Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, was part of a panel of cancer experts and survivors featured on the UNC-TV special Cancer: Focus of Life. The hour-long show will air at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1.
“Cancer has exceeded heart disease as the leading cause of death in the state,” said Dr. Mayer, professor at the School of Nursing and director of cancer survivorship at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The UNC-TV show on cancer provided an opportunity to share important knowledge, research progress, and stories of hope and survival with the people of North Carolina.”
Dr. Mayer has worked with cancer patients for 40 years and is a breast cancer survivor. Her research centers on cancer survivorship issues, and she currently has a clinical practice working with breast cancer survivors.
Cancer: Focus of Life highlights studies, discoveries, and stories of North Carolinians who have been instrumental in pushing through new scientific discoveries related to cancer, supporting those who’ve been touched by the disease, raising awareness, or inspiring others who are struggling with cancer. There currently are over 350,000 cancer survivors in North Carolina.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Mayer gave examples of actions everyone could take to lower their cancer risk such as not smoking, staying physically active, and undergoing recommended screenings for colon, breast, and cervical cancers. She also addressed the importance of having conversations with family members and doctors about end-of-life care and concerns while things are well.
The panel also included cancer researchers, Antonio T. Baines, PhD, from North Carolina Central University, and Neil Spector, MD, from the Duke University School of Medicine as well as leukemia survivor, Rashawn King, and breast cancer survivor, Jamie Valvano from the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Cancer: Focus of Life is part of a collection of cancer-related programing that UNC-TV is airing around the PBS documentary Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies, executive produced by Ken Burns and directed by Barak Goodman. The three-part documentary is airing on March 30, 31, and April 1 at 9:00 p.m. and is based on a book by the same title by physician and Pulitzer Prize winning author Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Photos courtesy of Mike Oniffrey and Bob Gunter, UNC-TV.