In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer. Each year, the government spends almost $5 billion researching cancer and a possible cure. And while the medical community appears to be gaining the upper hand on this horrific disease, we have yet to reach the ultimate goal - eliminating it once and for all.
Now, almost 40 years later, we doctors here at Fox News wanted to see just how much progress has been made, and if in fact, this is a war we are winning. On Sunday, September 12, Fox News Channel will bring you the one-hour special_ "FOX NEWS REPORTING: Winning the War on Cancer"at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, to take an intimate look at a disease that touches all of our lives in one way or another.
Consider these statistics:
- 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
- Breast cancer is the No. 1 cancer experienced by women
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for both men and women
But, while cures may never be found for many cancers, cancer is not the deadly disease it once was. Today, treatments are no longer: "one size fits all." Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are becoming personalized for patients and their unique cancers. The goal of the latest targeted therapies is to treat cancer as a chronic, manageable disease - much like diabetes - rather than a death sentence.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently released a report highlighting a small decline in the rates of both new cases and death for lung, colon/rectum and prostate cancer - the three most common cancers in men.
For women, the decline was in two of the three leading cancers in women - breast and colon/rectum cancer.
The NCI's announcement is a positive spin on national health crisis. But to call it "good news" is misleading - the decline is less than one percent, and it's not as a result of scientific breakthroughs or treatments. The decline for these cancers is due to behavioral changes and early detection.
But for the hundreds of other cancers, rates continue to rise, and cancer will soon replace heart disease as the leading cause of death in America.
So the question remains, are we winning the war on cancer?
In "FOX NEWS REPORTING: Winning the War on Cancer,"we'll answer that question by taking you through a 40 year battle that looks at the debate over conventional vs. integrative therapies, new resources available to help cancer patients navigate the health care system, ways to prevent and limit your risk for developing cancer and what the future holds for cancer on the whole. Through the eyes of real cancer patients and the doctors who treat them, you'll get an intimate look at just how we're fighting the war on cancer, and the soldiers on the front lines of battle.
We talked to some of the country's leading cancer experts including: The Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute, Chief of Surgery of the National Cancer Institute, Director of the National Toxicology Program, Molecular Biologists and a Nobel Prize Winner from the Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research at M.I.T., Healthy Living guru Dr. Andrew Weil, plus oncologists, doctors and patients from NYU Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and other institutions.
TUNE INTO FOX NEWS CHANNEL SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 AT 3 P.M. AND 9 P.M. ET TO WATCH "FOX NEWS REPORTING: WINNING THE WAR ON CANCER"HOSTED BY DR. CYNARA COOMER AND MYSELF.
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! SEND YOUR EMAILS TO DRMANNY@FOXNEWS.COMAND POST YOUR COMMENTS HERE ON MY BLOG AFTER THE SPECIAL AND TELL ME WHETHER YOU THINK WE'RE WINNING THE WAR ON CANCER.