Saturday, April 12, 2008

PBS -The Truth About Cancer (April 16 2008, 9:00 PM ET)

I have been reading reviews about this upcoming special. The program is not for everyone. It is not a story with a happy Hollywood ending. It is a story, as the title suggests, about The TRUTH about cancer. There are a few cancer blogs that I read. The best is the one by Leroy Sievers, also of PBS. There are 50 – 200 comments per day from cancer patients, care givers, loved ones of people who have died of cancer, and others who want to understand this disease. All of the comments are well meaning. There are at times a Pollyannaish cheer leader mentality to them… great job Leroy, you can do it, you’re the man, go in the hole (oh yea, that’s golf – sorry, I digress), etc. In a very polite way, I have posted comments to the contrary a few times. Sometimes, it’s not how strong we are or how hard we try, cancer is going to win. This PBS show will expose that side of the cancer equation. And, for those people living on that side of the equation, why should society make them feel like they are giving up? Society does, but it shouldn’t. This show will help us understand that side. I haven’t seen the show, but I’ll go out on a limb and give it a 5 star rating.

Here’s what PBS wrote as an intro to the special… 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 in The Truth About Cancer premiering 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 look deep inside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old war and asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?"

It will be interesting to see how this PBS special compares with a PBS special aired on September 25 1998. Almost 10 years ago. That special called, “PBS Covers Cancer: A Message of Hope” focused on treatment advances and new hopes. I suspect the special airing this coming Wednesday will also touch on these topics, but while doing so, it will be more balanced.

Take care.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Thanks for writing this. My husband died 4 1/2 months after diagnosis of a stage IV cancer. He didn't die so quickly because he was a quitter or had nothing to live for. He had hoped to make it for a year so he could see our daughters graduate from college and HS, respectively. He had a happy life, a loving family and a great job (cancer research ironically). He was healthy and had yearly physicals. He just had a bad cancer that was resistant to all chemotherapy and was caught too late for surgery. I'm happy for people who beat the odds, but don't blame those who don't.