Directed by Larry Yust and created by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health in the late 1970s, PROGRESS AGAINST CANCER provides an interesting look at the fight against the disease in that decade. It features cancer survivors and patients of all ages, including some whose lives were prolonged via new forms of chemotherapy, as well as the doctors and researchers who have developed these treatments. This includes Vera Peters of the Ontario Cancer Institute, M.D., Donald Mack, M.D. of the Sheperd Hospital, Dr. C. Gordon Zubrod of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Luis Borella of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, who made groundbreaking studies of leukemia, Henry S. Kaplan M.D., and others. The film was partially funded or made possible by actor John Wayne, who is joined in the film by actresses Marlo Thomas, Danny Thomas (who essentially built the St. Jude's Hospital, see below), Dionne Warwick and Anne Baxter. Wayne's appearance was especially noteworthy because he'd suffered from cancer for over a decade at the time the film was made, and was living proof that it could be (to an extent at least) beaten. As Dr. Vera Peters discusses in the film, some forms of cancer had a 90% survival rate by this time, and 1/3rd of all patients survived their cancer. Early detection and treatment are emphasized by Dr. Gale Wright at 12:00, and at 14:00 a discussion of breast cancer takes place.
At 14:16, cigarettes -- a leading cause of lung cancer -- are shown. Frank J. Raushcer, Ph.D., a researcher, discusses exposure to carcinogens. Dr. Fred Burbank discusses smoking at 16:15 and mentions how getting rid of smoking would eliminate a lot of cancer as it is "epidemic".
At 16:46 John Wayne talks about his own struggles against the disease, and how early detection saved his life.The Duke discusses his decision to go public and the importance of doing so.
Incidentally, John Wayne had been a chain smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964. He underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness for fear that it would cost him work, Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free. Wayne has been credited with coining the term "The Big C" as a euphemism for cancer.
Although he enrolled in a cancer vaccine study in an attempt to ward off the disease, Wayne died of stomach cancer at the age of 72 on June 11, 1979, at the UCLA Medical Center, and was buried in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach. According to his son Patrick and his grandson Matthew Muñoz, a priest in the California Diocese of Orange, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death. He requested that his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph Wayne described as meaning "ugly, strong, and dignified". The grave, which went unmarked for 20 years, is now marked with a quotation from his controversial 1971 Playboy interview: "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
As a "starving actor", Danny Thomas had made a vow: If he found success, he would open a shrine dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Thomas never forgot his promise to St. Jude and, after becoming a successful actor in the early 1950s, his wife joined him and began traveling the United States to help raise funds to build his dream - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He fervently believed “no child should die in the dawn of life.”[ With help from Dr. Lemuel Diggs and close friend, Anthony Abraham, an auto magnate in Miami, Florida, Thomas founded the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1962. Since its inception, St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world, continuing the mission of finding cures and saving children.
The John Wayne Cancer Foundation was founded in 1985 in honor of John Wayne, after his family granted the use of his name for the continued fight against cancer. The foundation's mission is to "bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer". The foundation provides funds for innovative programs that improve cancer patient care, including research, education, awareness, and support. Consider donating in memory of John Wayne at http://california.providence.org/john-wayne/giving/
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com