Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Truth About Cancer
Take One Step: A PBS Health Campaign
The Truth About Cancer + Take One Step: A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee  

Watching: The Truth About Cancer

Chapter 9: The Luck of the Draw [4:42]

Some preventive measures can make a huge difference. The impact of others is more complex. There are no guarantees.

Select123456789101112Next
Windows Media PlayerHigh|Low
QuickTime border=High|Low

Transcript: Chapter 9 - The Luck of the Draw

KAREN GIBBONS: And you're very thin.

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: We need to start a clinical trial of some sort about that one.

KAREN GIBBONS: We approve.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: Alright, if anyone--who's gonna be the first to dive on in?

NANCY KLAYMAN: I will.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: I was on Romper Room.

KAREN GIBBONS: How old were you?

NANCY KLAYMAN: Oh my goodness!

JAMIE KLAYMAN: I wasn't, but I think you were like three or so on Romper Room.

KAREN GIBBONS: Having seen the film too, I, I recall that you look like you don't have any pants on.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: Yeah, it's a shirt.

EDDIE KLAYMAN: It's like a - it's like a shirt that came like...

JAMIE KLAYMAN: It is not... it is not long enough. It is a....

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: Remember she looked in the magical mirror and be like, "I see Jane and Ann..."

KAREN GIBBONS: ...And Jamie and no pants.

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: And Jamie and no pants, they never said Kristen. Never...

JAMIE KLAYMAN: They never said "Jamie," the entire time, they never said my name.

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: They didn't say your name?

JAMIE KLAYMAN: Never said my name the entire time, I don't really remember. Oh, here we go, here we go, here's Romper Room!

EDDIE KLAYMAN: This is it! This is it!

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: Alright...

KAREN GIBBONS: I see your little cheeks sticking out.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: They don't even match!

KRISTEN GERONDELIS: Just a head shot.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: Well, the censors will, will not let this through, so he's only letting me...up from, from the arm up.

KAREN GIBBONS: The lady's saying to you, the lady's saying to you, "Honey, talk to your mommy when you get home and ask for pants." [laughing]

JAMIE KLAYMAN: Yeah.

JAMIE KLAYMAN: I can remember being a kid and one of our teachers wanted us to come up with, you know, role models or heroes. And I thought about a few celebrities and maybe a gymnast, but the first person on my list was my mom. She did smoke, unfortunately. And, you know, she's always said, "I could never quit". And the day she found out she had lung cancer, you know, she quit that day and never had another cigarette. I wouldn't want someone to think of my mom not as a survivor. Because there's no one that had more strength or will or love of life or desire than my mom and she didn't have a chance to survive.

*

DAVID NATHAN: Clearly, cancer prevention would be a much more efficient way of dealing with the cancer problem. I mean, here we have these million and a half new cases of cancer every year. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just prevent 'em? Well, first of all, we could prevent thirty per cent of them tomorrow. All we gotta do is say, "No more tobacco."

DAVID NATHAN: It's more important to prevent cancer than treat it, ah, but there are real limitations to cancer prevention. I would say, as we get older, we get much, much more cancer. And, and we can thank the cardiologists for all of the cancer. Because the cardiologists have kept us alive. [Laughing] And, and, and, and here we are, getting older and older, and we are going to get cancer, because cancer is just mutations. And, and every minute you sit around and just eat food and make chemicals in your body, you mutate yourself. So, cancer is inevitable. And we can't really prevent it, but we have to treat it. And we have to treat it aggressively and treat it well.

Audience Member: Writer's cramp setting in?

*

LARRY D'ONOFRIO: That's where we're going! That's the summit. We've been here now for two days, hard to believe. This is what we came for; we came to get to the top of that baby.

NARRATOR: Eight months before Larry was diagnosed with cancer, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

LARRY D'ONOFRIO: I'm about, uh, we're about four hours into the, into the hike and ah, the guy tells us we're going to do about six hours today.

NARRATOR: An oncologist once told me he'd never forget the look of betrayal on the faces of his patients when they were first diagnosed. Why had they gotten cancer? They had exercised, they had eaten all the right things, they had embraced life. But somewhere along the way, the DNA in the cells of their bodies was simply damaged, and their bodies could not correct the mistake. Another mistake followed, then another, and eventually, their bodies had cancer.

LARRY D'ONOFRIO: It's been a great, great two days of hiking.

NARRATOR: Larry had been exposed to asbestos, which set off this chain of events. But he had stood side by side other coworkers exposed to the same carcinogen who did not get his disease. And that's the damned, horrifying truth about cancer: you can follow all the rules and just have bad luck.

Back to Top

A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee
Watch Take One Step: A Conversation About Cancer with Linda Ellerbee >

Help support programs and websites like this one.
Pledge to your local public station.

_