WRITER: JESSIE ROLPH
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Nov. 1, 2002
UI Cancer Information Service marks 15 years of providing cancer information
For the past 15 years, the Cancer Information Service (CIS), part of the
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, has been providing
patients, health care providers and the general public with answers to their
cancer-related questions with the latest information on research and treatment.
Cancer information specialists are available at the nationwide toll-free
CIS number, (800) 237-1225, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions
may also be submitted via e-mail at email@example.com or via an
online form at www.uihealthcare.com/depts/cancercenter/patients/cis.html.
As part of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, the CIS offers many free
services to the state of Iowa and to contacts worldwide. CIS provides personalized
and confidential responses to questions about cancer, over 500 free pamphlets
and educational literature from national cancer organizations, and research
from medical journals, the World Wide Web and national databases.
"When someone has cancer, it's important for them to understand their
disease and treatment," said Joan Felkner, CIS information specialist.
"We make sure that contacts have up-to-date, accurate information so
that they can receive the best care possible."
The CIS also provides information on cancer prevention, risk factors, symptoms,
early detection, treatment, coping skills, an online cancer support group,
statistics and county resources for cancer patients in Iowa and Illinois.
The service is unique from other information services in that CIS information
specialists find information specifically for contacts and carry literature
from all the major nationwide cancer organizations, Felkner said.
The CIS was created in 1987 as an educational outreach of the cancer center
to serve Iowa and western Illinois. In 1990, it launched a nationwide toll-free
number, and in 1999 it became a worldwide service through the Web.
"We were originally designed as a resource for Iowans, but we answer
questions from anyone," Felkner said. "No one ever goes away without
an answer of some kind."
On average, the CIS receives 30-35 phone calls and one or two e-mails per
In its 15 years, the CIS has fielded questions from 82,698 phone, Web and
walk-in contacts. Contacts have come from every Iowa county, all 50 states,
two U.S. territories and 35 countries. Including conferences and hospital
clinics, the CIS has distributed more than 1.4 million pieces of literature.
In 2001 alone, the CIS Web site received almost 30,000 hits.
"The CIS is central to our ability to take advances in cancer biology
and cancer medicine and make them available to the people we serve,"
said George Weiner, M.D., director of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
and the C.E. Block Professor of Cancer Research. "This is a critical
part of our mission as Iowa's only comprehensive cancer center designated
by the National Cancer Institute."
CIS information specialists do not make medical recommendations, but respond
to general questions about cancer. When not answering questions, the specialists
gather information for health care providers and other contacts, and study
new developments in cancer research. The CIS also helps with clinical trials
and is active on committees within the cancer center.
The CIS has recently received new resources from the National Cancer Institute,
including the "Facing Forward" series of literature, focusing on
life after cancer treatment and ways to make a difference in cancer. There
is also a new series focusing on clinical trials and also on cancer prevention.
The CIS has written many of its own pamphlets, as well.
The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI serves health care providers
and Iowa citizens through high-quality cancer-related research, education
and health care. The center includes faculty and staff from 38 departments
in six UI colleges and from UI Hospitals and Clinics.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and
Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and
services they provide.