Help for those affected by cancer: CANSA Science and Resource Centre
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) hosted the opening of its Science and Resource Centre in Cape Town on 28 January 2010 with guest speaker Dr Devra Davis M.P.H., Ph.D, award-winning American scientist and writer who is recognised internationally for her work on environmental health and disease prevention. (Photo right).
The Centre provides support and information to those affected by cancer living in the proximity of Cape Town. It houses the national toll-free Information Service from where information requests throughout South Africa and internationally are responded to. CANSA’s science-driven projects (mainly environmental) are based at the Centre and it is used for science-based events such as cancer-related seminars, media events and is also open to the public.
“Everyone has been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly. Our Information Service is a leading source of reliable cancer-related information and its purpose is to meet the information needs of people using the service,” says CANSA CEO Sue Janse van Rensburg.
“Research shows that up to 90% of cancers are caused by environmental factors and as such it is vital for the country to sit up and take note,” says Janse van Rensburg. Dr. Davis talked on environmental carcinogens (cancer-causing factors): what we know, what we don’t know and what you can do to reduce your risk. She also introduced her book ‘The Secret History of the War on Cancer’ after the opening.
Dr. Davis explains: “Proof of how the world in which we live and work affects whether we get cancer was either overlooked or suppressed. This has been no accident. The War on Cancer was run by leaders of industries that made cancer-causing products, and sometimes also profited from drugs and technologies for finding and treating the disease.”
Dr Davis is currently Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York and was the Founding Director of the world’s first Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.
About the book ‘The Secret History of the War on Cancer’
The War on Cancer set out to find, treat, and cure a disease. Left untouched were many of the things known to cause cancer, including tobacco, the workplace, radiation, or the global environment. Proof of how the world in which we live and work affects whether we get cancer was either overlooked or suppressed. This has been no accident. The War on Cancer was run by leaders of industries that made cancer-causing products, and sometimes also profited from drugs and technologies for finding and treating the disease.
Filled with compelling personalities and never-before-revealed information, ‘The Secret History of the War on Cancer’ shows how we began fighting the wrong war, with the wrong weapons, against the wrong enemies – a legacy that persists to this day. This is the gripping story of a major public health effort diverted and distorted for private gain.
About The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa by offering a unique and integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer.
As a leading role-player in cancer research, the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes as well as focus our watchdog initiatives to the greater benefit of the public. CANSA has more than 330 staff, 12 000 volunteers, 51 offices as well as 12 care homes countrywide.