Learn the facts – and falsehoods -- about ‘curing’ cancerJune 19, 20192 min read
When it comes to cancer awareness, any news, promotion and exposure is good news. The goal of those on the frontlines of the battle against this disease is to inform the public, every message encouraging healthier living, prevention methods and hopefully, inspiring more people to support cancer research.
Doctors can successfully treat cancer. However, there is no cure.
Just this month, as the political rhetoric continues ramping up for the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden used cancer as a platform.
"A lot of you understand what loss is and when loss occurs, you know that people come up to you and tell you 'I understand' if you lose a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a family member," he said. "That's why I've worked so hard in my career to make sure that — I promise you if I'm elected president, you're going to see the single most important thing that changes America, we're gonna cure cancer." – USA Today, June 12
For Biden, cancer is an issue that is close to him. He lost his son to brain cancer in 2015. He’s passionate and deeply invested in those who have also lost a loved one to the disease. But his messaging was not accurate.
If you are covering cancer research, prevention and the quest for the best possible outcomes for those diagnosed and being treated for the disease, the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University has experts who can help with your stories.
Dr. Daniel Albo is able to discuss the fact that yes, there are highly successful treatments for a variety of different cancers. But, there is no “single bullet” that will cure every kind of cancer there is. This is the mistake Biden made during his speech. For some cancer patients, it’s about working with their doctor to find ways to manage their disease during the entirety of their life, similar to high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
To find new treatment options and therapies for all kinds of cancer, it will take investment from multiple levels of government. But money is not all that is needed. It will take basic science researchers working with clinicians to make new “bench-to-bedside” treatment discoveries. Also, public health and prevention, as well as improving access to health care, are essential to ending the burden cancer puts on patients, their family and their friends.
Dr. Albo serves as Chair in the Department of Surgery for the Medical College of Georgia, the Surgeon-in-Chief for Augusta University Health System and associate director of surgical services for the Georgia Cancer Center. He is available to speak with media – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.