Despite Health Emergencies, CDC Dedicated to Fighting Cancer

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Despite the attention devoted to disease emergencies, agency director Doctor Julie Gerberding said the CDC remains dedicated to fighting cancer and chronic diseases.

Cancer is the country's second-leading cause of death behind heart disease. Gerberding said half of all men and nearly half of all women will develop cancer during their lifetimes.

One of the CDC's main cancer prevention efforts involves reducing the country's high levels of obesity, which can lead to medical problems that include cancer and heart disease.

She said cancer is rapidly becoming our number one health problem of all age groups, including kids.

Toward this, the CDC's parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, will soon announce the largest appropriation ever for community grants that deal with chronic health problems.

Gerberding said a wide range of community level grants will soon be distributed for obesity, diabetes and asthma, adding that she hopes cancer programs will be able to receive future grants under the new program.