Message from the Chancellor

Dan Rahn, M.D.

Dear Readers,

Cancer takes a devastating toll on individuals, families and society at large. Each of us has been affected by cancer. Next to cardiovascular disease, cancers of all types are the leading causes of premature death in Arkansas.

Compared with the nation as a whole, the incidence of cancer is lower in Arkansas than the national average but the death rate is higher. The reasons for this are complex and not fully understood, but UAMS is taking a comprehensive approach to provide leadership in changing this statistic.

Personal habits, tobacco use, obesity, inconsistent participation in recommended screening, delays in seeking treatment and diagnosis due to absence of health insurance, and other factors all play a role. There is no single strategy or silver bullet that will decrease the burden that cancer places on all of us and our families.

However, there is a lot we can do. Right now at UAMS we are advancing patient engagement and public education programs, screening programs and health-system reform with insurance expansion as well as decreasing tobacco use. We are conducting research into the molecular causes of cancer and studying new therapeutic approaches involving vaccines, nanomedicine and targeted molecular therapies.

We hope that you will enjoy this issue that targets cancer and our work to eradicate it and that you will join us in this endeavor.