The head of one of the region’s largest cancer treatment facilities is thrilled with today’s "Stand Up to Cancer" initiative that’s being giving considerable airtime on three major over the air TV networks. Dr. Ken Cowan is director of the Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Cowan says: "It’s just great to have an event that is so widely publicized that will then increase the awareness about cancer. What’s the problem? Where are we in terms of research? What has research led to in terms of increased hope for patients in terms of improvement in survivorship and more effective therapy?" A special program will air simultaneously tonight at 7 o’clock Central time on ABC, CBS and NBC.
Cowan says cancer research is paying off as survival rates for breast cancer have risen 20% in the past decade, while prostate cancer survival rates are up 30% in that time. "Research has led to some important new breakthroughs in terms of designing and developing new therapies for treatment of patients with cancer yet funding for research at the federal government level has been flat for the last several years and has actually started to decrease," Cowan says. "Research funding is much more competitive than it’s ever been before."
He says the public needs to know the best key to surviving cancer is early detection. "Cancer is an important health problem. They should pay attention to signs and symptoms and certainly pay attention to proper screening, physical exams, and also be aware that the field is changing rapidly and the future is very bright in terms of providing hope for all patients who are diagnosed with cancer."
To learn more about the initiative, tune in tonight or visit the " Stand up 2 Cancer website " . The Omaha medical center serves cancer patients from all across western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, as well as Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
Also, UNMC’s bone marrow transplant program has performed more than 3,800 transplant operations on patients from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries over its 20-year history, making it one of the nation’s largest such programs.