Read the New USPSTF Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations here!

We are sad to share that board member Jessica Steinberg passed away on her 50th birthday, October 7th. Jessica was a shining light in the lung cancer community! Jessica shared her story “Empowered! My Journey – My Choices” to help and encourage others living with the disease to take charge in their journey! Jessica is an inspiration to us all and shared her experiences at significant cancer conferences around the US. Jessica appeared on StandUp To Cancer with Bradley Cooper, who had to read her remarks as she had lost her voice, constantly raising awareness wherever she went. We send our deepest sympathy to her two boys, Nate and Pete, and the rest of the family.

Jessica, your light will continue to shine in our hearts!

There are many ways to raise awareness. Jessica with her boys

The Caring Ambassadors Program provides this website to help you and your loved ones
understand your disease and some of the health care options available to you.

Our three main methods to fight lung cancer are to Empower patients and providers with access to free educational materials, and resources; to Educate communities about the importance of screening and to share current information with patients and their families; and to Advocate for access to screening and treatment for lung cancer for all communities. Knowledge empowers you to ask the necessary questions to become your own best advocate. When your questions have been asked and answered, you and your health care providers will be in the best possible situation to determine the best treatment approach for you.

Learn More about lung cancer question builder

Lung Cancer Choices 5th Edition can be a useful tool for anyone who is caring for someone with lung cancer, but its primary focus is on the patient. This book is suitable for both the newly diagnosed and those who have been living with lung cancer for some time.

Joint Statement on COVID-19 From Lung Cancer Advocacy Groups.  Our knowledge about how the virus affects our immune systems and other organs is continuously evolving. Along with this knowledge, doctors are becoming better at managing patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. 

MY CHOICES© is a tool to help you recognize and act upon what you can control in your health care journey to achieve optimal healing, regardless of the illness you face. It contains elements of a guide book, health planner, journal, and activity book to help orient you to and plan for the journey ahead.

Medical Writers’ Circle. The Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Medical Writers’ Circle provides information to help you and your loved ones make informed decisions about your health and are written by experts in the field of lung cancer from throughout the Country.

Help Open People’s Eyes. Would you be so kind as to share a snippet about your lung cancer experience with us? There is no right way to share – talk, write, draw, speak poetry – just please SHARE. Email us: MyStory@CaringAmbassadors.org

Weekly News Update. Caring Ambassadors Program provides 3 weekly news updates covering Lung Cancer News, Hepatitis C News, and My Choices© Update. Receive them delivered weekly to your inbox.

Meet Robin Sharf, through cancer and COVID-19, Robin strives to see the silver linings and does her best to live well each day with gratitude and appriecation. Read Robin’s empowering story today.

Weekly News Update

Lung Cancer News
Week Ending November 22, 2021

The Triple Threat Against Lung Cancer: Gifted Clinician, Teacher and Clinical Trialist
“In medicine, we often regard those we hold in highest esteem as being “triple threats,” excelling in the tripartite missions of academic medicine of patient care, teaching and scientific inquiry. The person I am nominating for the Lung Cancer Heroes® award, Dr. Roy H. Decker, embodies these three missions more than anyone I have been blessed to know or work with. He is a lung cancer hero — a “triple threat” in lung radiation oncology as a clinical innovator, teacher and ground-breaking clinical trialist.”

Immunotherapy-Based Regimen Boosts PFS in EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer
“Four-drug combination also led to higher response rates versus chemo alone. Combining the PD-1 inhibitor sintilimab with a bevacizumab biosimilar and chemotherapy significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) versus chemotherapy alone in patients with EGFR-mutant nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).”

Lung Cancer Strikes Non-Smokers, Too. This Novel Screening Program Aims to Find Out Why.
“In his role as medical director of NYU Langone’s Lung Cancer Center, Abraham Chachoua, MD, has seen significant improvements in the treatment of a dreaded disease once thought of as a death sentence.”

Massachusetts #1 in nation for lung cancer screening, surgery, early diagnosis, report shows
“Massachusetts is the top state in the country for lung cancer screening, early diagnosis and surgery, according to an annual report from the American Lung Association.”

Bassett Cancer Institute Shines a Light on Lung Cancer this November
“Today is Whiteout Wednesday, a virtual event sponsored by Bassett Cancer Institute (BCI) in order raise awareness for Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Community members, patients and Bassett employees are wearing white to shine a light on this disease.”

Lung Cancer Awareness Q&A with Therapeutic Radiologist Dr. Thomas Hayman
“As we honor lung awareness month, what do you want our patients and families to pause and remember?”

My Choices© Update
Week Ending November 22, 2021

Integrative Oncology: Helping to Bridge a Gap in Cancer Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
“Cancer is a global health challenge that impacts countries large and small, affluent and impoverished. With population growth and aging, and success in the management of other acute and chronic diseases, the number of new cancer cases is expected to rise over the next two decades.”

How Does Deep Breathing Improve Your Digestion?
“The holiday season means you’ll be enjoying lots of food. Between parties, family dinners, and all of the traditional baked goods, you may need a bit extra help with your digestion.”

What This Functional MD Says To Eat (& Avoid) For Deep Sleep

“How easily do you fall asleep at night? Are you snoozing as soon as your head hits the pillow, or do you tend to toss and turn for what feels like hours? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep?”

What Is A Holistic Practitioner?
“Holistic Practitioners are holistic healing professionals with a gift in one or more areas of healing. From bodyworkers to homeopaths to hypnotherapists, the term holistic practitioner has become one that is often challenging to describe or understand.”

Can herbs and spices lower blood pressure?
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of adults in the U.S. have hypertension.”

What Is Integrative Medicine for ADHD? A Holistic Health & Wellness Guide
“ADHD treatments work best when they don’t just target symptoms but also promote health, calm, and productivity. In this guide to integrative medicine for ADHD, learn how conventional treatments for ADHD can complement holistic approaches to support overall health and wellness.”

The magic of sleep | Fit and Healthy
“Most people want the edge on how to live longer, look better, feel better or get stronger. We can tirelessly research what supplements are most beneficial or what workout modality is going to annihilate the highest number of calories or build the most muscle, but lest we forget the most available aid to recovery and wellness: SLEEP!”

How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays, From A Functional MD
“While the holidays are defined by joy and cheer, they’re also often a stressful time filled with buying presents, holiday parties, traveling, and more.”

How to Build Self-Confidence
“Self-confidence is the level of belief in your ability or skills to perform a given role or function. Disappointments, abuse, neglect, or physical or mental illness can diminish self-esteem, which in turn can affect your confidence in certain situations.”

Diet, Gut Microbes, and Immunity
“The cliché “you are what you eat” has been used for hundreds of years to illustrate the link between diet and health. Now, an international team of researchers has found the molecular proof of this concept, demonstrating how diet ultimately affects immunity through the gut microbiome.”

5 foods to add to your diet for better brain health
“It may seem like Alzheimer’s disease is something that some people are simply destined to develop. But that’s not the case, Dr. Uma Naidoo, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told TODAY.”

Outdoor exercise lessened anxiety, depression during COVID-19 lockdowns
“A new study highlights the importance of being active and spending time outdoors, even during a pandemic.”

VIDEO
Motivational Monday: Dr. Binks explains the impact nutrition has on mental health

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Smokers disrespected for early COVID-19 vaccine access in TNT editorial – Cindy Langhorne-Hatfield

Re: “Washington smokers now get vaccine priority. Our gut doesn’t approve; our head does,” (TNT, 4/8).

This News Tribune editorial smacks of the condemnation of millions of Americans. Your editorial board’s condescending words lack decent respect for human beings based on having used tobacco, a legal, addictive substance.

Although you tried playing both sides of the issue, the indignation for people with a history of smoking was not well disguised.

Access to the COVID-19 vaccine for people with a history of smoking was only given days before the entire population became eligible. Two days before your editorial was published, President Biden instructed all states to make the vaccine available to all adults within two weeks.

Yet, you were offended that someone who had the audacity to put a cigarette between their lips should be allowed access to a life-saving vaccine.

You asked, “Why should someone who won’t kick a self-destructive habit have an edge over someone who makes good lifestyle decisions?”

Would you be so insensitive to people with other so-called “habits”? Do people who don’t exercise often enough deserve to live? What about someone who eats Snickers? Big Macs? How about someone who uses other addictive drugs? (Nicotine is powerfully addictive.)

Your viewpoint is reminiscent of arguments used against people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, in the early stages of that disease. They brought the disease upon themselves was the outcry from uninformed and unenlightened people.

Thanks to AIDS advocates, society looked deeper and became more compassionate to that cause. Similar accusations haunt people diagnosed with lung cancer, regardless of their smoking history.

As Americans, we care about the vulnerable and understand that inherited and environmental influences in a person’s life may contribute to them being susceptible to diseases or addictions. We are evolving as a society to learn how to offer help to people addicted to illegal substances and prescription drugs.

Again, as Americans, we also believe in the power of redemption and overcoming hardships. We all have faced and overcome new challenges, especially considering how this pandemic has impacted each of us in one way or another.

A loved one gone. A job lost. Relationship vanished. Dreams quashed.

The impact of this pandemic has hit everyone — even those “who won’t kick a self-destructive habit.” Your editorial regards people with a history of smoking as less than deserving of a vaccine.

Sadly, your perspective is not unique. Unfortunately, when it comes to tobacco use, our society has lost its compassionate way.

The unintended consequences of antismoking public service announcement campaigns is that we transitioned from condemning the act of smoking to condemning the people who smoke.

Rather than condemning tobacco users, a better way of addressing the issue of tobacco use is with compassion, as we do with other addictions and diseases.

A compassionate, practical response to this population group is encouraging them to get vaccinated. Because, as your editorial correctly pointed out, they are at significantly higher risk for having complications or dying from the virus.

Offering encouragement — instead of condemnation — also could help them overcome tobacco addiction so they can go on to live a long, healthy life.

The concept is simple: Turn on the light instead of cursing the darkness.

Cindy Langhorne-Hatfield of Lakewood is lung cancer program director for the Caring Ambassadors Program, Inc., and co-leader of the Lung Cancer Action Network (LungCAN). Reach her by email at Cindy@CaringAmbassadors.org

You can read Cindy’s article online here: https://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article251021409.html
You can read the article this is in response to here:
Washington smokers now get vaccine priority. Our gut doesn’t approve; our head does

ASCO 2021

Prevent Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® and more than 300 organizations from all 50 states applaud Representative Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who are leading the effort to modernize Medicare and ensure seniors have access to breakthrough cancer screening technology. Today, Representative Sewell introduced the Medicare Multi-Cancer Screening Coverage Act of 2021 joined by her colleagues Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).

This year, 600,000 people will die of cancer in the United States. That’s 1,700 each day. Ongoing clinical trials demonstrate that a new category of cancer screenings can detect many deadly cancers in earlier stages. This technology, called multi-cancer early detection (MCED), uses a blood test and our vast understanding of the human genome to help patients and their health care providers find cancer early, before it has spread to other parts of the body. Research shows that with early detection, nearly nine of every 10 cancer patients will live five years or longer. Without it, only 21% live five years or longer.

“The imperative for access to multi-cancer early detection tests could not be more clear,” said Carolyn R. (“Bo”) Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We face an epidemic of delayed cancer diagnosis and underdiagnosis in this country.  We are on the precipice of a major scientific advance that may be our best chance to dramatically lower the number of cancer deaths and save the lives of loved ones who, today, are often diagnosed when it’s simply too late for them to receive effective care. We are grateful that more than 300 organizations, representing every state in the U.S., join us in urging Congress to pass this legislation.”

National advocacy organizations who support the legislation include the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network, the National Minority Quality Forum, Cancer Support Community, the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the Community Oncology Alliance and the Oncology Nursing Society. A diverse array of additional medical, community and public health focused organizations across the country joins with the Prevent Cancer Foundation in applauding the introduction of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Screening Coverage Act of 2021 and calling for action on this issue. These organizations provide essential services to cancer patients, offer resources to families, and raise awareness of the need to improve prevention and care for a range of different cancers.

“We are grateful to Rep. Sewell and her colleagues who have come together on an issue that will impact so many Americans,” said Ramona Graffeo, Executive Director of the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation in Alabama. “Finding cancer early, before it has spread to other parts of the body, increases the likelihood treatment will be successful, lowers the cost of treatment and improves quality of life for patients and their caregivers. The reintroduction of this critical legislation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to alter the course of cancer care for seniors.”

Join the conversation at #EarlyDetection. Read the full letter and view the list of signers.

About the Prevent Cancer Foundation

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is celebrating 35 years as the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection.  Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated.

The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.

For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.”

New Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. Read the entire recommendation here.

Ask your doctor about getting screened today! It just might save your life.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

According to American Lung Association,

“Many people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Because there are very few nerve endings in the lungs, a tumor could grow without causing pain or discomfort. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time
  • Hoarseness
  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Coughing up blood

Some symptoms of lung cancer may not seem related to the lungs or breathing. These symptoms can still be a sign of lung cancer because lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its earlier stages. This means some symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Bone pain or fractures
  • Blood clots

Some people, unfortunately, go misdiagnosed for a long time because their symptoms are similar to other diagnoses such as pneumonia, allergies or a cold. If you feel that something is wrong, be persistent with your doctor. You know your body best and being persistent could save your life.”

American Cancer Society Facts & Figures 2018

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the
spread is not controlled, it can result in death. Although the reason why the disease develops remains unknown
for many cancers, particularly those that occur during childhood, there are many known cancer causes,
including lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use and excess body weight, and non-modifiable factors, such as
inherited genetic mutations, hormones, and immune conditions. These risk factors may act simultaneously or
in sequence to initiate and/or promote cancer growth.

 

Read the full report here

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