What is the truth about cancer? Is it the same deadly killer it was 30 years ago - or are we making progress? Find out through the poignant stories of patients battling the disease. Written, produced, and directed by award-winning filmmaker Linda Garmon, The Truth About Cancer premieres nationally on PBS Wednesday, April 16, at 9:00pm ET (check local listings). Comprised of a 90-minute documentary followed by a 30-minute panel discussion, the two-hour broadcast event takes a deep look inside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old war and asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?"
Part science, part personal catharsis, part character-driven storytelling, The Truth About Cancer is narrated by Garmon, who tells the moving story of her husband's battle with cancer. Over the course of the film, Garmon returns to the same Boston-area hospitals at which her husband was treated, and exposes startling truths about survival rates of metastisized cancers, and the limited success of drugs and clinical trials. Interwoven throughout are the stories of three additional cancer patients, and their families and doctors, as they navigate the deeply personal decisions surrounding the disease. The documentary also follows several medical professionals working to promote screening, research the latest developments in cancer treatment, and help patients and their families live with a cancer diagnosis.
"This film makes it clear that it's very much a part of American culture to believe that if you fight hard enough, you can beat cancer. But when it comes to having metastatic cancer, your survival depends on the biology of your cancer cells, and whether they are susceptible to state-of-the-art treatment," says Garmon. "In sharing my husband's story and the stories of other patients, I hope to shed light on this important truth."
The Truth About Cancer is the third installment of PBS's Take One Step—a campaign offering primetime programming and outreach tools to help people take the first step towards better health. Following the 90-minute documentary is a 30-minute panel discussion entitled Take One Step: A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee. News journalist and breast cancer survivor Linda Ellerbee moderates the dialogue featuring a panel of doctors, all of whom are cancer survivors themselves. Having sat on both sides of a cancer diagnosis, the panel shares their unique perspectives, offering both personal and professional observations on how to handle a cancer diagnosis, what to say to loved ones, how to advocate for yourself, and how to best live your life, with cancer. Panelists include U.S. News and World Report health editor Dr. Bernadine Healy; breast cancer surgeon and Breast Cancer Research stamp mastermind Dr. Ernie Bodai; neurologist and leading palliative care expert Dr. Richard Payne; and counseling psychologist Dr. 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 About Cancer is provided by Susan G. Komen For The Cure and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
Most of the dietary recommendations made in the United States are not firmly grounded in well-controlled science. The implications for this are profound, especially at a time where two-thirds of Americans are overweight and obesity and its related diseases – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few – are claiming the lives of more people each year. In this presentation, Peter Attia takes a close look at one such pillar of dietary wisdom, the recommendation that Americans minimize their consumption of dietary cholesterol and fat in an effort to reduce heart disease.
Fairewinds analyzes cancer rates for young children near Fukushima using the National Academy of Science's BEIR (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) VII Report. Based on BEIR VII, Fairewinds determines that at least one in every 100 young girls will develop cancer for every year they are exposed to 20 millisieverts [millisievert (1 mSv = 0.001 Sv)] of radiation. The 20-millisievert/ year figure is what the Japanese government is currently calculating as the legal limit of radiological exposure to allow habitation of contaminated areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In this video, Fairewinds introduces additional analysis by Ian Goddard showing that the BEIR VII report underestimates the true cancer rates to young children living near Fukushima Daiichi. Looking at the scientific data presented by Mr. Goddard, Fairewinds has determined that at least one out of every 20 young girls (5%) living in an area where the radiological exposure is 20 millisieverts for five years will develop cancer in their lifetime.