(Author's note: The following blog was posted today on the "Science Update Blog" hosted by Cancer Research UK, where you can read it in its entirety. My thanks to Cancer Research UK and especially to Oliver Childs who made this opportunity available.)
Expert opinion: a US perspective on beating cancer
Posted on September 6, 2012 by Oliver Childs
Dr Len Lichtenfeld is deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. We invited Len to share his thoughts about our shared challenge of beating cancer.
As well as giving his unique perspective on the US's "war on cancer", Dr Len writes about the similarities and differences between the US and UK in our approaches to preventing, detecting and treating the disease:
It has been a long slog since we started our war on cancer here in the United States in 1971.
At times I am not certain that this has been so much of a war as opposed to a series of skirmishes that occasionally have produced incredible moments of optimism. But there have been a fair share of frustrations as well along the way. Our science and our care have made significant progress, but sometimes we find ourselves asking, "What have you done for me lately?"
I think it is important to reflect on the progress that we have made on several fronts in detecting cancer earlier, treating it more effectively and providing quality of care for those who find themselves caught in the jaws of illness, especially for those whose journey has not been successful. More...