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| The War Against Cancer |
In the latest installment of the "Sesno Reports" public affairs series, journalist Frank Sesno tackles cancer, a disease that continues to kill more than 600,000 people a year. The numbers are pretty eye-opening. Men have about a one in two chance of getting cancer, while the odds improve slightly for women to one in three.
Several cancer survivors tell their personal stories to Sesno, giving moving accounts of how they learned about their disease and how they found ways to cope, battle and survive.
Sesno focuses on medical progress against the disease, as well as new and individualized therapies under development by doctors and researchers. Patient advocate Harry Pinchot relates his one-man crusade to battle prostate cancer and to inform patients diagnosed with the disease.
A series of profiles examines the frustrations and experiences of cancer patients. Actress Fran Drescher relates how it took two years and eight doctors to get her uterine cancer diagnois, confirming suspicions that something was wrong with her.
"Eighty percent of all women with ovarian cancer get diagnosed in the late stages, and 70% of them will die," says Drescher. "But how can women expect to get an early diagnosis when they are subjected to a medical community that refuses to recognize the earliest symptoms a possible threat of cancer."
ABC's Cokie Roberts, a nationally-known journalist used to digging out answers on tough issues, found her battle against breast cancer a daunting experience.
"You have a whole variety of choices. . . .mastectomy vs. lumpectomy, radiation or chemotherapy," says Roberts. "It's not easy to make those choices and I am a person who gets information for a living, and it was very hard for me."
"Cancer Cures: Living With Cancer" airs on public television stations beginning Feb. 13 (check local listings) and is distributed through American Public Television (APT).
Health Special Report: Cancer
National Cancer Institute
American Cancer Society