By Beth Sanders Moore on October 21, 2015 10:00 am
Editor’s Note: The author, age 60, began undergoing annual mammograms at age 35. At age 45, she detected a lump during a breast self-exam just after having a routine, annual mammogram. A repeat mammogram ordered by her doctor confirmed a diagnosis of Stage II breast cancer.
By Beth Sanders Moore
The American Cancer Society (ACS) aimed for clarity with revised breast screening guidelines released this week; but, many oncologists and breast health advocates believe most women will still be confused about their care.
The new guidelines recommend that women at average risk of breast cancer should start getting mammograms at age 45, and get them annually until age 55, when they should be screened every other year. Plus, women can skip routine breast checks.
Continue reading American Cancer Society Shifts Its Mammogram Guidelines; What Do Survivors Think?
By Beth Sanders Moore on October 6, 2015 10:00 am
Editorial Note: The author was a National Director of Development at Susan G. Komen® when it first introduced pink ribbon breast health awareness in 1991. She was diagnosed with and treated for Stage II breast cancer in 2001.
By Beth Sanders Moore
I recently read an article written by a highly-respected national journalist. It was her take on Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which as most of us know is observed in October each year. The piece was yet another voice added to the mounting criticism that Pinktober is the new and more commercialized October. With now hundreds of companies using breast cancer awareness as a “safe” marketing tool, the writer notes that washing the calendar in pink and selling it like a carnival barker is a growing distraction to many. But, there’s more to her story than the overselling of #ThinkPink. Who is among the distracted and why?
Those working in labs each day likely appreciate the October movement because it does generate money that goes to genuine research to try to find the closest thing there is to a cure. Sure, not every dollar ends up in clinical studies, but plenty does. Highlighting awareness educates higher-risk populations about their ability to lower the risk of breast cancer diagnosis in their communities and in their families. There are evolving takeaways about breast cancer among men, our LGBT friends, and millennials. Shades of the pink October light have brought them into a more saturated discussion of breast cancer – from prevention through survivorship.
Continue reading Breast Cancer Survivors: Are You Thinking Pink or Feeling Blue?
By Beth Sanders Moore on September 30, 2015 10:00 am
by Beth Sanders Moore
Word comes from Toronto today that specialized clinics for childhood cancer survivors may help reduce the odds those patients will need emergency medical care as adults. Researchers followed almost 4,000 adult survivors of childhood cancers in Ontario for two decades. Compared with survivors who never used survivorship clinics, patients who went to a clinic at least once were 19% less likely to visit an emergency room.
With the five-year survival rate for childhood cancer now exceeding 80 percent, researchers and clinicians are becoming much more focused on what is described as the “quality of the cure.” Survivorship clinics are a path to a higher quality of life, post treatment. They’re typically designed to offer cancer survivors an added support system in addition to treatment they might receive from a primary care physician or an oncologist.
Continue reading Rise in Use of Survivorship Clinics Linked To Fewer Visits to ER
By Beth Sanders Moore on August 8, 2015 10:00 am
by Beth Sanders Moore
When a current or former President of the United States has a major health problem, it is international news. And when a former president at age 89 is diagnosed with cancer, we stop what we’re doing. The news temporarily shocks our world. Especially when that former president is Jimmy Carter.
In May, President Carter’s doctors discovered a spot on his liver. When attempting to remove the lump surgically, they discovered that it was a melanoma that had probably spread from previously undiagnosed skin melanoma. As a routing part of the evaluation, the physicians performed a brain MRI, which showed four unsuspected metastatic deposits there. Mr. Carter began radiation treatments to his brain and received a new immunotherapy drug, pembrolizumab.
When he first learned of the melanoma in his brain, the former president said he thought he “had just a few weeks left.” But he remained in good spirits. “I didn’t go into an attitude of much despair or anger or anything like that,” he said. “I was just completely at ease.”
Continue reading The Legacy of Jimmy Carter, Not Just Any Old Presidential Cancer Survivor
By Beth Sanders Moore on August 4, 2015 10:00 am
By Beth Sanders Moore
Last week, Texas Congressman Michael McCaul introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act of 2015. He was joined by his fellow co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Congresswoman Jackie Speier in introducing the legislation in the House. Senator Jack Reed and Senator Shelley Moore Capito introduced the legislation in the Senate. The bill has the support of 29 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act would improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, ensure publicly accessible expanded access policies that provide hope for patients who have run out of options, and identify opportunities to expand the research of therapeutics necessary to treat the 15,780 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. every year.
Continue reading Bipartisan Legislation A Shot In The Arm For Childhood Cancer Survivors
By Beth Sanders Moore on June 3, 2015 10:00 am
Editor’s Note: The following is a recap of a recent article published in Cancer Therapy Advisor. All rights reserved. It reports on a session dedicated to survivorship care at the May 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
By Beth Sanders Moore
As of 2012 in the United States there were 14 million cancer survivors, a number that is expected to grow to 18 million by 2022. The understanding that survivorship is a necessary component of cancer care is not a new concept; yet, it is a phase of cancer care that is often neglected.
At last week’s 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, Ann H. Partridge MD, MPH, discussed the challenges that oncologists face in standardizing survivorship guidelines for their adult patients.
She summarized her adaptation of the Institute of Medicine’s definition of survivorship care as:
- surveillance, screening, and preventing cancer recurrence or development of new cancers (which includes fostering adherence to clinical guidelines and risk-reducing treatments);
- identifying and managing late and long-term medical, psychological, and social effects;
- encouraging patients to demonstrate healthy behaviors;
- coordinating care throughout the health care spectrum to ensure patients are sufficiently provided for.
Continue reading Targeting a Plan to Overcome the Challenges of Cancer Survivorship Care
By Beth Sanders Moore on June 1, 2015 10:00 am
Editor’s Note: The following is a recap of a recent article published in Texas Medicine, the monthly publication of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). All rights reserved. TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 48,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state.
By Beth Sanders Moore
Treatment doesn’t stop when a patient is free of cancer.
“Overwhelmingly, more patients are surviving their cancer,” says Austin oncologist Debra Ann Patt, MD.
The success of cancer treatments brings new issues to light, including how physicians — both oncologists, or cancer doctors, and primary care physicians — can support patients once treatment is over.
That’s where “survivorship plans” come in.
Survivorship plans include a summary of the patient’s diagnosis and treatments, as well as a course of action for screenings, office visits, and lifestyle recommendations. The goal is to improve the quality of care for cancer survivors and empower them to care for themselves, live better lives, and reduce the risk of recurrence.
“These plans, though not as common as they should be, are an important part of any survivor’s aftercare,” said Dr. Patt.
Continue reading Cancer Survivorship Plans: The Next Phase of Cancer Care is Here and Now
By Team CancerForward on April 1, 2015 10:00 am
On Sunday, June 7, 2015, millions around the globe will celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day® (NCSD). It’s the day each year that we honor the strength and courage of those who are living with a history of cancer. It’s also a time to acknowledge the contributions of caregivers, families and friends of cancer survivors, as well as those professionally engaged in the fight against cancer.
CancerForward is pleased to provide a speaker at your 2015 National Cancer Survivors Day® event. Whether humorous, inspirational, or informative, a guest speaker can be the highlight of your event.
Continue reading CancerForward Speakers Available for 2015 National Cancer Survivors Day Events
By Team CancerForward on March 16, 2015 8:00 am
by Rebecca Trahan
“You have cancer.”
“You’re having a heart attack.”
Hearing either of these statements is unimaginable to most.
What could be worse? Hearing both statements could be far more traumatic. And more troubling still can be hearing that the treatment you received to arrest your cancer has caused your heart to fail.
Talk about a double dose of dread: surviving cancer only to be diagnosed with heart disease. Dreadful, and yet it happens more often than we realize.
Continue reading When A Woman Afflicted With Cancer and A Woman Afflicted With Heart Disease Are One
By Team CancerForward on March 2, 2015 10:00 am
With almost 15 million cancer survivors now living in the United States and with that number growing, there is concern about how our healthcare system will provide proper after-treatment medical care for a burgeoning population of survivors. “We do not foresee an expansion of the number of health professionals specifically devoted to caring for cancer patients. That means more survivors will receive their long-term follow-up care from health professionals other than those who provided their cancer treatment.“ says Len Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
Continue reading Communicating with Your Doctor After Treatment