20TH century the average life-expectancy of an average American has augmented. Furthermore, the major causes of death have also changed over time. Majority of the Americans used to die very young; very few used to live beyond 65 years of age. However, trends have changed drastically and a lot more people are able to live beyond 65 years of age (Nadine R. Sahyoun, Harold Lentzner, Donna Hoyert, Kristen N. Robinson, 2001). The following graph illustrates the point being made.
Percentage of newborns living to age 65
It is worth noting that the leading cause of death amongst the elderly people 65 years of age and above is "heart disease" (35%) and "cancer" (22%). This trend has been evident since the preceding 2 decades and had taken almost one million lives of elderly Americans in the year 1997 alone. The third leading cause of death is "stroke." However, "chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases" and "allied conditions" (COPD) is the third leading cause of death for elderly white (both male and female) Americans, while this ailment ranks 4TH and 5TH amid other race-sex- age groups. Table 2 provides a comprehensive description on the topic of leading causes of death for people 65 years of age or above (Nadine R. Sahyoun, Harold Lentzner, Donna Hoyert, Kristen N. Robinson, 2001).
In 2004, cancer has become the 2ND leading cause of death amongst people 65 years of age and above. The overall costs for cancer treatments and preventions have also increased relatively. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) reveal, "Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In 2004, about 1.4 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 563,700 Americans -- about 1,500 people a day -- will die of the disease. The financial cost of cancer is also significant. According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2003, the overall cost for cancer in the United States was $189.5 billion: $64.2 billion for direct medical expenses, $16.3 billion for lost worker productivity due to illness, and $109 billion for lost worker productivity due to premature death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005)."
Table 2: Leading Causes of Death for persons 65 years of age and older
This purpose of this study is to assess the prevention and treatment programs available to the elderly people of America because in light of the aforementioned facts, it is imperative that high-quality cancer treatment and prevention programs are not only brought into light but also implemented, both by the private sector, as well as the government.
Review of Related Literature
While many programs have been initiated to minimize the spread of cancer, it is a discouraging fact that not many programs have been successful. For instance, in 1985, "The National Cancer Institute" (NCI) launched a number of carefully measured goals to decrease the number of deaths being caused due to cancer by the year 2000. The program failed miserably as it aimed to control cancer only through the viability of declines in cancer related deaths, rather than particulars on the methods and procedures that will lead to this decline (Lawrence Bergner, Katherine M. Marconi, Helen I. Meissner, 1992). Many other programs have been introduced since then, but they too have failed to achieve concrete results. The purpose of this study is neither to highlight those programs nor to give reasons for their failure, rather the purpose of this study is to reveal the best possible program currently being implemented in America, either by the government or by the private sector or both.
One such model that has been effective in controlling the spread of cancer is "Comprehensive Cancer Control." This is because the program has channelized its energies through collaborations between a number of potent institutions, both in the public sector and the private sector. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) illustrates, "Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) is an emerging model that integrates and coordinates a range of activities to maximize the impact of limited resources and achieve desired cancer prevention and control outcomes. A key component to the success of this approach is establishing partnerships between public and private sector stakeholders whose common mission is to reduce the burden of cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005)."
The fundamental Principals of "Comprehensive Cancer Control" (C.C.C.):
In order to establish priorities and report them to the decision makers, scientific statistics and research are employed in a methodical manner.
During survivorship, complete range of cancer care is directed including fundamental prevention, premature recognition and healing, treatment, pain relief, and care for the patient and its family.
A number of national agencies, institutions and organizations, such as, the public and medical health organizations, charitable agencies, insurance companies, enterprises, government, college and university circles, as well as advocates, are engaged in cancer deterrence and control, throughout America.
In order to create joint endeavors, all actions taken in relation to cancer-related programs are organized.
Amalgamation and integration of actions taken by various internal disciplines has been made possible. Major disciplines in this program are: basic and applied research, program development, administration, health communications, evaluation, clinical services, public policy, surveillance, and health education.
A Coordinated Public Health Methodology
As mentioned above, CCC aims to restrict the spread of cancer by coordinating between the various potent institutional forces. The methodology is to first assess the impact of cancer and then tackle this disease, regardless of State, race, gender and ethnicity. One of the strengths of the CCC program is that it has been able to make use of the accomplishments of the previously implemented cancer programs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) reveal, "CCC is achieved through a broad partnership of public- and private-sector stakeholders whose common mission is to reduce the overall burden of cancer. These stakeholders review epidemiologic data and research evidence, including program evaluation data, and jointly set priorities for action. The partnership then mobilizes support for implementing specific cancer prevention and control activities and puts in place a systematic plan for establishing CCC. This structured approach provides the means to coordinate activities, track progress over time, monitor emerging developments in cancer and related fields, and periodically reassess priorities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005)."
An additional strength of the CCC program has been the level and range of collaboration and coordination made at not only the federal level but also the State and local district level. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has so far been successful in establishing partnerships with American Cancer Society (ACS); American College of Surgeons (ACoS); Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO); C -- Change (formerly the National Dialogue on Cancer); Chronic Disease Directors (CDD); Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC); National Cancer Institute (NCI); National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL); National Governors Association (NGA); North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).
The coordination and collaboration between these institutions have paved way for a number of additional institutions whose primary application has been to execute CCC strategies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) elaborates on the application of these institutes: "Developing innovative resources for CCC; Identifying strategies for implementing CCC plans; Building effective relationships for CCC collaborations; Connecting diverse elements of CCC for better outcomes; Linking resources for CCC; Addressing disparities in the cancer burden; Advocating for CCC and cancer control policies; Evaluating CCC initiatives (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005)."
Effectiveness of the CCC program
The success of the CCC program can be gauged from the fact that the figures of programs partaking with CCC have grown form 6 to 61 since the inception of this program in 1998. The American congress too has acknowledged the success of the program as it provided about $12 million in 2004. Centers for…