Dr. Kevin Knopf, a medical oncologist, shares his questions for Lance Armstrong and the participants in the Livestrong Presidential Cancer Forum.
1) Breast Cancer and Race. Breast cancer continues to show a survival disparity by race - women of color continue to fare more poorly in terms of survival and have a later stage of cancer at diagnosis. How do you propose to reverse this?
2) Environmental Causes of Cancer. It is thought that many cancers may be attributable to environmental causes - diet, tobacco, and pollution. How do you propose to reverse the trends in the US and make us a healthier country?
3) Federal Cancer Research Funding. Funding for the NIH has not kept up with the pace of inflation these past eight years. The National Cancer Institute had served as the cornerstone of President Nixon's "war on cancer". How much funding do you think the NCI should have, and where will it come from?
4) Funding for Cancer Centers. Cancer centers are facing a financial crisis due to decreases in funding as a result of the Medicare Modernization Act. Many are closing and others have been forced to stop treating Medicare patients. The only solution would be a change in the structure of Medicare that would require a cash infusion. Where will that money come from given the country's current spending habits?
5) Nursing Shortage. There is a dramatic nursing shortage across the United States. There is projected to be a major shortage of oncologists in this country by 2020. Do you have any suggestions on how to reverse these trends, or how to interest young people in a career in cancer care or cancer research?
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Published On: August 24, 2007