Monthly Archives: May 2010

“Don’t Fry Day” Reminds Us To Be Safe In The Sun

So it’s off to the mountains, the beach, or maybe even a weekend at home enjoying a cookout or some other festivity.  Vacation season is here, and so is the second annual “Don’t Fry Day” tomorrow, Friday (get it?) May 28th.

This celebration of “Don’t Fry Day” is brought to you by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, the American Cancer Society and many other organizations committed to reminding everyone that while it’s great to get outdoors and enjoy yourself it’s also extremely important to remember to do those things that will protect you from the damaging rays of the sun.


Skin cancer is no simple matter.  Just recently the American Cancer Society acknowledged—based on new research—that the number of people diagnosed with “typical” skin cancers every year has increased from 1 million to 2 million persons.  And, the actual number of skin cancers diagnosed is much higher than that, since multiple skin cancers occur frequently occur on one person.

Skin cancer is usually—but not always—a disease diagnosed later in life.  But the damage that sets things in motion starts at a young age.  Sunburns in youth are … Continue reading →

A Step Forward In Finding Ovarian Cancer Early

A research report released last evening (and which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in early June) is bound to raise hopes that we have—at long last—found a test that can effectively diagnose ovarian cancer when it is in its early stages and most curable.

The problem is that ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed at a later stage when it is more difficult to treat and cure.  Finding a test that will detect ovarian cancer early when it is treatable and curable has been referred to by many as the “holy grail” of cancer early detection.

But if we are to learn anything from the recent prostate cancer screening controversy, it is that we must proceed with caution before jumping into the fray with both feet.  Otherwise, we may find ourselves 20 years from now asking the same questions about this ovarian cancer test that we are now asking about the real value of the PSA test.


In the past, ovarian cancer has been called “silent” since so many women were diagnosed late in the course of the disease, ostensibly because there were no typical symptoms.  Continue reading →

More On Dichloroacetate (DCA) In Cancer Treatment

You may remember my previous blogs and other media reports from a couple of years ago about the new “miracle” chemical for cancer treatment.  The name of the chemical is dichloroacetate, more commonly known as DCA.

When first reported in early 2007, a research paper started a worldwide firestorm of interest and debate about the use of DCA in cancer treatment.  Of concern was the fact that since the chemical was long off patent no one was interested in funding further research given the limited potential economic return of the investment.

Well, DCA is back.  And in fairness the science as reported is interesting.  But it is the report that DCA appeared to have some benefit in the treatment of aggressive brain cancer that is probably going to get the headlines.


Without going into a lot of details, DCA is a commercially available chemical (you can order it off the internet) that has previously been used medically in the treatment of a condition where lactic acid builds up in the body.  It is reported to have limited side effects, primarily neurologic.

In the previous experiments, animal and “bench lab” science suggested DCA could … Continue reading →

“Choose You” Is All About You–And Us

Today is a special day at the American Cancer Society as we launch our brand new “Choose You” movement, which is designed to inspire women to take action and put their health first in order to stay well and help prevent cancer.

As I reflect on this moment while here in New York with other volunteers, friends and Society staff, I can’t help but think of how difficult it is for any of us these days to try to take care of ourselves given the frequently hectic, overcommitted and overstressed lifestyles that many of us face every day.

At heart, that’s what Choose You is all about: finding time for women to take care of themselves, making the commitment to do just that, and creating a social network that supports their efforts and gathers their friends and family around them as they strive to develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle.


This is a personal issue for many of us, and especially for the women in our lives.  And with Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, there is probably no better time for us to be thinking about the women we rely on every day to guide … Continue reading →