Prevention: The Ultimate Goal

Robert C. Young When I was growing up, my whole generation was haunted by the fear of polio. We all knew people who suffered from this disease and died, or were confined to iron lungs. But a vaccine changed the course of medical history and made polio a preventable disease. Likewise with cancer, the future of research rests not with making the equivalent of a better iron lung, but instead with the development of scientific strategies to prevent the disease. Despite dramatic advances in our

Robert Young
Feb 20, 2000


Robert C. Young
When I was growing up, my whole generation was haunted by the fear of polio. We all knew people who suffered from this disease and died, or were confined to iron lungs. But a vaccine changed the course of medical history and made polio a preventable disease. Likewise with cancer, the future of research rests not with making the equivalent of a better iron lung, but instead with the development of scientific strategies to prevent the disease.

Despite dramatic advances in our scientific understanding of cancer and substantial improvements in our ability to treat it medically, cancer continues to exact a devastating personal and financial toll on society. Approximately 8.4 million Americans alive today have a history of cancer. This year alone in the United States, cancer will strike 1,220,100 people and will claim more than 552,000 lives--more than 1,500 people a day.

Researchers have long hoped...

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