The cancer challenge " how are we doing? |

The cancer challenge " how are we doing?

Aspen Times Staff

“The Cancer Challenge: Halving Deaths by 2015 ” Is it Possible?” will be the topic when the Aspen Given Foundation’s summer health education series begins July 20.

Dr. Tim Byers will offer insights into the latest research and goals in cancer treatment during the free talk at the Given Institute, 100 E. Francis St. His presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.

Byers is professor of preventive medicine and deputy director at the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an expert in cancer prevention research, with a particular interest in the role early detection has on cancer mortality, as well as the roles of diet and nutrition in the prevention of cancer.

“I’ll be talking about the new trends in cancer treatments, what’s responsible for these new trends, and what we’re likely to see in the near future,” he said.

Byers’ current research includes epidemiological and clinical studies of nutrients as protective factors in prostate, colon, breast and lung cancer; studies of cancer treatment decision-making by patients and physicians; studies of cancer genetics and studies to promote the early detection of cancers of the breast and colorectum.

In Aspen, Byers will discuss a challenge goal made by the American Cancer Society in 1990 to reduce cancer mortality by 50 percent by the year 2015. His analysis is scheduled to become a paper for publication this fall.

“The topic of the tremendous progress we are making in cancer will be extremely timely this summer,” he said.

Byers said he has some good news and positive trends to report in the treatment of particular types of cancer, as well as suggestions on how we can do better in terms of behavioral and policy opportunities for reducing cancer risks.

In his talk at the Given, Byers will also touch on health-care access for uninsured and underinsured patients, and the growing body of research on the use of Eastern or other complementary treatments, such as herbs or acupuncture.

The Given Institute, a property of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, is celebrating its 33rd year of hosting national and international conferences for as well as professional medical seminars. The Aspen Given Foundation, a nonprofit fund-raising arm of the Given Institute, offers public lectures, a brown bag lunch series with local doctors, a valleywide dental health fair for children, and a vision screening for the public.

Other upcoming events include:

– Aug. 19 ” an appearance by Dr. Steven Pratt, author of “SuperFoods RX, Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.”

– Aug. 31 ” Dr. Andrew M. Thorburn will present “New Strategies for Treating Cancer: Highly Targeted Tumor Treatment.” Thorburn is the Grohne professor of cancer research and associate director for basic research at the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center.

– Sept. 16 and 17 ” “Matter of Heart,” an evening of entertainment and education about women and heart disease presented by Jan Snooks, co-sponsored with Aspen Valley Hospital and the AVH Nurse Council. The event will be held at the Given Institute at 7 p.m.

– Sept. 30 ” A children’s health lecture and reception with Dr. George J. Dover, director of the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

– Oct. 29 ” Save Your Sight Vision Fair ” free vision screenings and the El Jebel Community Center.

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