BOSTON, April 11 What is the truth about cancer? Is itthe same deadly killer it was 30 years ago -- or are we making progress? Findout through the poignant stories of patients battling the disease in The TruthAbout Cancer premiering nationally on PBS Wednesday, April 16 at 9:00pm ET(check local listings). Comprised of a 90-minute documentary followed by a30-minute panel discussion, the two-hour broadcast event takes a look deepinside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old warand asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?"
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080411/NEF009 )
The Truth About Cancer is the third installment of PBS's Take One Step-acampaign offering primetime programming and outreach tools to help people takethe first step towards better health. As a complement to the broadcast, PBSrecently launched a comprehensive companion website(www.pbs.org/takeonestep/cancer) featuring extensive information about livingwith cancer, a list of pertinent local resources, and an online cancer riskassessment tool from the Harvard School of Public Health. The site alsoincludes further information about the film including an interview withwriter, producer, and director Linda Garmon, and a preview trailer. Followingits premiere, the complete two-hour broadcast special will be made available,free of charge, on the site at.
Part science, part personal catharsis, part character-driven storytelling,the 90-minute documentary is narrated by Garmon, who tells the moving story ofher husband's battle with cancer. Over the course of the film, Garmon returnsto the same Boston-area hospitals at which her husband was treated, andexposes startling truths about survival rates of metastisized cancers, and thelimited success of drugs and clinical trials. Interwoven throughout are thestories of three additional cancer patients, and their families and doctors,as they navigate the deeply personal decisions surrounding the disease.
"This film makes it clear that it's very much a part of American cultureto believe that if you fight hard enough, you can beat cancer. But when itcomes to having metastatic cancer, your survival depends on the biology ofyour cancer cells, and whether they are susceptible to state-of-the-arttreatment," says Garmon. "In sharing my husband's story and the stories ofother patients, I hope to shed light on this important truth."
Following the 90-minute documentary is a 30-minute panel discussionentitled Take One Step: A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee. Newsjournalist and breast cancer survivor Linda Ellerbee moderates the dialoguefeaturing a panel of doctors, all of whom are cancer survivors themselves.Having sat on both sides of a cancer diagnosis, the panel shares their uniqueperspectives, offering both personal and professional observations on how tohandle a cancer diagnosis, what to say to loved ones, how to advocate foryourself, and how to best live your life, with cancer. Panelists include U.S.News and World Report health editor Dr. Bernadine Healy; breast cancer surgeonand Breast Cancer Research stamp mastermind Dr. Ernie Bodai; neurologist andleading palliative care expert Dr. Richard Payne; and counseling psychologistDr. Paul Brenner.
The Truth About Cancer is a Carousel Films LLC Production for WGBH Boston.Laurie Donnelly is Executive Producer for WGBH. Funding for The Truth AboutCancer is provided by Susan G. Komen For The Cure and the John Wayne CancerFoundation. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for PublicBroadcasting and public television viewers.
About WGBH Boston
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, thesource of one-third of PBS's primetime lineup and companion online content aswell as many public radio favorites. WGBH is a pioneer in educationalmultimedia (including the Web, broadband, and