June 22-26, 2001
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HHS Secretary Thompson Praises Mayors Efforts in Fight Against Cancer

Video: HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says early detection is the key to fighting cancer.

Video: Thompson thanks the mayors.

Miss USA 2001 Kandace Krueger addresses the mayors.

Beaumont Mayor Moore moderates the luncheon.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson urged Mayors across the nation to use their influence to encourage people to get screenings and preventative care to fight breast and prostate cancer.

"You and your health departments have got to be involved on the front line, and you are. It's the early detection that really pays dividends," Thompson said.

Thompson, speaking at the 69th Annual United States Conference of Mayors Breast Cancer Luncheon, said he wants to forge a partnership with local governments to identify federal programs that can better serve residents.

He also said he wants to survey each state about alcohol and drug abuse programs and find out which ones are working.

"I want you to look in your communities and look at the programs you have from the federal government and let us know if they're working," Thompson said. "If we came together with your study committee making some quick recommendations to me, we can put together an action plan that will help."

Douglas Palmer, the mayor of Trenton, (NJ), said when Mayors help publicize prevention programs, they can help residents across all racial and economic lines.

"As Mayors, we have great influence on public health matters," Palmer said.

Other Mayors also spoke of programs in their communities that include public service announcements and campaigns urging people to get cancer screenings.

Miss USA 2001, Kandace Krueger of Texas, also spoke. Her mother is a cancer survivor, and Krueger said she made a promise to publicize cancer prevention during her reign.

"I believe through your influential role as public officials, you have an excellent opportunity to educate and influence people about this disease," she told the Mayors.

This year marked the fifth Annual Breast Cancer Luncheon hosted by the Conference. Beaumont Mayor David Moore, who chairs the Conference's Standing Committee on health and Human Services, served as emcee for the luncheon, the luncheon is traditionally held to promote the Mayors Campaign Against Breast Cancer (to date more than 300 Mayors have joined the Campaign), and has been expanded in recent years to include prostate and other cancers.

Source: The Associated Press