Caring for Yourself and Caring for Others During a Disaster/Epidemic

Watch the presentation on Vimeo by Susan Hedlund, LCSW, OSW-c, FAOSW
Director – Patient and Family Services
Senior Scholar – Center for Ethics, OHSU

 Read the New USPSTF Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations here!

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 4th 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 April 12, 2021

American Lung Association – Lung Cancer Patient Virtual Meetup is scheduled for May 11, 2021; 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT. Click here to register.

ACR, others call on nation’s largest private insurers to update lung cancer screening policies
“The American College of Radiology and other healthcare advocates are urging the nation’s top five private insurers to update their lung cancer screening coverage policies as soon as possible, the ACR said Thursday.”

A New Option for Some People With Lung Cancer: How This Immunotherapy/Chemotherapy Combo Can Increase Treatment Success
“Adding immunotherapy to chemotherapy prior to surgery for non-small cell lung cancer could help patients live longer, according to the results of a trial released at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting Saturday.”

Placing the patient at the center of lung cancer care
“Nearly seven years ago, McLeod Health made the decision to establish a screening program to detect lung cancer earlier and save lives through the use of low-dose lung CT scans.”

Nivolumab/Chemotherapy Improves PCR as Neoadjuvant Treatment of Resectable NSCLC
“Neoadjuvant nivolumab (Opdivo) added to chemotherapy lead to an improvement in pathological complete responses (pCR), compared with chemotherapy alone, as treatment of patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to data from the phase 3 CheckMate-816 trial presented at week 1 of the virtual AACR Annual Meeting 2021.”

GUEST ESSAY: Lung cancer screening can save lives
“In March, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued new lung cancer screening guidelines that double the number of individuals eligible for annual screening.”

MNT investigates: What is the role of genetic testing in lung cancer?
“Genetic testing plays an integral part in diagnosing and treating lung cancer.”

Researchers discover two new ways to treat small cell lung tumors
“Using samples of small cell lung tumors, a research team led by biologist Dr Silvia von Karstedt has discovered two new ways to induce tumor cell death. One of two subsets of tumor cells can be targeted by activating ferroptosis: iron-dependent cell death caused by oxidative stress.”

Clinton Township resident advocates for lung cancer funding, research
“CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Terita McKenzie said her mother deserved a fighting chance. Now, she’s giving her one.”

My Choices© Update
Week Ending April 12, 2021

The Role of Nutrition in Health
“It is currently estimated that about half of all American adults have one or more preventable and diet-related chronic diseases, the most common of which include cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. As the rate of these chronic diseases, which are often due to poor nutritional intake and physical inactivity, continues to climb, it is imperative that the role of nutrition in all aspects of health is fully understood.”

How Practicing Yoga Can Help Relieve Your Arthritis Pain Naturally
“Some who suffer from arthritis pain might assume that all types of exercise are off-limits, but yoga can help you feel better physically and mentally. Certified yoga therapist Steffany Moonaz, Ph.D., a professor and director of research at Maryland University of Integrative Health and the founder and director of Yoga for Arthritis, explains why it works.”

Cocoa may protect males’ hearts from the effects of mental stress
“Stressful events — such as sitting an exam, giving a presentation, or attending a job interview — temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure and dilate arteries. This is a normal part of the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, but the lining of blood vessels, known as the endothelium, can take up to 90 minutes to recover after this kind of stress.”

Crystals for Sleep: Catch More ZZZ’s with These Healing Stones
“The remedies for restless sleep are countless, like counting sheep, avoiding screens before bed, or practicing relaxation exercises. Another option that some people swear by is the use of crystals.”

How Acupuncture Helps Knee Pain
“Acupuncture involves inserting very thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. This traditional Chinese medicine practice originated thousands of years ago and is based on the premise that inserting these needles into points on the body restores the flow of qi—the body’s energy—to promote healing, reduce pain, and encourage relaxation.”

How and why does diet influence immune function?
“We may take it for granted that our diet can influence the way our immune systems work. But how and why does what we eat impact the immune response? In this Honest Nutrition feature, we investigate.”

This Is How You Should Eat to Minimize Your Environmental Impact
“As easy as it is to base your health status off of your eating habits or your workout routine, these factors represent only a sliver of your overall wellbeing. Financial security, employment, interpersonal relationships, and education can all influence your state of health too, and as the globe gradually warms, it’s becoming clear that the environment can do the same.”

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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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