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Is Cancer Curable?

Is Cancer Curable?
Corporate Club at Landerhaven
February 17, 2011

Without a doubt, every person in the Corporate Club audience has been touched by cancer - a friend, loved one or even themselves. With two of the premier hospitals in the world in our own backyard, it was time to ask the experts, 'Is Cancer Curable?'

Monica Robbins of WKYC moderated the panel of Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD, Director of The Seidman Cancer Center, University Hospital and Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD, Professor of Medicine, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic.

They began with a simple question, 'What causes cancer?' which led to an interesting and thought provoking discussion of cancer and its future.

Corporate Club Panelists - Moderator Monica Robbins with panelists Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD and Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD

Moderator Monica Robbins with panelists Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD and Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD


The No. 1 cause of cancer is still Smoking, followed by radiation and genes. There are two types of genes, regulators and suppressors. It is the job of the suppressors to grow and block the dangerous cells that can cause cancer. If these suppressor genes are damaged they simply "forget to grow" and a cancer introduced will be able to grow without restraint. Of course this explanation is very simplistic and nothing about this field is.

Even the decision to have tests to determine the probability of one's getting cancer is not cut and dry. The most noted tests, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are often used to determine a woman's chances of breast cancer. But as the doctors pointed out, before these two tests there were other tests that were proven to be inaccurate. Many women had radical surgery done as a result of these tests that they may or may not have needed.

Men have a PSA screen done to determine if they have or may have prostate cancer. If the tests determine that prostate cancer is present or inevitable, it still does not mean that any action is required.

Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD

Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD

As Dr. Raghavan pointed out he has patients in their sixties with elevated PSA and he doesn't act on it. Not because they are too old but because the vast majority of prostate cancer is so slow moving the patient would "have to live to be 135 for it to kill them". There is a much rarer, aggressive form of prostate cancer that would require attention.

Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD

Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD


According to Dr. Gerson, hard-chemotherapy is still the best treatment, but both doctors agree that there are other options. Reduction of testosterone in men or estrogen in women has been known to halt the growth of certain cancers.

Prevention is the best answer and the steps to preventing cancer include:

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Stop replacement estrogen
  3. Correct lifestyle habits
  4. Build up your immune system.

Moderator Monica Robbins

Moderator Monica Robbins

Among the lifestyle habits we need to be mindful of are exercise and weight control - both of which can lead to breast cancer and alcohol abuse which can lead to pancreatic or bladder cancer.

There are natural herbs and foods that can be used to help the immune system. Most patients with Aids do not die from Aids but from the cancer that resulted from a compromised immune system.

The doctors cautioned people about the things they've heard that will cause or cure cancer. In most cases if you hear about it on television or read it in a magazine, it is not to be relied on. These discussions should be had between you and your doctor for the best, most accurate advice.

The question of research was addressed and a sense of alarm was present as the doctors spoke of the problems with funding and research grants. They implored their rapt audience to push politicians to better fund research before people start choosing other career paths because there is no future in a research program.

Moderator Monica Robbins with panelists Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD and Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD

Moderator Monica Robbins with panelists Dr. Stanton L. Gerson MD and Dr. Derek Raghavan MD PhD

Finally the doctors were asked point blank; Will there be a cure for cancer? Dr. Gerson answered "There will never be 1 cure. But there will be 300 cures."

Faces in the Crowd

Lori Schmidt of Cleveland Clinic and Harlan Diamond

Lori Schmidt of Cleveland Clinic and Harlan Diamond


Cory Jackson of WKYC and Ted Ginsburg of Skoda Minotti

Cory Jackson of WKYC and Ted Ginsburg of Skoda Minotti


Claudia Ford, Geri Blair and Portia Brown

Claudia Ford, Geri Blair and Portia Brown


Joseph Ceek, Jim French, Laura Cappelletti and Tim Skonezny of Third Federal

Joseph Ceek, Jim French, Laura Cappelletti and Tim Skonezny of Third Federal


Gayle Schwarz, Marlene Herman and Barbara Daniels

Gayle Schwarz, Marlene Herman and Barbara Daniels


Marlyn Ornstein, DaJon Terry and Linda Sudyk

Marlyn Ornstein, DaJon Terry and Linda Sudyk


Jill Vance and Joseph Jones

Jill Vance and Joseph Jones


Carolyn Perry of CKP Funding Services and Joe Skoda of Skoda Minotti

Carolyn Perry of CKP Funding Services
and Joe Skoda of Skoda Minotti


Students and teachers from Margaret Ireland HS Junior Achievement

Students and teachers from
Margaret Ireland HS Junior Achievement



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