Three Individuals Honored for Dedication to Cancer Prevention Outstanding Achievement Recognized

April 17, 2008

Jasmine Greenamyer

Outstanding Achievement Recognized

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Prevent Cancer Foundation honored three outstanding contributors to the cause of cancer early detection and prevention. These Cancer Prevention Laurels were presented at the Foundation’s 10th Annual Dialogue for Action in Colorectal Cancer Screening: Moving Forward Despite a Broken Health Care System, held in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 8-10.

The Dialogue for Action conference—the only national conference on this topic and of this nature—focuses on increasing colorectal cancer screening as a component of a comprehensive and coordinated cancer prevention strategy. It’s a lively, two-day forum comprised of thought leaders from across the country. The concept of this conference is to spark a dialogue, create action, and continue to make strides toward a cancer-free future. Although colon cancer remains the second-leading cancer killer, when detected early it is up to 90 percent preventable through the removal of pre-cancerous polyps. This year’s 10th annual gathering built on the successes of previous national Dialogue for Action conferences.

The Cancer Prevention Laurels are a centerpiece of the conference. The laurel is an ancient Roman symbol of tribute, honor, victory, merit, and reward. The Prevent Cancer Foundation created the Cancer Prevention Laurels to recognize and celebrate innovators and leaders in the fight against cancer.

“We are pleased to recognize these three individuals because they are devoted to the advancement of cancer prevention and early detection. Our honorees have helped keep the momentum going through their work in colorectal cancer advocacy, elimination of cancer disparities and cancer research,” said Carolyn Aldigé, president and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Laurels were presented by colorectal surgeon Alan Thorson, MD, Nebraska Dialogue for Action Co-Chair and President-elect of the American Cancer Society, to the following individuals:

  • Anita Mitchell, a colorectal cancer survivor, was awarded the Cancer Prevention Laurel for Advocacy. Ms. Mitchell has touched thousands of people in her home state of Washington and across the nation. When she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in February 2005 at age 41, her passion drove her to spread the word that colorectal cancer can be detected early through screening. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, served as a persuasive media spokesperson, organized advocacy efforts and moved many individuals to action. Her work helped secure passage of the Washington House Bill 1337 that requires health insurance plans and disability insurance contracts to cover colorectal cancer screening and laboratory tests – and she has lobbied for national funding to support survivors. Mitchell also began “Dress in Blue Day” in Seattle to bring attention to colon cancer screening. She is an influential advocate who has turned a personal challenge into a positive action for change.
  • Claudia R. Baquet, MD, MPH, was awarded the Cancer Prevention Laurel for National Leadership. She is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Policy and Planning at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes and eliminating cancer disparities for minority and underserved populations. Her pioneering work laid the foundation for cancer health disparities research. In addition, her commitment to increasing community awareness in clinical trials and engaging community partners in research is unsurpassed. As a direct result of her work, thousands of medically disenfranchised people have received critical health services and education.
  • Joseph Sung, MD, PhD, was awarded the Cancer Prevention Laurel for International Leadership. Dr. Sung serves as the Associate Dean for General Affairs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine and as Director of the University’s Institute of Digestive Disease Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Cheng Suen Man Shook Foundation Centre for Hepatitis Studies. Since 2000, he has dedicated himself to colorectal cancer prevention and early detection in the Asia Pacific region. He implemented the first population-wide colonoscopy screening for colonic neoplasia in Asia, and founded the Asia Pacific Working Group on Colorectal Cancer in 2004. The Working Group includes academics and key opinion leaders in the field from 14 Asian countries. In September 2007, the group issued the first Asia Pacific Consensus Recommendation in Colorectal Cancer Screening, which will be published in the International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, GUT.

To learn more about the 2008 Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Dialogue for Action(tm) Conference, visit: Conference Co-Chairs: Richard Wender, MD, Thomas Jefferson University and member of the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board; Tim Byers, MD, MPH, University of Colorado Cancer Center; and Robert Smith, PhD, American Cancer Society. Conference Sponsors: Patron, Quest Diagnostics; Benefactor, Genentech; and Supporters, Beckman Coulter, Inc., Exact Sciences, Olympus America, Inc. and Quidel. (Sponsors have no involvement in the agenda or content of the conference.)

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Editor’s Note:
Photo attached for your use. Suggested caption: (L-R) Prevent Cancer Foundation President and Founder Carolyn Aldigé, Anita Mitchell, Joseph Sung MD, PhD, Claudia R. Baquet, MD, MPH and Alan Thorson, MD.

About Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation (formerly the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation) was started in 1985 when Founder and President Carolyn Aldigé first understood the power of prevention to defeat cancer – and recognized that too few of the country’s resources were used to promote cancer prevention research or education. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers.

Since its inception the Foundation has provided more than $97 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach programs. The Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to more than 300 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit


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