by Dr. Anne Katz PhD, RN, FAAN
For many of us, each new year brings with it our hopes and dreams for a better world. Working with cancer survivors, many of us wish for more effective treatments, less suffering, and ultimately that the need for our work will cease to exist. That is unlikely to happen in any of our lifetimes, if ever, and certainly not in 2017. Perhaps our dreams and hopes should focus on what each and every one of us can do to spread the word about what everyone can do to prevent cancer.
by Clarissa Schilstra, CKN Editor
As World Cancer Day 2017 approaches, I am grateful to be able to continue to call myself a survivor. So much progress has been made that makes it possible for me to be the healthy, happy young adult I am now. However, World Cancer Day also reminds me how uneven that progress has been. Scientific breakthroughs have led to better and better cancer treatments that gave back life to childhood, teenage, and young adult cancer survivors, like myself. Yet, that progress is hampered by the fact that every child, teenager and young adult successfully brought through treatment must also successfully transition back to normal life after treatment ends. I feel fortunate to have been provided many different forms of support from many different sources that have helped me with my own transitions, but none of that support was standard care. I personally know so many other survivors who are my age but struggling to build a life for themselves due to challenges they face related to the impact of their treatment. The transition back to normal life, no matter the age group, can be incredibly difficult without proper support and guidance.
by Trisha Paul, CKN Advisory Board Member
I could never have anticipated how much the field of oncology would excite me. As a teenager, I chose to volunteer with pediatric oncology patients on a whim. I found myself fascinated, and deeply humbled by the psycho-social challenges that these young patients and their families face. I found my way to medicine, and I wondered whether the medical field of oncology would be similarly intriguing to me.
Cancer Is Not Just Rogue Cells – And Not Just Inside the Patient
by Steve Pake, Cancer Survivor
As I approach six years of cancer survivorship, never has it been more clear to me that cancer is not just a disease of our physical bodies, but a disease of our minds and souls as well. Thus, the argument that many make, is that cancer is not just a matter of eradicating the rogue cells from one’s body, but of curing the entire patient. To rid a patient of the physical disease, but to ignore the residual emotional and spiritual disease, does not a cure make.
by AnneMarie Ciccarella, Cancer Survivor, Advocate
We are in this together. I imagine that cancer has touched every one of our lives in one way or another. Whether personally or through a family member or friend, the tentacles of the many diseases collectively called cancer, lurk right around the corner and they also circumvent the globe.
We live in an era of information overload. Scientists are unlocking the mysteries of so many things that are happening in our bodies. Research is advancing our understanding of cancer in ways that are extraordinary. Partnerships among patients, clinicians and researchers can provide us with a far more complete picture than what each group can see when only sharing amongst themselves.
by Monisha Sudarshan, MD, CKN Resident Section Editor
February 4th is World Cancer Day – in recognition of an estimated yearly toll of 7.6 million pre-mature deaths worldwide caused by cancer. A Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) initiative, this day aims to involve the general population in cancer care, promote public awareness, to engage experts in the field and recognize cancer as a global health priority. For 2013 the theme of focus “Cancer did you know?” is addressing and dispelling commonly held public myths. The four misconceptions as put forth by the UICC include: