Message from the Director

William L. Carroll, MD photo

Today there are more people surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to more effective treatments and earlier diagnosis through screening. At the NYU Cancer Institute, we celebrate these improvements in cancer survival. But we also recognize that it is not enough just to survive. It is also important to live.

That’s why we’ve implemented a number of initiatives to enhance life not only during cancer treatment, but after therapy as well. You can read about one of them in this issue — the Thriving! program at the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at NYU Langone Medical Center. This program formally unifies and expands upon our efforts to address all aspects of the development of each child and adolescent we treat, from the first day of therapy until long after treatment has been completed. I’d like to thank Abbe and Brian Walter for their support of this vital program.

In adults, detecting cancer early increases the chance of curing it. The NYU Cancer Institute has always provided a wide range of cancer screening services, and has expanded them further. Today we know that each person’s risk of cancer is a unique blend of lifestyle and genetic risk factors, and we take this into account to customize each patient’s care. You can read about screening on page 1.

For people being treated for cancer and for anyone who sees a doctor, your ability to take care of your health depends a great deal on your ability to understand what your healthcare team is telling you. Patients who clearly understand what their doctors are telling them are more likely to comply with the care prescribed for them, and they have the best chance of a good outcome. To learn how to improve your communication with your doctors, see page 3.

Of course, the best approach is to prevent cancer from developing at all. There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of the disease, such as eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. In this issue, we provide simple recommendations to help readers adhere to the new American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.

Our focus on wellness not only reduces the burden of cancer on individuals, but on families and society as well. You can start today by moving more and eating healthier. And with the warm weather upon us, there’s no better time to begin than now. Be well!

William L. Carroll, MD

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The Julie and Edward J. Minskoff Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pathology
Director, NYU Cancer Institute