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ACS leaders lend expertise to national media stories

Dr. Kamal and Dr. Knudsen provided authoritative voices for stories on GMA, CNN.

Members of the American Cancer Society Executive Team are lending their expertise to national media stories this week.

On Jan. 5 Chief Patient Officer Dr. Arif Kamal was interviewed LIVE on Good Morning America as GMA marks 10 years since Robin Roberts' lifesaving bone marrow transplant. He was interviewed alongside of Dr. Ron Jacob of Be The Match, which specializes in enrolling potential donors. 

Dr. Kamal outlined what patients can expect when receiving a bone marrow transplant. He also provided some perspective on the match probability rate increasing from about 25% 10 years ago to now 50% to 75% in certain populations as additional relatives are able to be screened and the bone marrow donor registry has grown.

"There is a ton of hope, and a lot has happened in the last 10 years," said Dr. Kamal.

'Double diagnosis'

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Karen Knudsen was interviewed by Good Morning America after tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced on Jan. 2 that she has throat cancer, as well as a recurrence of breast cancer, which she was first diagnosed with in 2010.

“It’s actually less uncommon than you would think for individuals to be diagnosed with more than one cancer over their lifetime,” Dr. Knudsen told GMA. “It does make treatment a little more complicated, but the bright light here is that she was able to identify both cancers at early stage.”

Oral and oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed at an early stage have about an 85% five-year survival rate, and a localized stage I breast cancer diagnosis has a five-year survival rate of 99%.

“We would expect her prognosis to be exceptionally favorable,” said Dr. Knudsen.

‘Early detection is key’

Dr. Knudsen also spoke with CNN underscoring our message to ‘get screened.’ She praised Navratilova for listening to her body and highlighted the importance of cancer screening.

“This is something that she identified based on knowledge of her body and something feeling amiss and taking action. Being an advocate for herself led to identification at stage I, which is so important,” Dr. Knudsen said. “Early detection is key to improve outcomes.”

ACS supports Martina Navratilova’s bravery in her diagnosis announcement. A tweet directed all to learn more about throat cancers and breast cancers on

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