Brian Shields Talks With Dr. Todd Doyle On Tony Gwynn's Oral Cancer
The baseball world is mourning the death of Tony Gwynn. One of the all-time baseball greats died this week at the age of 54 from oral cancer. Gwynn, who spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres, like many of his fellow players, used smokeless tobacco. Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who said he never smoked or used smokeless tobacco, recently announced that his oral cancer had returned and has undergone additional surgery. Despite efforts to discourage its use, some baseball players still use smokeless tobacco, a leading cause of oral cancers, according to Dr. Todd Doyle, Chief of Radiation Oncology at New York Oncology-Hematology.
Those health warnings on the side of a package or carton of cigarettes are well-established and have become more severe and graphic over the years. That warning from the Surgeon General was the result of a landmark 1964 report by the Surgeon General, establishing a link between cigarettes and heart disease and cancer. Fifty years later, the acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, says progress has been made, but smoking remains a serious health problem.
Until last week, most people had never heard of Lisa Bonchek Adams. A devoted wife and mother to three young children, Ms. Adams has been battling end-stage cancer for the last seven years. This 44-year-old Connecticut woman has chosen to fight her disease tooth and nail, including enrolling in a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.
David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.
The Alliance is looking to advocate for public health dollars for research for cheap, widely available early detection like a blood or urine tests, and provide patient support services. And they look to triple lung cancer survivorship by 2020. Joining us to tell us more:
Dr. Hilton Hossanah is here, he is a Thoracic Surgeon and Assistant Professor at Albany Medical Center. We also welcome Betsy McPhail: She built a network of support as a caregiver, which gave her the support she needed to get through. Her 20's something sister was diagnosed and died from lung cancer. And Phyllis Goldstein is Director of Lung Cancer Alliance New York and a never smoker survivor who found the path of advocacy to honor the death of her best friend and her father to lung cancer.
Abigail Thomas joins us along with Barbara Sarah, a breast cancer survivor, and one of book’s 15 contributors who founded the Oncology Support Program. We are also joined by two other contributors: Carol Dwyer and Craig Mawhirt.
Steve Lewis is a member of the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute faculty and freelance writer. He has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Spirituality and Health, and a biblically long list of parenting magazines and books (7 kids, 16 grandchildren). He is also a contributing writer for Talking Writing Magazine.