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Building on basics

Endowments fuel momentum

In the 1930s, only one of every four Americans with cancer was alive five years after diagnosis. Sixty years later, four of every 10 will live at least that long. In just four years - from 1991 to 1995 - the death rate from cancer fell 2.6 percent.

Despite this progress - won through better treatments, earlier diagnosis and prevention efforts - the disease still takes an unacceptable toll. This year it will kill more than half a million Americans and cost the nation more than $100 billion in medical costs and lost productivity, never mind the inestimable emotional toll it will exact.

Researchers and clinicians are encouraged by the progress they are making to illuminate the causes of cancer and to find effective treatments and cures. But they are continuously hampered by a lack of funds to speed their efforts.

"The simple fact," said UC Davis Cancer Center Director Ralph deVere White, "is that all of us working in cancer need more money to fuel our efforts. We're making progress all the time. Our knowledge and technology are constantly growing, but this is expensive work to do."

That's why the cancer center is encouraging the creation of endowments for cancer research, a flexible way to donate money that allows families of even modest means to contribute to the work at the UC Davis Cancer Center.


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