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Cancer Research for the Ozarks Receives $4.2 Million Grant

Cancer patients across the Ozarks will have more opportunities to participate in major cancer studies thanks to a large grant given to a local cancer program from the National Cancer Institute. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Employees at Cancer Research for the Ozarks say cancer research is a well-kept secret here in the Ozarks.

They say most people think major research is done in larger hospitals in larger cities, but they say quality research is also done right here in Springfield.

Cancer Research for the Ozarks has been doing medical trials since its opening in 1985.

Both St. Johns and Cox hospitals help fund and run the research program.

Last July, Cancer Research for the Ozarks applied for a five year, 4.2 million dollar grant.

This month, the organization found out that it had received the grant.

Marilyn Bauer is the administrative director for Cancer Research for the Ozarks.

She says she was afraid they wouldn’t get the grant due to all the federal cutbacks.

“We’re very pleased and we know some other people didn’t get all the funding they requested, so it allows us to continue to operate. It allows us to continue to offer the very best in cancer research to people in the Ozarks,” Bauer said.

Bauer says Cancer Research for the Ozarks gets clinical trials from major cancer research centers and does the studies here on local patients.

She says the trials are safe and cancer patients can do the trials as long as they want to.

“One out of three of us is predicted to develop some form of cancer. Not that we’re going to die from it, but that we’re going to develop that in our lifetime. We still have a long way to go to find the answers and a cure for it; even though we’re getting there it’s going to be done in lots and lots of little bity mini-steps,” Bauer said.Bauer says cancer is a disease that affects not just the person with the illness, but the entire family.

“Cancer robs people of many, many things. It robs your finances, it robs you of your health, it robs you of your appearance and families are right there with them. They’re the ones picking up the extra tasks at home, because they are too fatigued to do it. Anyone that goes through cancer with a family member has kind of had that cancer experience too,” Bauer said.

She says she hopes this grant money will make cancer research in the Ozarks more effective and help treat more cancer patients.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.