum") and is water resistant.
  • Use the right amount. Apply one ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply every two hours. Even if the label reads "water resistant:" or "waterproof," you still need to reapply every couple of hours to ensure sweat or water did not wash your protection away.
  • Seek shade. Avoid the hottest time of the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Cover up. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, clothing and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Do not burn.

Enjoy your summer while staying protected! Remember a temporary tan is not worth the consequences of cancer. For more information about skin cancer, visit the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention or the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rally for Medical Research

Today, I had the opportunity to participate in the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. More than 80 national organizations and institutions are participating in this effort to call on our nation's policymakers to make life-saving medical research funding a priority. The goal is raise awareness among members of Congress and the general public about the critical need for a sustained investment in the National Institutes of Health, which is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.

I've written previously about the importance of funding medical research and how in today's economic climate, that funding is tougher than ever to receive. That still holds true today. Now even more so, because sequestration is slashing the NIH budget by 5.1 percent, or approximately $1.5 billion. This makes it extremely difficult to keep pace with the rate of biomedical inflation.

Funding for research does more than just save lives. It also fuels the economy and creates jobs. NIH funding supports research by 325,000 scientists at more than 3,000 universities and other entities across the United States, including the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thanks to that research, we have made unprecedented advances in science and medicine that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Now is the time for us to move full steam ahead, and not linger behind.

If you would like to see an end to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, I encourage you to contact your congressional representative and tell them to make funding for medical research a national priority. All of our lives depend on it.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Time for a Change

Since the end of World War II, Pap smear screening has markedly reduced the incidence and mortality of invasive cervical cancer in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and Western Europe. Interestingly, it’s one of the few widespread screening tests that have never been evaluated in a randomized clinical trial,yet it has undoubtedly forever changed women’s healthcare.

However, we may have reached the maximum benefit of Pap-based cervical cancer screening and have learned quite a bit about this diagnostic test in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, a single Pap smear has a false negative rate of 50% (yes, 50%!). That might be even higher in areas where prevalence of disease is low (i.e., an over-screened population or one with high HPV vaccination rates).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Broken Record

Today, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center received an extremely generous donation from one of its most loyal and longstanding community partners, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. The BCRFA hosts events and other fundraising opportunities throughout the year, and in turn donates all of its proceeds to the Cancer Center for breast cancer research. 

In a way, today felt like a bit of deja vu. It was just one year ago when I accepted what was, at the time, the Foundation's largest donation yet, which had surpassed their record total from the year prior. And today, the BCRFA broke their record again when they presented the Cancer Center with a check for $550,000 - their largest contribution yet, topping last year's record by $50,000.

The Cancer Center hosted a special luncheon today for the BCRFA and several of its supporters, which gave us the opportunity to present updates on the research being funded by their donation. Dr. Andres Forero, one of our leading breast cancer specialists, explained several promising research projects that could potentially change the way some breast cancers are treated. One of those projects involves a drug known as Tigatuzumab, which was developed here at UAB.  

What began as a small grassroots effort with just a few people has turned into an amazing organization that, to date, has raised more than $4 million for breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. That support has helped turn the Cancer Center's breast cancer research and clinical enterprise into one of the premier programs in the United States.

The support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama is critical to our success here at the Cancer Center, and I am proud to have them as a community partner. I want to thank the BCRFA board and staff - especially outgoing president Dianne Mooney - for all of their hard work in taking the organization forward. They truly set the standard for a group who wants to make a difference in the fight against cancer. I thank them for their support.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.