Many readers probably watched last night the so-called “Stand Up To Cancer” telethon on many major TV channels, a fundraising event that was launched in 2008 and aims to solicit donations from the public to support cancer research. The event was attended by many celebrities including Katie Couric.
“Stand Up To Cancer 2010” was carried by ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox networks and shown in multiple TV channels including BIO, CURRENT, DISCOVERY HEALTH, E, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, Mun2, SHOWTIME, SMITHSONIAN Channel, Style, TV Ne, and MLB Network among others, according to standup2cancer.org.
The second Stand Up to Cancer telethon was co-hosted by news anchors Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Katie Couric and produced by Film and TV producer Laura Ziskin, a cancer survivor, according to the Associated Press.
The event was attended by hundred celebrities including movie stars like Sofia Vergara who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Christina Applegate who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and George Clooney whose aunt actress and singer Rosemary Clooney died from lung cancer, musicians like Stevie Wonder and Neil Diamond, and sports stars. Even the United States President Barack Obama was said to have attended the fund-raising event.
Michael Douglas, who revealed not long ago that he was diagnosed with throat cancer and has been receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, also reportedly showed up in a videotape, but not in person, for the event.
The Stand Up to Cancer was founded by a group of women including Katie Couric, Noreen Fraser, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Ellen Ziffren, and Laura Ziskin. Listed as co-founders are also Entertainment Industry Foundation and American Association for Cancer Research.
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The organization claims on its website that it is different from the other cancer organizations in that it supports cancer research projects that aim to find a cancer cure quickly and that could have the potential to significantly affect patient care.
Cancer, considered a Western or affluent disease, is believed to be the number two killer in the United States. Fifty percent of U.S. men are expected to be diagnosed with one cancer or another before they die while one third of U.S. women will develop a cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer is diagnosed in millions of people and kill more than half a million each year in the U.S.
Dr. Samuel S. Epstein MD, chairman of Cancer Prevention Coalition and professor emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Medicine says in a document released years ago on his website, that the U.S. declared war against cancer in 1971 by passing a bill called the National Cancer Act and has ever since spent billions of dollars each year on cancer research. But the country is losing the war, Dr. Epsteine says.
Dr. Epstein suggests that the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society – some call it the world richest non-profit organization, and drug companies have invested too much in developing drugs indicated to diagnose and treat cancer and too little in preventing cancer from developing in the first place.
Many lifestyle parameters such as diet and environment are believed to have a heavy-weight influence on the cancer risk. But genetics plays only a small role in the cancer development, that is, a person may carry a faulty gene, but he does not have to develop the cancer associated with the gene, according to Dr. Colin T Campbell, a distinguished nutrition professor at Cornell University.
Drinking alcohol; smoking cigarette; exposure to radiation, environmental pollutants like pesticides, heavy metals, and certain plastic compounds; high intake of processed meat and dairy products and low intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grains; and lack of sufficient sleep, physical activity and minerals and vitamins like vitamin D are all associated with elevated cancer risk.
By Jimmy Downs