There probably will not be one big cure, but instead multiple ones, he said, and there have been “huge” improvements in survival rates.
“In 1970 the survival rates for cancer were about 50/50,” he said. “If you were diagnosed today, your survival rate would be close to 70 percent. It is probably better because that’s based on data from five years ago.”
Improvement is credited to progress in diagnosing cancer at earlier stages and advancements in cancer treatment.
Relay organizers said a large portion of the money raised from the two-day fundraiser will go toward cancer research and patient services.
The event, held at the Cooperstown Dreams Park, is an overnight celebration where team members take turns walking around a track “relay” style. Last year participants raised a record-setting $112,000.
“We are well-positioned going into the event to meet our goal of surpassing that,” said relay co-chairwoman Carla Eckler.
About 450 people and 44 teams are contributing to the efforts, she said. Other happenings Friday night included a survivors’ dinner, haircutting to benefit Pantene Beautiful Lengths to give real hair wigs to women fighting cancer, a fight back ceremony and a luminaria ceremony celebrate survivorship and memories of loved ones lost to cancer.
*Editor's note: This story was changed at 10:25 a.m. May 20 to correct the number of cancer diagnoses in Otsego County.