A nationwide effort to conquer cancer intensified with the National Cancer Act of 1971. As a result of the National Cancer Program, created by that legislation, more cancer patients are being cured today than ever before and many others are living longer with improved quality of life.
The National Cancer Program brings together a network of researchers at many public and private institutions around the country. These include the National Cancer Institute, cancer centers, universities, community hospitals and private industry. Groups involving hundreds of researchers are working to discover and put to use new information to benefit the cancer patients of today and tomorrow.
Knowledge gained from clinical trials, or research studies with patients, has been essential to overall progress. Such studies have led to increased survival for childhood cancers, Hodgkin's disease, breast, uterine, testicular and bladder cancers and other cancers. These studies continue to play a key role in progress against cancer.
Today, major scientific discoveries in the laboratory are part of a revolution in biology. New tools to unravel the process of cancer are leading to exciting new approaches against cancer. Clinical trials continue to be the link between such basic research and patients. The goal is to translate the best of that research into findings that directly help people.
Information about cancer is available from many sources, including the ones listed below. You may wish to check for additional information at your local library or bookstore and from support groups in your community.
Cancer Information Service
The Cancer Information Service, a program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is a nationwide telephone service for cancer patients and their families and friends, the public, and health care professionals. The staff can answer questions (in English or Spanish) and can send free National Cancer Institute booklets about cancer. They also know about local resources and services. One toll-free number, (800) 4-CANCER [(800) 422-6237], connects callers all over the country with the office that serves their area.
The National Cancer Institute has also published this online guide for you, your family and your friends to explain what clinical trials are and to help you make a decision about entering a trial.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a voluntary organization with a national office and local units all over the country. This organization supports research, conducts educational programs, and offers many services to patients and their families. The American Cancer Society also provides free booklets on cancer. To obtain booklets, or for information about services and activities in local areas, call the Society's toll-free number, (800) ACS-2345, or the number listed under American Cancer Society in the white pages of the telephone book.
The NCI has developed Physician Data Query (PDQ), a computerized database and website designed to give doctors and patients quick and easy access to:
- The latest treatment information for most types of cancer
- Descriptions of clinical trials that are open for enrollment (including the names and addresses of the physicians and facilities conducting the studies)
- The names of organizations and physicians involved in cancer care
Cancer Information Service offices (800) 4-CANCER provide PDQ searches to callers and can tell physicians how to obtain regular access to the database. Patients may ask their physicians to use PDQ or may call the Cancer Information Service at (800) 4-CANCER to request a search for themselves. PDQ is updated monthly with the latest cancer information on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. You may visit their website.