Prevent Cancer Foundation Celebrates 30 Years

Issue 25 Summer/Fall 2015

In 1985, Carolyn ‘Bo’ Aldigé turned the tragedy of her father’s death from cancer into a lifelong mission: To help raise awareness that cancer can be prevented, and to find the funds to further that goal.

Thirty years later – with more that $134 million dollars invested in cancer prevention and early detection, including research – the Prevent Cancer Foundation that Aldigé created is making that dream a reality.

In the 1980s, she said, the focus was squarely on treatments and cures. “The attitude of most people was that cancer was a disease you were either going to get or you weren’t,” Aldigé said.

By 2015, however, the importance of cancer prevention has moved to center stage. U.S. cancer death rates are now going down – due in large part to better screening and new insights into the genetic and environmental factors that drive the disease.

Much of the groundbreaking research that led to those insights has been funded by the Foundation, which is now a major player in the field. Aldigé says that over the years, many leading lights in cancer prevention research have told her, “You gave me my first grant and here’s what I’ve done.”

Now, Aldigé says, people know that stopping cancer before it begins is key to saving and extending lives. “Cancer is a disease that can be prevented,” she said, “and there are many actions you can take to reduce your individual risk.”