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Lance Armstrong Shines Political Spotlight on “The Cancer Question”

August 17, 2007

Lance Armstrong and David Johnson, M.D.Lance Armstrong and MSNBC will shine the political spotlight on “America’s No. 1 killer” with presidential candidate forums on cancer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, later this month.

The Democrats will have the opportunity to outline their strategies for addressing the cancer challenge from 10 a.m.-noon CDT on Monday, Aug. 27, and the Republicans from 10 a.m.-noon CDT on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Both forums will be broadcast live on MSNBC and carried via streaming video on

“I want to make sure that whatever candidates we have now – and ultimately the two who want to be president – discuss the No. 1 killer in this country just like they would discuss war or terror or taxes,” Armstrong says in a video statement on his Web site,

“Whoever wants to be commander in chief ought to answer the cancer question.”

David Johnson, M.D., deputy director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and a member of the Lance Armstrong Foundation board, encouraged cancer survivors and families, as well as professionals involved in cancer care and research, to pay close attention to what the candidates have to say about cancer-related issues.

“More than 10 million Americans alive today have experienced a cancer diagnosis and the number of survivors is growing, thanks to advances in treatment and research,” said Johnson, who in addition to being an internationally known lung cancer specialist is a cancer survivor himself. “More than 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and 560,000 Americans will die of the disease. This is an issue that affects all of us, and one of the most pressing issues that Congress and the presidential candidates will have to address in the coming months.”

Among Americans younger than age 85, cancer is the leading cause of death, and is second to cardiovascular disease after age 85.