Presidential Candidates Talk Cancer

CURE, Fall 2007, Volume 6, Issue 5

Lance Armstrong, Robin Roberts, and Beverly Sills.

Lance Armstrong took a new step in his initiative to unite citizens, government officials, and cancer organizations to make cancer a national priority in the 2008 presidential election with the LIVESTRONG Presidential Cancer Forums (www.livestrong.org).

Armstrong and Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” co-moderated the Democratic and Republican forums, held August 27 and 28, respectively. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, and Dennis Kucinich, and Republican candidates Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee gathered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to discuss their plans for fighting cancer. During a July appearance on “Hardball,” Armstrong told Matthews, “For me, this is the true meaning of war and terror. And something that claims nearly 600,000 Americans a year is something that we ought to discuss.”

ABC’s “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, 46, was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in July. Roberts said she discovered the lump the same day she reported on the death of film critic Joel Siegel, who died at age 63 after a 10-year battle with colon cancer. Siegel, whose first wife died of brain cancer, helped found Gilda’s Club in 1991 with Gene Wilder.

Two opera greats, Beverly Sills and Luciano Pavarotti, died of cancer in recent months. After a lung cancer diagnosis in May, Brooklyn-born soprano Beverly Sills died on July 2 at age 78. Legendary Italian tenor Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer on September 6 at age 71. Pavarotti was in the middle of his farewell tour when he was diagnosed in July 2006.