New York State Highlights Cancer Prevention As Urgent Public Health Priority At State's First Cancer Prevention Summit

State, National Experts in Medicine, Public Health, Scientific Research and Public Policy to Discuss Strategies for Prevention

ALBANY (May 19, 2015) - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is hosting its first-ever Cancer Prevention Summit in New York City on Wednesday, May 20. The New York State Cancer Prevention Summit: Transforming the Cancer Agenda for the Next Generation will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan from 8:30 a.m.- 4:15 p.m. Given that nearly half of all cancer deaths are preventable, the Summit calls for a renewed focus on cancer prevention. State and national cancer prevention researchers, medical and public health practitioners, health organizations, business and government leaders, and other stakeholders will be brought together to demonstrate concrete ways different sectors can work together to recognize the prevention of cancer as an urgent public health priority

"New York State is once again taking the lead to combat the scourge of cancer at our first ever Cancer Prevention Summit," said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. "We know there is more that can be done to stop this illness in its tracks and, in the process, save countless lives. By bringing together medical experts like Dr. Margaret Cuomo, researchers from Columbia University right here in New York, and engaging in a dialogue on public health policy, this Summit is a critical starting point that will produce real results. I applaud Governor Cuomo and the Department of Health for pulling our state resources together to address this public health matter."

"The Summit is the beginning of a new era in which we adopt a pro-active stance against this formidable disease that continues to wreak havoc on the lives of too many New Yorkers," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Advancing new treatments will always be important. But if we can prevent the disease from ever happening in the first place, we will truly begin to win the war on cancer."

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in New York State, with more than 100,000 new diagnoses and approximately 35,000 deaths each year. At least half of all cancer deaths are attributed to preventable causes such as tobacco use, obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity making a renewed emphasis on cancer prevention all the more necessary.

New York State's commitment to cancer prevention is a key component of the New York State Prevention Agenda 2013–2017, which stresses the need to reduce obesity and tobacco use, and promotes the provision of high quality preventive services, such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening services. The state's commitment is also reflected in the New York State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, 2012–2017, which focuses on modifiable cancer risk factors. Both documents acknowledge that success is dependent upon concerted efforts across disciplines and organizations.

The Summit will include the following sessions:

  • 8:30 – 8:45 AM: Greeting and Meeting Objectives
    • Heather Dacus, DO, MPH, New York State Department of Health
  • 8:45 – 9:15AM: Opening Session
    • New York State's Commitment to Cancer Prevention: Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD, Commissioner, New York State Department of Health
    • Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, New York State
    • The Promise of Prevention: Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, Author, A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention
  • 9:15 – 10:00 AM: Opening Keynote
    • Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Cancer Prevention Research
    • Moderator: Maureen Killackey, MD, FACS, FACOG, Columbia University
    • Nutrition & Physical Activity – Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPh, Harvard University
    • Genetics/Genomics – Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD, Columbia University
    • Environmental Exposure – Phillip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
  • 1:00– 1:45 PM: Keynote on Health Disparities
    • Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2:15 – 3:45 PM: Cancer Prevention in Action
    • Moderator: Alvaro Carrascal, MD, MPH, American Cancer Society
    • Tobacco Use Prevention – Andrew Hyland, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    • HPV Vaccine – Noel T. Brewer, PhD, University of North Carolina
    • Public Health Policy – Sonia Angell, MD, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
  • 3:45 – 4:15 PM: Knowledge to Action: Next Steps for Cancer Prevention
    • Moderators: Anita McFarlane, MPH, Susan G. Komen for the Cure & Cheryl Gelder-Kogan, MHSA, CGK Consulting

For additional information on the New York State Cancer Prevention Summit, visit: