by Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor, Survivor, Advocate
Cancer Advocacy for Minorities and the Medically Under-Served
When Candace Henley was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 36, her journey to survival took her to brutal places. She fought crushing financial and psychological pressures to make it through, a story she shares openly. She faced bankruptcy, homelessness, and psychological collapse. “I made a promise to God,” she remembers, “that if I survived I would reach back and help others, and He would let me see my youngest (then only 4) reach the age of 18.” Her mission was to spare others the grueling hardships she endured. “I got my fight back,” she recounts, “and I was motivated by pure anger.”
by Dennis Maione, Cancer Survivor, Advocate
I am no stranger to cancer; in fact you might say I know him pretty well. As a carrier of one of the Lynch Syndrome mutations, I have had two encounters with him, one in 1992 and the other in 2007 (yup, 2017 marks 10 years since the last time I personally encountered cancer). And with every year that passes, I have a diminished desire to know him any better. Sure, when I was in the throes of diagnosis and treatment I wanted to know everything about cancer: why I encountered him, how we were going to get rid of him. And when we found out that my son has the same genetic mutation that I do, we wanted to know how to reduce his chances of having an encounter with cancer.
by Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor
Throughout the cancer world, there are many opportunities for the individual patient or caregiver to get involved in advocacy. But how does one find them? How does one get started? One of the functions of this blog is to inform patients about such opportunities to bring about system-wide improvement.
Fight CRC is an organization devoted to fighting colorectal cancer. Being a CRC survivor, I am passionate about prevention and early detection. I interviewed Emily Piekut, Advocacy Manager at Fight CRC, to learn about how that organization invites individuals to strive for change. Her answers reveal a thoughtful and committed organizational framework that makes those first steps towards advocacy both simple and powerful.
by Dr. Mark Lewis, CKN Social Media Editor
Every student of Ethics 101 wrestles with the trolley problem. In this moral exercise of the imagination, you are standing by train tracks watching a runaway trolley race towards 5 people who are going to be crushed unless you intercede. If you pull a lever, the trolley will divert onto a different track, where it is bound to kill one person. In this situation, is it better to be passive or active? Should you pull the lever or not?
by Dr. Robin McGee, Living with Cancer
Recently, I made it to five years post-surgery for stage IIIC colorectal cancer.
Technically, by NCI guidelines, I am not a five-year survivor until I reach the anniversary of the last day of my last treatment. For me, not until April.
Using scientific research as a springboard for discussion, CKN is distilling this research into practical narratives that will improve the quality of life for patients and offer deeper understanding and connection for physicians. Please join this Doctor-Patient conversation about Lynch Syndrome.
by Dr. Paul M. Johnson, Attending Colorectal Surgeon, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
Dr. Johnson is providing his personal commentary on Dennis Maione’s articles:
Lynch Syndrome, Part 1: Just the Facts
Lynch Syndrome, Part 2: I Have Lynch Syndrome