President Obama's pledge to conquer cancer "in our time" is a great goal, but one of America's top cancer experts isn't sure he'd use the word "cure."
"The idea of [calling for] a cure does scare me a little bit because, I don't think that's realistic in some cancers," says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. "But I like the general overall idea, and I'm thrilled about the focus on health."
Obama's first proposed budget includes $6 billion for cancer research by the National Institutes of Health. That's on top of the additional $10 billion provided by the stimulus package for 2009 and 2010.
But some cancer specialists say that rather than finding a cure, a more realistic scenario is that certain cancers that are fatal today will move into the realm of chronic illnesses.
By chronic disease, doctors mean "the way we think of diabetes or heart disease as chronic diseases, where people could live in peaceful coexistence with cancer, as opposed to the cancer continuing to advance," said Brawley, who also is CNNhealth.com's conditions expert. Read full article »