American Cancer Society


Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 29.07.2008

Transcript:
>>Gonzalo: Good afternoon. My name is Gonzalo Begaso and I work in Finance. We are extremely
proud of having Dr. Huerta here and I'm gonna ask my colleague, Ashley, to introduce Dr.
Huerta. Thank you very much for coming.
>>Ashley: Hi everyone. My name is Ashley, my name is Ashley Carrick and I'm currently
a BOLD Finance Intern this summer under Gonzalo's group. I'm here on behalf of the Hispanic
Googler Network to introduce our first ever TechTalk speaker, Dr. Elmer E. Huerta. Dr.
Huerta was born in Peru where he obtained his medical degree at The University of San
Marcos in 1981. Some of his highlights are that he came to the US in 1987; he got his
Fellowship in Oncology Research at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. He received his residency
in Internal Medicine at St. Agnes Hospital and received a Masters degree in Public Health
at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Elmer E. Huerta is a director
of the Cancer Preventorium in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hospital. Dr. Huerta
founded this low-income prevention clinic in 1994 and continues to use it as a vehicle
for reaching the Hispanic and Latino community. His involvement with the Spanish-speaking
community began more than 20 years ago, when he began to record his nationally and internationally
broadcast radio and television health programs. Dr. Huerta's non-profit company, Prevencion,
also provides important health education information to the Hispanic and Latino community. Dr.
Elmer E. Huerta has been repeatedly recognized from his medical expertise. He was actually
appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1998 to become a member of the National Cancer
Advisory Board. Dr. Huerta is the first Latino in over 95 years to be President of the American
Cancer Society. Today, Dr. Huerta is here from Washington, D.C., with his colleague,
Chuck Westbrook, who is currently the strategic director of content for the American Cancer
Society. Today, Dr. Huerta's gonna give us an overview of what American Cancer Society
is. He's gonna discuss the prevantorium concept; something he's been working on for over 20
years and he's gonna give us some ideas of how American Cancer Society can actually work
with Google now. So, everyone, please give a round of applause for Dr. Elmer E. Huerta.
[applause]
>>Huerta: Thank you very much, Ashley, and thank you very much, Gonzalo. And good afternoon,
everyone. I'm extremely pleased to be here at Google this afternoon. I already had a
tour and I'm really, really, really amazed by the way you all work and you're philosophy
of work here at Google. I'm extremely happy that this happened. As Ashley introduced me,
I'm a physician by training; I'm a cancer prevention specialist; that's what I do for
a living. I work in Washington, D.C. in one of the three largest hospitals in Washington,
D.C., called the Washington Hospital Center. What I'm going to do, first I'm going to get
my jacket off. I hear you don't wear jackets and I like that.
I was doubting this morning if I should wear a tie. I should come in my t-shirt, but then
I'm gonna move around, I think this one, too, so thank you very much. First of all, it is
very amazing how things happen. This is, I think, something-- it should be important
for you all, the young people here. You grow up and you are used to, when you are a little
kid, that things that happen to you are usually planned by your parents. But later on, when
you're 13, 14, 15, then you start planning your own things. My son is there, he's 14
and he prefers to listen to his iPod than to listen to his dad.
That's the way it is. But then, then everything goes and when you have something in your mind
and you have a dream or you have a plan or something, then you do everything possible
in your means to make that happen. And this is an example of that. I was in Miami at the
airport in my way to Peru to give a talk in Peru and then I sat in the waiting room of
this airport and a person was there next to me and say, "Hi." "Hi." You know, just a regular
airport conversation and we start talking and this one person says, "I think I know
you. I saw you on television and I have TV shows and I'm the regular doctor for CNN en
Espanol. I have my segments there every Thursday." And all that stuff. "Ok, that happens kind
of regularly to me in airports and something like that." But this one person was very special.
He said, "My name is Gonzalo Begaso. I work for Google." "Oh, really? Good." So, we clicked.
One of those things that you click with someone. We start talking and talking until we board
the airplane. But one of the things we planned that meeting, at that little meeting, was
to make this meeting possible. This, this one, meeting it possible. He said, "I'm gonna
do my possible to see if you can go to Mountain View and meet with us and give a talk on cancer
prevention. It would be the interest of people to hear that cancer can be prevented; cancer
can be detected earlier." And that's what I said. It's an example of things that happen
fortuitously, but then when you work towards your goal things happen. And I was telling
my son about that and he said, "Yes, Daddy, I know that." Probably he knows that, but
I'm extremely happy Gonzalo. Thank you very much for making this possible and that's it.
It happened, encounter in an airport and this is what's happened here. Well, I'm very proud
also, too, Ashley said, that last year in November, I was elected as President of the
American Cancer Society, which is the largest cancer organization in the United States and
the largest organization--cancer organization in the world. The American Cancer Society
started in 1913. It was founded in New York City and currently is, I'm gonna show you
some pictures here-- let me see my little thing here-- we have, we have a presence in
over 5,000communities in the whole United States and other places. And we have three
million active volunteers. Forty million donors on file and we are the largest source of private
cancer research funding in the US. We are very proud that we helped to fund the initial
work of 42 scientists at a time that they were young, nobody paid them much attention
and 42 of these researchers, they went to get the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology,
which tells you about how we invest the money that we receive from the American public in
this research area. And our name, when you ask people in the United States, "Name any
health organization." Ninety-six percent of the time the American Cancer Society name
comes up. Our budget for last year was 1.2 billion dollars and the remarkable thing is
that 85% of that money comes from donations from the American people, with an average
of only $45, which tells you that the popular support we have is tremendous and the responsibility
we have is immense with the American people. So, if you can imagine that now I have this
responsibility of being the president and the first Latino president is, for me, such
an honor. The American Society, of course, we are accelerating the progress against cancer
in every community by saving lives, helping those touched by cancer and empowering people
to fight back this condition. I'm gonna show you a little bit how we do this. How do we
do it? A big chunk of our budget goes to research. It's the largest source of private, not-for-profit
cancer research funds in the USA. Almost 300 million dollars of plus goes for this research
every single year. Education. We know that cancer can be prevented; cancer can be detected
earlier. And let me throw a number for you right now. This is very important. Out of
100 people who died of cancer now a days in the United States, 75 could have been either
prevented or detected earlier. This is important. In other words, to put it in some other way,
three out of four people with cancer, who died with cancer in the United States, have
condition that could have been prevented or detected earlier. We're going to see which
one of those cancers later on. And, of course, we do a lot of this advocating issue, which
is extremely important. What is this? That, as you know, without policies, without laws,
nothing happens. So, early on, we've found out that even though we gave a lot of money
for research, even though we gave a lot of money for education, it wasn't enough. We
needed things to change in Washington, D.C. at the executive power or at the Congress.
That's why we have a huge group of volunteers--millions, as I've said, four million volunteers-- many
of those are cancer survivors and they help us to educate Congressmen, politicians in
passing laws that are allowing us to really put the cancer agenda in the daily lives of
Americans in the country. We have what we call the Cancer Information Service, the NCIC,
the National Cancer Information Center. We have, we are the only group in America that
provides 24/7, 365 days of these telephone number available to the American people. If
you call to this phone number, 800-ACS-2345, 227-2345, any time of the day or the night,
you're gonna find a voice that's going to give you an answer to your question, questions.
My mother has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. What is that? Can be cured? A counselor,
a specialized counselor, can answer to your question any time. I'm smoking and I want
to quit. Can you help me? Yes. We have a quit line any time of the day or the night that
can answer to your question. This is really a wonderful service that we have. And it's
24 hours and it's bilingual in Spanish and in English. But we also have this cancer.org.
Amazingly, as you, here at Google, you know this very well, for a cancer organization
based in the US, almost 25% of all our inquiries come from overseas, from all over the place.
They are asking questions from many different places in the world. And, of course, we have
many publications that are books and pamphlets and all that stuff that we gave away. And
we have many programs in the communities on cancer prevention, early detection and patient
services. So, this is the call center; this is web. We have a division; we have in places
where people can go. We have, for example, what we call Hope Lodges. You know there are
some people who live very far away from their cancer centers. They need to go and get treatment,
radiation treatment, chemotherapy and for them it is extremely prohibited to spend money
on hotels. So, we have these wonderful Hope Lodges--huge houses, and we house them for
whatever time they need to complete their treatment. See, this is the way your money
is being used when you donate for the American Cancer Society and before I forget-- my Blackberry
is in my pocket-- but I got an email from the California division here, from the person
in charge and they want to thank everybody at Google because you, at Google, are wonderful
partners with the American Cancer Society. Every year, you attend our Relay for Life's
here in Mountain View and the surrounding counties and every year you donate approximately
$60,000 for our work here. So, I just want to thank you very much, Google, for being
partners with the American Cancer Society. This is important, too, this program. It's
what we call the Patient Navigator Program. What that means is that when a person develops
cancer and that one person doesn't have health insurance, which is a very sad fact now in
our country-- 50 million people are lacking health insurance-- what navigators they do
is that they guide these patients through the system and find a place for them to be
treated. So, in other words, they navigate patients in the turbulent waters of our healthcare
system, which is not doing well and probably needs some reform. Of course, we empower people
with all these activities in the advocacy and the public policy. We also have a very
active international program because just south of the border, starting in Mexico up
to Chile, the number one cause of death due to cancer among women is cervical cancer.
Can you imagine that? A cancer that is 100% preventable with a simple Pap smear; that
is the number one cause of death among Latin American women. And that is not the sad fact.
The sad fact is that almost 85% of those cervical cancers among these Latin American women are
found incurable; what we call a Stage 3 form. There is nothing to do. Breast cancer is the
same. Cancer prevention concepts, like the one we're going to share with you this afternoon,
are completely unknown for these people. And go to Africa. My God. Go to Asia. So, we think
that, even though we have a lot of problems to resolve here in the United States of America
for our American fellows, I think we need an obligation to transfer some of this knowledge
to other disadvantaged places in the world. So, this international program is really a
working in that regard. And, of course, we have many volunteer opportunities. So, here,
at Google, if you want to volunteer with us, just please contact the local American Cancer
Society. They will be extremely happy to work with you and you can give us some of your
wonderful time so we can do more for Americans with cancer. And also, of course, we have
alliances with many corporations and actually, this afternoon, Chuck is here with me because
we want to explore some possibilities working with Google. We would like to see what we
can do together; how can we use the power of Google and the trust of the American Cancer
Society and the content that we have, so we want to explore how can we work together maybe
if conversations go ahead, some time from now we will be saying that everything started
July 29th of 2008, so hopefully we are going to see that. I'm gonna change this presentation
to another one, which talks a little bit about what I do with my daily life. This is called
The Cancer Prevatorium Concept. Here, I'm going to talk a little bit more about cancer
prevention, which is something practical that you need to take home. I used to be a medical
oncologist. What does it mean to be a medical oncologist? As you all know, when someone
gets cancer and when we talk about cancer, we are talking about 200 different conditions.
This is very important as a concept. That's why when you maybe someday are going to hear
on the television, "There's no cure for cancer yet. What's going on?" There is no cure for
cancer because they are 200 conditions. Each one is different from the other one. You see?
So, cancer, out of these 200 different types of cancer, as I said before, 75% can be prevented
or detected. So, I used to be in medical oncology. When someone gets cancer was telling you there
are three ways that you can treat a tumor. Three ways. The oldest way to treat cancer
is the scalpel; the knife--cut it out. Surgery. Those specialists are called oncology surgeons.
They operate cancer. They know how to do it, they know how to explore it, they know how
to clean it, as the people call it. Surgical oncology; number one specialty--the oldest.
Then, in the 30s, 40s, a new specialty arose. It was radiation treatment. Once x-rays were
discovered, these huge machines were discovered; the Cobalt therapy machines and nowadays what
we call the Linear Accelerators. They are huge machines that release high-wave radiation
and they treat cancer and burn quote marks the cancer. Radiation treatment-- that is
the second way to treat cancer. The third form of treating cancer is a specialty that
started around the 40s, after the Second World War, when by chance, they discovered that
nitrogen mustard, a gas that was used in the war-- it's amazing, it was used in the war,
in the trenches-- they discovered that some of the survivors, veterans, they developed
leukemia when they were exposed to this gas. When they went to study this gas, mustard
nitrogen, they found that it was a chemical that could also, in addition to cause cancer,
could destroy cancer. So, that was the beginning of a new specialty called chemotherapy, ok?
Chemotherapy means that you give drugs to a person, either through the mouth or through
the veins directly, but these medications, they go to your body and kill the cancer cells.
That is chemotherapy, ok? So, surgery, radiation treatment and medical oncology are the three
specialties. Well, I used to be in medical oncologist. For five years in Peru, I trained
in how to administer chemotherapy. But something happened at that time that made me uneasy
of my specialty. I used to love it, but I realized that most of the cases with cancer
that were sent to me for chemotherapy to give this kind of treatments to these people, they
had very advanced types of cancer, but most of this cancer were either preventable or
early detectable. So, I started to get uneasy. Why? Why to give up chemotherapy agent to
a person, which is a very strong treatment when that one cancer could have been found
ten years before with a simple Pap smear? And the things that really changed my mind
were when I asked to these people with cancer, with these huge tumors, "Do you know what
a Pap smear is?" And people they didn't know. "Do you know what a mammogram is?" "I have
heard, but I'm not sure what it is." "Do you know that cancer can be prevented?" "I don't
know." So, people were lacking basic health information, but, at the same time, they were
lacking this basic health information they were very knowledgeable in all the entertainment
world: soap operas, the life of the Michael Jackson or the Madonna's-- everybody knew
about these kind of things. That's when I got this idea, this concept, that something
needed to be done for people to increase their awareness in the early signs of cancer, to
let them know that cancer is a silent condition, they need to see the doctor before they get
a symptom. So, I quit medical oncology and 20 ago, I embarked in this career of cancer
prevention and control, which is what I do and I'm gonna let you know a little bit later
on. So, the concept is that our healthcare system--and that's a reason I left medical
oncology-- our healthcare system is centered in the person with a condition. What does
it mean? This is the reality of our healthcare system. In this healthcare system, all these
people-- what are they doing? What they're doing is wait for a symptom to appear to see
the doctor. Think about this: in many societies, in many groups, you only see the doctor when
you have a problem. Either you have a sore throat or you have a tumor that's growing
here or you're losing your weight or blood is coming around you, whatever. Time to see
the doctor. Very few people are proactive and see the doctor when symptoms are absent.
So, if we have this healthcare system, which is based on the person, then we create our
extremely busy, illness-loaded, primary care system. Go to any hospital in America. Full
of patients. Most of those conditions, preventable, detectable, advanced cancer, heart attacks,
strokes, uncontrolled diabetes; that is the bulk of our healthcare system. And we spend
billions of dollars in this healthcare system. And they often use the emergency room. You
heard this because there are so many people in the hospitals, the people they just want
to short-cut and they go on to go to the emergency room. This is our healthcare system. It is
extremely expensive and inefficient and we spend, I don't know, 1.3 trillion dollars
in the healthcare system and the United States is number 42 in life expectancy in the world.
It's amazing. So, we're not getting our money back. Why? Because everything is condition,
disease, illness, loaded with these conditions. Well, in addition to this, people they have
many barriers. Many barriers to access our healthcare system. For example, there is no
information, there is linguistic isolation for a lot of people, they are poor--when you
are poor your priorities change--there are no insurance coverage; you are lucky here,
very fortunate in this company to have wonderful facilities. I saw this morning your clinics
are great places. You have nutrition counseling. You have everything, but that is not the reality
of millions of Americans. Fifty million Americans they have no health insurance. And 25 million
more Americans, they do have inadequate health coverage. So, there are no programs that are
ethnically sensitive or culturally competent for these people. They don't understand the
medical healthcare system, so those are barriers that people have every day. That's why the
obscurity comes. What is obscurity? For example, if you ask people, "Do you think when you
reach the end of cancer; are there any pain medications that can alleviate pain?" Nineteen
percent of Americans believe that there are no pain medications; that once you reach the
end, you are going to die screaming of pain. That is not true. And 13% they don't know.
So, if you add up these two numbers, that is like 42%, 32% of people, 32% that they
are not aware of something so important that there is a lot of pain medication when you
reach the end of cancer. So, if you have people, 30% of Americans believing that there's no
pain medication when you offer them screening activities, they all say, "No, no, I don't
want that because I don't want to even know if I have cancer or not." You see? That creates
fatalism. Seven percent of Americans, they believe that all you need to beat cancer is
a positive attitude, not treatment, you see? Look at this. This is amazing. How much is
it? Fifty-four percent of Americans believe that treating cancer with surgery can cause
it to spread throughout the body. So, if somebody gets a biopsy or gets surgery, people believe
that that is going to spread the condition. That's an old wives tale from the last century,
but 50% of Americans still believe. So, what I want to show you here is that we, here in
America, we still are holding many misconceptions regarding cancer and we need to change that.
So, what are the things that you need to do in order to beat cancer? There are some things
you have to do. For example, --and I'm turning this off for a moment-- number one, the concept
is the following: One out of two men and one out of three women are going to get cancer
during their lifetimes. Think about this number. One out of two men and one out of three women
are going to get cancer during their lifetimes. That's one concept. Second concept: Your chances
of getting cancer starts when you're a little kid. Example, skin cancer. There are studies
that show that it is the amount of UV light that you receive when you are a little kid
that's going to determine your risk of developing skin cancer when you are in your 30s, 40s
or 50s. This is telling me that we parents, we need to be careful with the kids. Young
people that don't have kids, they need to be careful with the little boys and girls
that they are around and with themselves. We mean that the risk of cancer starts at
a very early age. A third concept that I would like you to remember. It's a very important
one. Cancer is a condition that doesn't give you any pain, any symptom when it's starting.
This is important. We, at the American Cancer Society, we used to have the famous seven
warning signs of cancer, my God. If you bleed through the rectum, if you are developing
cough or hoarseness, if you have a wound and the skin doesn't cure, you know what? We dropped
those things in the 60s because those things are late cancer; they're not early warnings.
So, the concept that you have to really, really, really please put inside you is that cancer
is a silent, treacherous condition. Therefore, you have to do something to try to find the
cancers that can be found early before they start. And there are only four tests that
have been proven to be effective in finding early cancer. I'm gonna go one by one. The
number one test is the Pap smear, the cytology. PAP smears need to be done every year after
the first sexual intercourse. Why sexual intercourse? Because we know now that cervical cancer,
90% of cervical cancer cases, are due to the infection with a family of viruses called
the papillomavirus; HPV-- Human Papillomavirus. It's amazing; it's new knowledge. So, HPV,
human papillomavirus, four species or four numbers of these because there is a hundred
of this HPVs-- one hundred of those-- four of those are known by the numbers 16, 18,
28 and 31. They cause 90% of cervical cancers among women. So, it is amazing, but at the
end of the day, cervical cancer is an STD; it's a sexually transmitted disease. This
is new knowledge. That's why we have now a vaccine. We have now a vaccine that has been
developed against two of these strains; number 16 and number 18, which cause 70% of cases
of cervical cancer. Who needs to be vaccinated? Women, little girls who hasn't started sexual
intercourse yet. See? That's a new knowledge. So, that's the number one test that proves
that works; cytology, Pap smear. The second test that has been proven that it can work
to detect cancer is the mammogram. A mammogram is a test by which women gets an x-ray of
her breast and cancer can be found the size of a little grain of sugar. That size, before
it can be touched. When you find an early cancer with that method you don't need to
do mastectomies anymore. Mastectomies meaning that the whole breast needs to get out; that's
past-, that's a thing of the past for most women now in the US. Why? Because we are finding
that the mammogram can find the cancer very early. Who needs to get a mammogram? Every
woman after the age of 40. How often? Once a year they need to get a mammogram. If the
woman got sisters or mother with breast cancer, then they need to start at the age of 35.
Only for very high risk women who are the women who have mother and one sister with
breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends the MRI, the Magnetic Resonance
Imaging of the breast. For the rest of women, that is not necessary. Ok? So, first test,
PAP smears. Once a year after the first sexual intercourse. Number two? The mammogram. Test
number three. You're pretty young here, but you should know this maybe for your parents.
What is the test? It's called a Fecal Occult Blood Test. FOBT. Fecal for feces, excrements
occult blood test. What does it mean? This test needs to be done every single year in
a person, men and women, after the age of 50. Why? Because it is after the age of 50
that you, inside your colon-- and remember, the digestive tract system. Please allow me
to say this; some people don't remember. It's your mouth, your esophagus, your stomach and
then comes 15 feet of small bowel and then at the end we have five feet of large bowel,
or colon. That's at the very end. In that large bowel, which is five feet, people over
50, they develop little pieces of meat that are hanging like a little pieces of broccoli;
they're called polyps, polyps. And we know is that these polyps, one out of ten polyps,
they become cancer. And you know what? They bleed, but they don't bleed a lot. So, when
people go to the toilet, normal, great, no problem. Not true. That, those feces, they
may have drops of blood mixed with the stools, but there is a test. A very easy test called
FOBT-- Fecal Occult Blood Test that can be done at the doctor's office. Actually, we
give it to patients, they take it home, they get a sample, they put some drops, they send
it back to the office and they are read. And the result comes positive. What does it mean
positive? That that one person has blood in those stools. What do we do? We ask the person
to come, we give them some laxatives, we clean the guts and then the person gets a colonoscopy;
an exam by which a tube, a small tube is introduced into the colon and the five feet are examined,
looking for these little polyps and you know what? They take them out through the colonoscope.
Cancer can be prevented. Can you imagine? That's why every time you hear that a person
has died or has been diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer, you should think to yourself,
"Oh my God. That one person didn't know the facts." How is it possible that now, the days
in America where we have all these tools, somebody can be found to have an advanced
colorectal cancer? Impossible. You see? Lack of information. That is the third test, ok?
The first test was the Pap smear, the second, the mammogram, the third, the fecal occult
blood test and colonoscopy positive and the fourth, which hasn't totally demonstrated
that it can increase the life of men who gets this test, is the PSA-- the prostatic specific
antigen. P for prostatic, S from specific, A from antigen, which is a protein that we
measure in the bloodstream of old men combined with a rectal examination to see if the men
has prostate cancer. Every man, if he decides to do so, need to have this test after the
age of 50. Listen, that's it. X-rays of the chest, they don't work. MRIs on the chest,
they don't work. What else? Sonograms, they don't work. What else? All these markers they
doing in your bloodstream, they don't work. Four tests can find the most common cancers
that kill people in our country. So, the preventative sign. What is the preventative sign? The preventative
sign goes with the number one killer of people in America. Who is that? Cigarettes. Every
single year-- listen to this number-- 440,000 Americans die because of cigarette smoking.
Four hundred and forty thousand, which is equal to 12,000 a day, which is equal to 50
an hour. And look at what happened in the last weeks with the salmonella scare that
we have all over the United States. One thousand cases and none dead; the whole country was
paralyzed. Who cares about 12,000 people dying every day? You see? Well, cigarette smoking,
if our kids, they don't start. If adults can quit we can really control 30% of all deaths
due to cancer in the United States. I want to repeat this: one out of three people who
died out of cancer in the United States of America died because of cigarette smoking.
That's a big chunk of prevention. So, if you don't smoke, great. You are not in that group.
The other preventative thing that I am interested for you to know is regarding maintaining a
healthy weight, eating well and exercising. We have some research now that's being gathered
that shows that even person has a healthy weight, but more than a healthy weight-- a
healthy lifestyle-- is going to prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.
So, what is the advice here? Very simple to say and difficult to do: eat everything, but
in small portions and try to prefer fruits and vegetables over animal food. If you like
animal food, go ahead; that's no problem with that, but be moderate with the size of the
portion that you eat, eating. Okay? And the second one is the exercise. Put in your agenda
your 30 minutes, at least 30 minutes of exercising every day. That is extremely important. That
may be preventing colorectal cancer, breast cancer and as I said also, even colorectal,
prostate and breast, which are big chunks. So, you see, cancer is a condition, as I said
at the beginning, that is not one disease. There are 200 different conditions. What we
know now, for example, that the number one, the most frequent-- this is a concept also--
the most, what we call prevalent, that's a scientific word, the most common cancer among
women is breast cancer. That is the most common. The most common cancer among men is prostate
cancer. The second most common among men after prostate is lung cancer. The second most common
among women after breast is also lung cancer. And the third most common, among men and women,
is colorectal cancer. You see? That's what I was talking also only about colorectal,
breast, prostate and lung because they are the chunk, like us 80% of deaths due to cancer
are these four guys. And so you heard, there is prevention and early detection for these
four guys. Breast: mammograms, self breast examination, be attentive, see your doctor
once a year. Prostate: as I said, the PSA, the examination. Lung: don't smoke. Colorectal:
FOBT and colonoscopy. You see, these four killers, they have way to be prevented or
detected early. So, at American Cancer Society, we are extremely interested in people knowing
these facts and starting to incorporate this knowledge into their daily lives. You are
young, a lot of young people here, you are in the time in your lives where lifestyle
is going to be extremely important and is going to determine your risk when you reach
your 50s and your 60s. You're in your 20s, 30s, this is the time that you have to eat
well, you have to acquire the behaviors that are going to allow you just to travel through
time and decrease your risk of cancer in the future. So, I think I'm gonna stop here. My
work, I don't want to present the rest. Some of them are very gross. We have some pictures
that I don't want to impact you, but just to complete the story I was telling you at
the beginning, once I discovered that most of people they didn't know the basic facts,
I started to use radio and television to reach out people with knowledge. I have daily programs
on television, I'm sorry, daily radio shows, I have weekly television programs. I'm reaching
now thousands of people; most of my work is in Spanish--reaching out to this Latino immigrant
community. But 14 years ago, when I finished all my studies, my second specialty actually,
I was hired by a hospital in Washington, D.C. This hospital is called the Washington Hospital
Center and I remember meeting with the director of this cancer center and he told me-- it
was 1994-- he said, "You are the first cancer prevention doctor I met. In this big cancer
center, we have surgeons, radiation therapists and medical oncologists, but you're the first
preventative guy that I know. What would you do if I hire you?" he said. "Well," I said,
"what I would like to do is to open a little clinic here for people who are of low income,
but this clinic is going to have a sign at the door that's going to say, 'This place
is for people without symptoms only.'" He said, "What? Who's going to come to this clinic?"
I said, "People who are aware of my television shows, my radio programs and they are already
convinced that they have to see the doctor before they get a symptom." And he said, "Who's
gonna pay for this?" I say, "People are gonna pay out of pocket because even poor people,
when they see the value of something they invest in their health." And he said, "Well,
I'm not sure. Your plan is kind of bold, but try it. If it doesn't work, then you have
to work with the medical oncologists seeing patients." "Ok," I said, "that's fine." So,
we started the clinic and in three weeks we filled appointments for six months. So, the
demand of the public was immense. Why? Because at that time in 1994, my radio programs, my
TV shows they were very popular and I already had convinced people that they needed to see
the doctor before a symptom appeared. That's called the preventorium. Preventorium is a
word that I coined as opposite to the old sanatoriums. I don't know if you remember
in the history of medicine, there used to be old sanatoriums where people with tuberculosis
or mental health problems; they used to go and die in these places. It was very sad.
Well, the sanatorium was that. The preventorium is a place only for people without symptoms
and then we have chats on nutrition, we talk about smoking, we, of course take the blood
pressure, the whole stuff. I examine patients from head to toe and we do these four tests
that I'm telling you. So, people pay $120 once a year for the check-up and then come
back every single year. It's exactly like Jiffy Lube for your car. You take the car
for a tune-up, get out, see you next time. So, that is a concept. That's what I, this
morning when Gonzalo took me for the health clinic here you have and I saw you have, a
lot of your consultations are preventative. And that's the way it should be. And maybe
one of special office needed to be created here at Google only for the ones of you that
want a prevention consult. I'm not sick, I have no sore throat, I don't have anything.
I just want to talk about smoking or I just want to talk about-- do a check-up on me.
Maybe even a mammography unit can be placed here so women who are over 40-- I don't know
how much percent of your workforce are over 40-- but you can go, take a break, instead
of going to play volleyball there, you get your mammogram and then you have the result.
You get, you have the whole thing right here only for prevention. Well, I'm gonna take
some questions. I think that is the bulk of what I wanted to say. I just want to finish
saying that there is a lot of hope and a lot of positive news regarding cancer nowadays.
It is not as it used to be in the 50s or the 60s, even the 70s or 80s. Nowadays, as we
speak, there are 13 million Americans who are cancer survivors. Why is that? Because
we have wonderful early detection methods and we have wonderful treatments. So, cancer
is not the killer anymore that it used to be. We have wonderful ways to treat it, wonderful
ways to detect it. It is up to people, it is up to people to really know those things
and they can go to see the doctor before they have a symptom to find them earlier. And it
is actual organization, the American Cancer Society and others, to release this message
to the public and it is also hopefully, up to an organization like yours to work collaboratively
with other organizations to put this message out. Maybe beginning with you, the Googlers,
and maybe putting for the general public all these tools on cancer prevention because you
know what? Cancer can be prevented, cancer can be detected. For 14 years in a row in
the United States, the number of people that are dying of cancer is decreasing and decreasing
and decreasing. So, we're making good progress, but we need to do much, much more and I really
appreciate Gonzalo, again, the opportunity to talk to you all here and this is gonna
be up on YouTube, whatever, but thank you very much for this opportunity, Gonzalo. If
you have questions, I will be very happy to--
>>Gonzalo: Yes, we got several minutes for questions. Thank you very much, Dr. Huerta
for coming and it was amazing.
>>Huerta: Thank you.
[applause]
>>Gonzalo: So, if you got any questions, please if you could go to the center of the room,
please.
>>Huerta: I, I didn't have my radio show today. I get questions all the time on the radio
show, so I didn't have my fix today. So, ask me any questions.
[laughter]
Any questions you may have regarding cancer, I will be very happy to answer those.
>>audience #1: Of the patients that you see in your center, what percentage have you actually
detected early cancer?
>>Huerta: Very good question; wonderful question. What is the rate of the detection of cancer
I have in my clinic? I didn't actually mention this, but the main risk factor, the main characteristic
of a person to develop cancer is age. It is after 50 where the bulk of cancers start.
So, my population at this clinic is young because they are the newly arrived immigrants.
The average age of my patient is only 34. So, therefore, the number of cancer is low.
I have seen almost 25,000 people in this clinic and I have found 83 cases of cancer. These
cancers that I'm finding are very early, treatable, but that is the rate: 82 out of almost 25,000
people.
>>audience #1: And second question is what about some of the silent killers, the ovarian
cancer. My dad recently died of transitional cell cancer of the kidney and the things where
they say there isn't early detection.
>>Huerta: Exactly, wonderful question. If you remember when I said that three out of
four cancers that kill people in this country can be either prevented or detected earlier,
unfortunately, that means that one out of four cancers that kill people in this country
cannot be prevented, cannot be detected earlier. The list is long. Brain cancer, kidney cancer,
ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, leukemia's, lymphomas, there is a list of
cancers that cannot be prevented or detected because we don't have the means yet to do
it. We are working hard. We are funding researchers for them to find these tools, but at this
time we cannot give you any answer. Tonight, there is going to be a program in Larry King.
They invited me to appear. I'm not sure if they are going to ask me later on, I'm still
waiting for their confirmation and this about a fact that I have commented to a group of
people at lunch. And it has to do with these little things here: cell phones. This little
device, when you put it right here, it's sending electromagnetic fields and research has shown
that if you put this little thing next to the five year old little boy or girl, the
electromagnetic fields go almost to the other side of the brain. If you put this little
thing next to the brain of a ten year old, it goes almost halfway through inside the
brain. In adult goes a third of it. Initial research that we are still confirming showing
that on the side you use this little thing, you may get more what we call caustic neuromas,
tumors of the nerve that conducts audition to your brain, or maybe brain cancer. We are
still learning about that. So, we are on the preventative side. What is the thing you have
to do? Consider this thing as a very useful thing, I use it, I'm not intending to stop
using it, but you know what? For a short conversation, one minute yes, put it right here. No problem,
great, talk to you later. But if you're gonna have a conference call, or you gonna talk
to your boyfriend or girlfriend for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, you're a sales person--
don't put it right there. Get your little cord or even the blue tooth because it's a
hundredth less energy from the blue tooth, but the point that I'm trying to make and
probably either myself or our Chief Medical Officer tonight, Larry King's going to say,
consider this little thing as a possible source of the disease. Just to put an analogy, go
backwards and you cannot because you're very young, to 1948. 1948, 1949, it was a huge
discussion about the possible effects of cigarette smoking and lung cancer. My God, nobody believed
that. No, you're crazy. This cigarette causing cancer? No way. Even my own organization at
American Cancer Society, we didn't believe it. We needed proof, proof, proof. It took
for us eleven years until 1960 to pass a resolution saying yes, cigarette smoking causes cancer.
And how many millions died over those years? That's, I'm taking that same attitude. You
know what? Be careful with these things. Use it because they are important. They are extremely
important, but you know what? They may be harmful for you and we may find out that they
are harmful for you in the year 2028 or 2030, when you already got all that exposure during
those years. And don't give it to kids. Don't give it to kids. Any other questions?
>>Gonzalo: We got time for one more question.
>>audience #2: You said you've been working with the immigrant communities in D.C. so
do you have any breakdown about how, or which ethnic groups are they disproportionately
affected by cancer these days? Or is there any data about that? The breakdown.
>>Huerta: Thank you. Yeah, well, immigrants are coming from all over the world. The United
States is a nation of immigrants. We come from all over the world, but over the last
50 years, most of the immigrants are from Latin America and also Asia. They are coming
by thousands and thousands. Among Asian Americans, for example, they have higher rates of cancer
of the breast. They are starting to have breast cancer and there is this paradox there, by
which in Japan and many Asian countries, breast cancer rates are low. But once they come to
the US, something happens that they start getting breast cancer. They also get cervical
cancer, very high rates, especially the newly arrived Korean, Vietnamese communities because
they don't know about prevention. They are very shy about going to see the doctor so
they don't get PAP smears. One day they are bleeding through the vagina, they see the
doctor, cervical cancer, I'm sorry. Those are some of the most frequent cancer among
these Asian communities. I also have very rare cancer that is in the throat that is
also very common among them. Among Latinos, out of the 40 million Latinos in this country,
65% of them are Mexican Americans. They are the majority. And obesity rates are very high
in these communities and we are seeing the same pattern of distribution of cancers as
in the general population, meaning breast cancer, lung cancer are the most common among
these people. What happened is that even though they have the same distribution, the frequency,
the incidence is lower among this immigrant communities. We don't know why, but they have
less cases of cancer. The problem is that when they go to see the doctor, again, they
are late. Huge tumors for all those barriers that we show-- no insurance, etcetera. So,
they live less time; their survival is less. So, well, another cancer is cervical cancer.
And another cancer among Latinos is liver cancer. As you know, liver cancer is a cancer
that can be prevented through a vaccine because 80% and that is another cancer in Asian Americans
is liver cancer, that's very common among them. Why is that? Because liver cancer is
the consequence of chronic infection with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus. So, if
you prevent by vaccinating kids for Hepatitis B, then you are going to prevent liver cancer
in the future. Another cancer that is very common among Latinos is stomach cancer, which
is this very common in Latin America and they think it is because of the infection by a
bacteria, called Helicobacter pylori. Have you heard about this story? This is very fascinating.
For many years, we doctors are very dogmatic. Dogmatic meaning that we learn something and
for doctors this is very difficult to change that thing that they give you at the school
of medicine. And the dogma was that nothing could grow in the stomach. The stomach was
so acid; you know with this hydrochloric acid that the dogma was nothing could grow inside
the stomach. Nothing. For years. Well, it was in the 1970s, two Australian crazy guys,
they demonstrated that this stomach of dogs, they had bacteria. They see bacteria here
in the stomach of dogs. They went to look for this bacteria among human beings and they
found the bacteria there, too. So, they wrote in scientific papers, "We are finding bacteria
in the stomach of people." All the doctors say, "Haha, look at these guys. They are finding
bacteria. Haha." They say, "They are contamination maybe in the laboratory." They kept researching
and they found that this bacteria caused gastritis; acute inflammation of the stomach. They wrote
in the paper again, the scientific paper, "Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis." Nobody
believed because the dogma was so strong. One of these guys, he had to prepare a broth
with bacteria and water, ok? And previously, he has a gastroscopy and his stomach was beautifully
clean. They took biopsies; everything was fine and after that he took the broth with
the bacteria. And he developed this terrible gastritis. Luckily, he took antibiotics later
on and cleaned himself. He published that. No way, that cannot be possible. It took 20
years of work for other doctors to start believing and these two guys, Dr. Marshall and I don't
remember the other guy, they got the Nobel Prize two years ago because they discovered
that bacteria can cause gastritis and can cause stomach cancer. Here in the US, it's
luckily very, very not frequent, this kind of infection. In poor countries, up to 80%
of little kids, they already have the bacteria in their stomach. So, it's all these things
that we hear at the Cancer Society, we try to research and try to fund and maybe-- this
is the last word-- just to thank you again if you are an American Cancer Society contributor
and I invite you to keep working with us so we can just wipe out cancer from the United
States of America.
>>Gonzalo: Thank you very much, Dr.Huerta, for coming.
[applause]
Thank you very much for coming to all of you guys and we are gonna share with you and for
some of you guys that, you know that this is a Hispanic Googler Network event and we
got some t-shirts for you if you wanna just come here to the side and you can get a t-shirt.
Thank you again, Dr. Huerta.
>>Huerta: Thank you very much. Thank you.
[applause]