Marathon Run This Saturday

I'll be running in the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala., Saturday to draw attention to the needs of cancer patients. You may help in this cause by donating to the Anderson Cancer Center Patient Benevolence Fund.

I joined medical professionals Wednesday who meet once a week to discuss tough cases. They are doctors, retired doctors, and social workers, all serving on a team, all part of a brain trust. The input on patients' treatment comes from the best.

"This is where the physicians will present the cases. They'll get feedback from the other disciplines," said administrative director Wayne Herrington. "They'll talk about treatment options available."

These health professionals will tell you before you get to this point that you have an option. That option is called early detection.

"Screening has been proven in multiple studies to improve overall survival," said Dr. Reece Jones. "We ultimately end up seeing the worst of the worst. We're trying to get to a point where we're diagnosing cancer earlier, because we know for a fact we can treat them better and we can cure more patients if we can detect the diseases at an earlier stage."

Doctors say they understand the fear factor in getting screened.

"I understand that they're nervous and there certainly are a lot of stereotypes as far as the process,and fear," Jones said. "But I think patients understand it and have told me that the discomfort is minimal and the benefits far outweigh the risks associated with screening. So I strongly advocate screening because I know it has an impact on survival."

To find out how to make a donation to the Cancer Patient Benevolence Fund, click on one of the links below.

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