The Truth About Cancer Premieres on PBS April 16, 2008

BOSTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- What is the truth about cancer? Is it the same deadly killer it was 30 years ago -- or are we making progress? Find out through the poignant stories of patients battling the disease in The Truth About Cancer premiering nationally on PBS Wednesday, April 16 at 9:00pm ET (check local listings). Comprised of a 90-minute documentary followed by a 30-minute panel discussion, the two-hour broadcast event takes a look deep inside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old war and asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?"

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The Truth About Cancer is the third installment of PBS's Take One Step-a campaign offering primetime programming and outreach tools to help people take the first step towards better health. As a complement to the broadcast, PBS recently launched a comprehensive companion website ( featuring extensive information about living with cancer, a list of pertinent local resources, and an online cancer risk assessment tool from the Harvard School of Public Health. The site also includes further information about the film including an interview with writer, producer, and director Linda Garmon, and a preview trailer. Following its premiere, the complete two-hour broadcast special will be made available, free of charge, on the site at.

Part science, part personal catharsis, part character-driven storytelling, the 90-minute documentary is narrated by Garmon, who tells the moving story of her husband's battle with cancer. Over the course of the film, Garmon returns to the same Boston-area hospitals at which her husband was treated, and exposes startling truths about survival rates of metastisized cancers, and the limited success of drugs and clinical trials. Interwoven throughout are the stories of three additional cancer patients, and their families and doctors, as they navigate the deeply personal decisions surrounding the disease.

"This film makes it clear that it's very much a part of American culture to believe that if you fight hard enough, you can beat cancer. But when it comes to having metastatic cancer, your survival depends on the biology of your cancer cells, and whether they are susceptible to state-of-the-art treatment," says Garmon. "In sharing my husband's story and the stories of other patients, I hope to shed light on this important truth."

Following the 90-minute documentary is a 30-minute panel discussion entitled Take One Step: A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee. News journalist and breast cancer survivor Linda Ellerbee moderates the dialogue featuring a panel of doctors, all of whom are cancer survivors themselves. Having sat on both sides of a cancer diagnosis, the panel shares their unique perspectives, offering both personal and professional observations on how to handle a cancer diagnosis, what to say to loved ones, how to advocate for yourself, and how to best live your life, with cancer. Panelists include U.S. News and World Report health editor Dr. Bernadine Healy; breast cancer surgeon and Breast Cancer Research stamp mastermind Dr. Ernie Bodai; neurologist and leading palliative care expert Dr. Richard Payne; and counseling psychologist Dr. Paul Brenner.

The Truth About Cancer is a Carousel Films LLC Production for WGBH Boston. Laurie Donnelly is Executive Producer for WGBH. Funding for The Truth About Cancer is provided by Susan G. Komen For The Cure and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.

About WGBH Boston

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of one-third of PBS's primetime lineup and companion online content as well as many public radio favorites. WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia (including the Web, broadband, and interactive television) and in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, DuPont-Columbia Awards-even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for fifty years of excellence. For more information, visit


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