First Lady Betty Ford, speaking at the dedication of M.D. Anderson’s new $70 million facilities, said she had a “simple message for all of you who worked so hard to create this fine institution-thank you for a job well done. As a former cancer patient, I know that without institutions such as this one, I wouldn’t be alive.”
Mrs. Ford, who underwent a mastectomy two years ago, pointed out that Sept . 26 was the second anniversary of that event. “I’m happy, healthy, and grateful. In a few weeks, I’ll complete my chemotherapy.”
Two days after Mrs. Ford’s surgery, the preliminary findings in the breast cancer studied headed by Bernard Fisher and supported by NCI were reported, in which the drug L-PAM was found to increase by five-fold the disease free rate of mastectomy patients with positive lymph nodes.
Mrs. Ford was found to have four positive nodes, and the L-PAM regimen was recommended for her.
“At the time of my mastectomy, I was pleased to see the response to it,” she said . “It prompted many women to fret a check up.”
Former Texas Gov. Allan Shivers, who is chairman of the Univ. of Texas System Board of Regents, revealed the secret of the university’s success in obtaining financial support from the state for its cancer facilities.
“Every year when Lee Clark (president of the Univ. of Texas System Cancer Center) goes to the Senate Finance Committee with his budget needs, the hearing always ends with the chairman asking, ‘Dr. Clark, are you sure that’s all you need?’”
Albert Owens, president of the Assn. of American Cancer Institutes, said, “These buildings are a great achievement, but they are an even greater challenge. More is required. Cancer remains an unsolved problem, a national health problem of the first order.”
Clark was scheduled this week to be named president of the American Cancer Society at the annual meeting of the ACS Board of Directors in New York, succeeding Benjamin Byrd Jr. R. Wayne Rundles, professor of medicine at the Duke Univ. School of Medicine, was to be elected vice president and president-elect.