Conquering Cancer game plan put into play

It takes more than words to conquer cancer. It takes a full-court press.

DALLAS-FORT WORTH – Feb. 27. 2019 – When it comes to cancer, we all need a strong defense. That’s why UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center launched a full-court press against cancer Wednesday night with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Together, they tipped off the Conquering Cancer campaign at the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Indiana Pacers.

“The absolute best way to deal with cancer is to prevent it through changes in lifestyle and diet and, most importantly, catch it early with screening,” said Dr. Carlos Arteaga, Director of the Simmons Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The mayors and Mavs are uniting with UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center and calling on the community to:

  • Make time for mammograms
  • Stop smoking
  • Get screened for hepatitis C and colon cancer
  • Vaccinate teens and preteens against HPV
  • Discover your cancer risk through genetic testing

Approximately 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are a result of a specific inherited mutation. An even higher percentage of cancers, 30 percent, are related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Understanding your genetic risk factors for cancer can arm you with the information you need to uncover a personal prevention plan.

“It is beyond clear that screening for early cancers saves lives – there is no question about that,” said Dr. Arteaga, who holds the Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology. “And the time to take charge, prevent, and detect early cancers is now.”

UT Southwestern is the only research-based clinical program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer genetic counseling and testing for all cancer types.

“We’re winning the war on most cancers. Unfortunately, liver cancer isn’t one of those,” said Dr. Amit Singal, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of the Liver Tumor Program at UT Southwestern. North Texas’ fatality rate for liver cancer is higher than the national average.

“The most common cause of liver cancer is hepatitis C, and we can prevent and cure this,” added Dr. Singal, who holds the David Bruton, Jr. Professorship in Clinical Cancer Research and is a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. Hepatitis C treatment can lead to a lifetime cure and reduces the chance of liver cancer by more than 75 percent.

Early detection of precancerous or cancerous cells is key in the fight against all cancers.

Cancer can be difficult to understand. The Simmons Cancer Center prides itself on clearing the confusion thanks to the Cancer Answer Line, a pillar of the Conquering Cancer campaign. You don’t have to be a patient to speak with a UT Southwestern cancer specialist. All calls and emails are free and confidential. You can reach the Cancer Answer Line by calling (214) 761-3139 or emailing CancerAnswerLine@utsouthwestern.edu. Specialists can talk about prevention, screening guidelines, community resources, treatment options, and so much more.

The Conquering Cancer campaign blends the Simmons Cancer Center’s longstanding mission to reduce cancer in North Texas with a mandate from the National Cancer Institute to broaden its public education and outreach activities. The mandate is part of the Simmons Cancer Center’s NCI designation as one of only 50 comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. This designation puts the Simmons Cancer Center among the elite providers for cancer treatment – but cancer prevention is a community effort. UT Southwestern calls on everyone to join in these preventive steps to conquer cancer.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,500 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 105,000 hospitalized patients, nearly 370,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 3 million outpatient visits a year.