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 October 18, 2021

Novel Drug Sparks Hope for Targeting HER3 in NSCLC and Beyond
“Although oncogenic activation of the HER3 receptor has been identified as a significant source of drug resistance and treatment failure, efforts to develop therapies targeting this mechanism have so far fallen short.1 Now, patritumab deruxtecan, a novel antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), is emerging as a promising HER3-directed therapy in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and perhaps other solid malignancies.”

Veracyte kicks off limited release of its nasal swab lung cancer test as it gears up for full commercial launch
“Veracyte announced it has begun rolling out its long-awaited nasal swab test for lung cancer to a limited number of clinical sites, as it continues to build up data to back its full future commercial launch.”

‘This Is Us’ Actor Gerald McRaney’s Lung Cancer Diagnosis Happened By Chance. Here’s The Story Of How It Saved His Life
“In an interview with SurvivorNet, McRaney, who joins ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ this season, recalls his shocking diagnosis, found as he was preparing for knee surgery.”

Anlotinib Plus Irinotecan or Docetaxel Shows Promising Efficacy in SCLC
“Patients with small cell lung cancer who failed first-line treatment within 6 months were examined for efficacy of anlotinib plus chemotherapy in a phase 2 trial whose results were presented at the 2021 ESMO Congress.”

Chow Reviews Efficacy of Therapies for NSCLC Depending on PD-L1 Status
“During a Targeted Oncology Case-Based Roundtable event, Laura Q. M. Chow, MD, associate director, Clinical Research, director, Lung, Head, Neck & Clinical Immunotherapy Programs Livestrong Cancer Institutes, Professor, Department of Oncology, and associate chair of Education, Department of Oncology at Dell Medical School at the The University of Texas at Austin, discussed a 59-year-old patient with non–small cell lung cancer.”

Race Does Not Correlate With High Renal Toxicity With Pemetrexed/Pembrolizumab in NS-NSCLC
“Treatment with platinum-based pemetrexed combined with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) resulted in acute kidney injury (AKI) and death in more Black American patients compared with White American patients, according to a retrospective analysis from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-189 clinical trial (NCT02578680).”

My Choices© Update
Week Ending October 18, 2021

Feeling blue? Color your world to boost your mood
“Sometimes we express emotions with color, as in “green with envy” or “feeling blue.” I know that bright and sunny days make me feel better, and cloudy/overcast days dampen my mood.”

Decolonizing Alternative Medicine: Taking Pride in the Ayurvedic Tradition
“Aruna Bhargava first learned of the Ayurvedic tradition of her ancestors from her grandmother. Like many Indian elders, Bhargava’s grandmother kept the tradition alive by sharing its many practical day-to-day uses with her grandchildren.”

Bibliometric Analysis of Research Trends on Acupuncture for Neck Pain Treatment Over the Past 20 Years
“A bibliometric approach using network analytical methods was applied to explore the research trends on acupuncture for neck pain treatment. Publications related to acupuncture for neck pain treatment from 2000 to 2020 were retrieved from the Web of Science database.”

Integrative Approaches to Osteoarthritis
“The CDC estimates 63 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis as of 2020, with that number ramping up to 75 million by 2035.1 In a national health survey sponsored by the CDC, 27.7 percent of adults who have arthritis are also obese, 33.7 percent also have diabetes, and 36.4 percent also have heart disease. This picture looks all too familiar in our clinics across the country.”

What Is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
“Everyone is a big bundle of nerves. No, that’s not a description of the current pervasive sense of anxiety many people in America feel these days; rather, it’s an anatomical description of how the human body is home to billions of nerve cells and structures that thread all throughout the body, carrying electrical impulses that regulate everything from breathing and body temperature to hunger and sleep.”

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Work for Weight Loss, Blood Pressure, and More?
“Home cooks and health nuts have pinned their hopes on many miracle foods through the years: kale, spirulina, bonemeal. One of these, apple cider vinegar (or fermented apple juice), has had remarkable staying power, with purported benefits both big and small.”

9 Tips for Healthy Lungs
“We don’t often consider the role our lungs play in keeping us strong and well. It’s only when we experience breathing problems that we begin to appreciate how hard our lungs work for us. The truth is that, like the rest of our body, our lungs require daily care and attention to function at their best.”

Common Types of Alternative Medicine
“If you have been considering using alternative medical treatments, then you have likely come across what’s known as alternative medicine. In other cases, you may have heard others refer to it as complementary or integrative medicine. You’d be surprised to find that nearly half of the American population has tried to use at least one form of alternative medicine.”

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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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