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Tag Archives: Cancer

Sorry, I’m out of Service

RonnyAllanLargeby Ronny Allan, Living with Cancer

It’s good to be busy, it can take your mind off stuff you don’t really want to think about. That was my tactic after being diagnosed with incurable Neuroendocrine Cancer.  I just kept working and working and was still sending work emails and making telephone calls on the day I was being admitted to hospital for major surgery. After all, how could they possibly function without me? Although I was banned from work after the surgery, I still dropped an email to let them know I was doing cartwheels down the hospital corridor. They expected nothing less.


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Building a Pediatric/AYA Multidisciplinary Oncofertility Program

ParentsTalkingtoKidsby Drs. Karen Burns and Holly Hoefgen


The survival rate for pediatric cancer is now over 83% due to tremendous medical advances.  There are currently estimated to be over 420,000 pediatric cancer survivors living in the United States.  (Robison, 2014).  Survivors are living well into adulthood and maintaining productive and fulfilling lives.  Pediatric cancer therapy has evolved over time to include not only a curative approach, but one that allows the survivor to live a healthy lifestyle with as few therapy-related side effects as possible.


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Why Advocate?

RobinMcGeeby Dr. Robin McGee, Patient Advocacy Section Editor


When our involvement with the cancer system ends, many of us wonder how to give back.  Some of us have had excellent experiences, and we want to ensure others do too.  Some of us have had horrific experiences, and we want to prevent such harms from happening to others.  Some of us have lost loved ones, and want to honour their lives by striving to bring about better and more responsive care.  Some have a hunger for social justice, and want patients to be treated with fairness.   Some of us are healthcare providers, and are frustrated by obtuse policies which compromise best care practices.   We come together with many motives to improve the system.


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#YARally with Stephanie Madsen


Cancer Knowledge Network and Stephanie Madsen team up for Young Adult cancer patients and their cancer teams.


“It is my goal that by partnering with CKN, our voices will be heard where often they are overlooked. I invite you to join me in the movement to shine the spotlight on our generation as we face challenges many simply do not face. Cancer doesn’t define your life, and I hope to rally beside the men and women of my generation to help pave the way for improved care and heightened awareness.” – Stephanie Madsen



Cancer Knowledge Network (CKN) is launching a social media campaign to come alongside the YA generation to help alleviate the fear and stress that many experience. CKN believes in standing beside those who have received a cancer diagnosis by offering readers a tangible and practical way of living with cancer. Whether viewers are newly diagnosed, long term survivors, caregivers, or oncology professionals, CKN provides the navigation system through which they can find their way. By providing abundant resources that address all aspects of cancer, it is our goal to empower those facing this diagnosis with the knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration to fight.


Through this campaign, CKN has partnered with a recognized voice in the young adult cancer community. Stephanie Madsen is a writer and motivational speaker. Diagnosed with a rare cancer as a newlywed in her mid-twenties, Stephanie is a four-time survivor. Having undergone 55 chemotherapy treatments, 30 radiation therapy treatments, and four major surgeries, her experiences have allowed her to provide a unique and relatable perspective to those facing similar life challenges. Given a less than 20% chance of surviving one year from diagnosis, she is now celebrating being cancer-free.


Stephanie’s blog,, has emerged as a beacon of hope in the worldwide cancer survivorship community. Stephanie candidly shares the highs and lows of her journey with hundreds of thousands of visitors, all the while maintaining the survivor spirit and unshakeable faith needed to thrive in an otherwise hopeless situation. Her written work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Everyday Health, Coping With Cancer, and Livestrong, and she has appeared on numerous local television and radio broadcasts as well as the Ellen DeGeneres Show. She shares her experiences with others and speaks hope at survivorship events across the world. Stephanie lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two dogs.


Together, it is CKN and Stephanie’s goal to bridge the gap between young adult cancer patients and oncology physicians. Our mission is to make the voices of young adults with cancer heard so that improvements can be made and standardized within the greater healthcare community. In this social media campaign, Stephanie will be sharing personal accounts of her journey fighting this disease and the experiences she faces as a young adult living with cancer. She is passionate about inspiring others to live life intentionally, to be proactive about their healthcare, and to speak to physicians about what it’s like having cancer as a young adult.
Each month, Stephanie will write an article pertaining to a specific topic. These topics may include but are not limited to fertility, dating and relationships, body image, and finances. In addition, several Twitter chats will be held in order to establish ongoing conversation within the cancer community. Through this campaign, Stephanie and CKN hope to unite young adults affected by this disease.  Our aim is to establish a consistent relationship between patient and physician, so that treatment options can be approached with a team effort.



Please join us as we seek to provide YAs with the knowledge they need to regain control of their lives through heightened awareness about issues such as finances, fertility, body image, dating and relationships, and more. Follow us on twitter using the hashtag #YARally.

We need your help to spread the word about #YARally to your communities. Your feedback will be presented to major oncology groups who are studying YA issues. It is our hope that your comments will equip these researchers with better insight so they can improve best practices and standards of care for YA patients.




The Need for Lung Cancer Literacy

AnneMarieCeratoby Anne  Marie Cerato, Living with Cancer, CKN Young Adult Section Editor


November 1st marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month in Canada and the US. It received little fan-fare and still largely goes unnoticed. After all we don’t have cute logos, fancy ribbons, big marketing campaigns, and many media outlets just don’t pick up the lung cancer story. So what do we have? We have numbers, we have stigma, and we have hope.

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Hot Flash Management: Counseling Women with Cancer

HotFlashby Margaret Forbes RN (EC), MN, BScN, CON(C)
Nurse Practitioner – Adult, Survivorship
Assistant Clinical Professor McMaster School of Nursing.
Department of Oncology, Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, Ontario.


Hot flashes are the dreaded part of menopause. A little more than two thirds of women can expect to experience hot flashes, beginning in their fourth decade. Although initially unbearable, they usually improve and disappear within 2-5 years.[1] However, women who experience an abrupt onset of menopause secondary to cancer treatment may suffer more intensely. Reduced estrogen results in a rise in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and is associated with vasomotor instability and hot flashes. Treatments that interrupt ovarian function include chemotherapy and ovarian ablation (i.e. pelvic radiation, oophorectomy, LHRH analogues). Therapies that block estrogen include tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors. Cessation of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) induces menopausal symptoms including hot flashes.

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