NCI Program Will Spend $95 Million to Reduce Cancer in Minorities
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently launched a new program to reduce cancer deaths among minority and underserved populations through $95 million in grants that will fund community-based projects in geographically and culturally diverse areas of the country.
The new initiative, the Community Networks Program (CNP), was announced on May 6 by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt. It is part of NCI's ongoing efforts to understand why some population groups - often minorities and the poor - have higher cancer rates than others, and to eliminate disparities by involving local communities in education, research, and training.
"To win the war against cancer we need to better understand the areas where we know that people are dying at higher rates, and we need to find ways to target these communities with culturally relevant approaches," said Dr. Harold Freeman, director of NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD), which oversees CNP. Read more
Women and Cancer: Celebrating Advances, Planning for Progress
Just 2 weeks ago we learned that two trials testing trastuzumab (Herceptin) against early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer were being stopped early because the combination of trastuzumab and standard chemotherapy reduced cancer recurrence risk by more than half compared with chemotherapy alone.
The findings represent the latest step in a sustained journey of progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer in women (see "Notes") - certain to be a topic at the health education and other events scheduled as part of National Women's Health Week.
There is still much work to be done to blunt cancer's impact on women. Nearly 663,000 women will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and 275,000 will die. That said, the late 1990s saw cancer incidence rates in women begin to dip after 9 years of stable rates, while mortality rates have sunk for 8 of the top 15 cancers in women. Read more