Monique Cohen was a healthy, busy mom of three when, in early
2011, she noticed a lump during a breast self-exam. A lumpectomy
revealed it was benign, but a follow-up mammogram six months later found another
"'You have cancer.' Those are the three worst words you'll
ever hear in your life," she says. "The first question you ask is, 'Why?' I did
everything I possibly could to stay healthy. I exercised regularly. It was not
in my genetics. But the fact was that I had cancer and we needed to do what was
necessary to eradicate it."
A neighbor told Monique to make an appointment at MD
Anderson, a suggestion echoed by a family friend.
"It's the best care in the nation for cancer,
and it's in our backyard," says the Austin, Texas resident. "When you're faced
with a diagnosis as serious as cancer, why wouldn't you go to the best?"
"The hardest thing you ever have to
do as a parent is to tell your children something like this," Monique says."You know it's going to be difficult for them and they're going to be scared,
and as a parent and a mom, you're not supposed to do that to your kids. You're
supposed to protect them."
Results from a report released today in a leading medical journal indicate that low dose daily aspirin reduces the risk of metastasis of several cancers. According to articles in The Lancet, the protective effect occurs within 3-5 years of beginning aspirin use.
Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D, MD Anderson's provost and executive vice president and a professor of cancer biology and cancer medicine, shares his insights on the study's significance and addresses questions about aspirin dose, and how cancer patients should respond to this news.
"To eliminate cancer around the world - what could be a more clear and noble mission? Cancer is a daunting foe and too many people still succumb to it. Your many discoveries and extraordinary advances in care have moved the entire field forward over the past 70 years, " DePinho said Thursday in a message to MD Anderson employees. "While much work remains in the lab, the clinic, the classroom, the community and the world, MD Anderson has the people, commitment and resources to conquer this dreaded disease. We will make that happen.
I intend to focus on where the greatest new opportunities lie for us, especially in basic science, in science-driven clinical care, and in education. And I will help you build upon the expertise, compassion and quality of our immense and unmatched clinical operation. I also will not shrink from the task of preparing MD Anderson for continued achievement in a challenging economic climate and era of health care reform."
DePinho is internationally recognized for basic and translational research in cancer, aging and age-associated degenerative disorders. He's the fourth full-time president of MD Anderson.