Category Archives: mission

Mission Monday: Saving Lives with Research

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. We’re the only cancer organization offering services and support for every aspect of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Each Monday in October we will highlight ways that we are living the mission and how people who support Making Strides and the American Cancer Society are impacting both their local community and communities around the world – including the virtual world – and helping to lead the fight against breast cancer.

One of the biggest ways we fight back and save lives is by finding the causes of breast cancer and ways to cure it.

As of March 2019, $64.3 million dollars (US) has been invested in breast cancer research. And as of March 2019, 160 research grants related to breast cancer have been funded. *Note: As of August 1, 2019 there are a total of 162 breast cancer grants in effect and $67 million dollars has been allocated to funding breast cancer research.

Science takes time, but as we learn from what we know from the past – that knowledge paves the path for breakthroughs ahead.

Take, for example, one of the most important discoveries in advancing the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Identifying the BRCA1 gene in 1990 paved the way for understanding the link between mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More than three decades later, we’re building on that science to uncover how mutations in these genes impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.

BRCA1 gene Timeline:

  • 1950-19910: ongoing research established there were genetic links between breast and ovarian cancers.
  • 1990: Researcher Mary-Claire King, PhD, discovered the first specific gene that if mutated could increase the risk of breast cancer. She named the gene BRCA1.
  • 1991: Scientist Patrice Watson, PhD, and colleagues found that the BRCA1 gene was also linked to ovarian cancer. *
  • 1994: Researchers discovered that the BRCA1 genetic mutation was strongly linked to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.
  • 1994: Scientists discovered a second gene linked to breast cancer – BRCA2.
  • 1996: Moving BRCA-1 Forward – Mary-Claire King, PhD (above); Elaine Ostrander, PhD; and colleagues did the research needed to be able to study BRCA1 in animals. This work paved the way for future clinical trials in humans.*
  • 1998: Oncologist and researcher Bernard Fisher, MD, and colleagues found that the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen decreased the incidence of breast cancer by nearly 50% in women who were at increased risk due to carrying a BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation. *
  • 2004: Scientist Susan Neuhausen, PhD, demonstrated that prophylactic bilateral mastectomy substantially reduced the incidence of breast cancer among women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene. *
  • 2009: Oncologists Roger A. Greenberg, MD, PhD, and Susan Domchek, MD, found a way to determine (in mice) whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations will cause cancer.
  • Future: The American Cancer Society continues to fund ongoing research into breast cancer risk. This is a major focus for our epidemiology team; they are studying the effect of exercise, weight, and diet on breast cancer risk. We are also funding researchers who are working on understanding the underlying biological mechanisms that cause breast cancer to develop and to spread. And we remain committed to improving treatment and funding research into how mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.

*Denotes research funded by the American Cancer Society.

Learn more about the innovative approach to research by the American Cancer Society by visiting here.

Learn more about current breast cancer research grantees by visiting here.

 

 

Raise Awareness!

October is fast approaching and our time to shine the spotlight on breast cancer. All are welcome to use these poster to decorate your venues and raise awareness.

To grab your set of textures (these and several more), stop by the Event room at the Strides building on the American Cancer Society campus and look for the giver on the back wall of the room.

P.S. For those looking for Making Strides fundraising tools, updated tools will be released soon – watch for notices!

 

Navigating Through the Wilderness – Coping During the Holidays

As the holiday season gets into full swing we need to remember that cancer patients/ survivors and cancer caregivers need extra patience and care during this time of year.

If you are a current cancer patient or are a cancer survivor, having cancer any day of the year is never easy, but everything seems to get magnified during the holidays. If you need some tips on how to help you through the next few weeks, please visit http://bit.ly/2OWv8Od

For our caregivers the holidays also present their own set of joys and challenges. Caregivers get little time off and with the hustle & bustle of the holidays even the little things in life get stressful. If you are currently caregiving for someone this holiday season and need some tips to make things a bit easier, read this: http://bit.ly/2OZe2Q9

And then for all of us, but especially our caregivers who have given so much of themselves caring for their loved ones there is coping with the grief of lost loved ones during the holidays as we remember those we have lost. For some help coping with grief during the holidays, here are some references: http://bit.ly/2AbKnOa and http://bit.ly/2PK2xkD

For both cancer patients/ survivors and cancer caregivers, the American Cancer Society offers support in Second Life as well as in our first lives.

Inworld we have the ACS Cancer Survivors Network group for all cancer patients and survivors. And we have the ACS Cancer Caregivers Network group for all current and former caregivers. If you would like more information about either group or to join, please contact:
Sandie Slate (Sandie Loxingly)
secondlife:///app/agent/98932850-957c-49de-af85-fd19738ced21/about

There is also 24/7 support available from the American Cancer Society via phone at 1-800-227-2345 or by visiting cancer.org and clicking “live chat”. **

The most important thing to remember every day – and especially during the holidays – that none of us living with cancer in our daily lives is alone.

**For non- US patients/ survivors and caregivers, you are welcome to contact the American Cancer Society via web chat at cancer.org and they will be happy to try to direct you to resources available for you in your home country.

Mission Monday: Emotions & Breast Cancer

As you go through cancer treatments, many find themselves dealing with additional emotional issues aside from the physical side effects of treatment. These emotional issues can also arise after treatments are finished.

For women dealing with breast cancer, these issues are sometimes amplified even more from the changes to their bodies as a result of treatments.

Finding a good support system to help you through this period on your journey is key to helping navigate these times.

For those breast cancer patients and survivors in Second Life, there is the ACS Cancer Survivors Network inworld. This is a peer to peer support group, connecting people who have fought cancer who will provide support, advice, and encouragement to cancer patients in Second Life who are undergoing treatment and other survivors.

For all breast cancer patients and survivors there is also the Reach To Recovery program available through the American Cancer Society.

The most important thing to keep in mind is you are never alone.

To learn more about Emotions & Breast Cancer visit cancer.org.

 

Fact Friday: Supporting Cancer Patients, Survivors & Caregivers

The mission of the American Cancer Society is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Thanks to all of those who give, the American Cancer Society is able to help so many in their daily battles against cancer, whether they are cancer patients, survivors or caregivers.

A few of the statistics* from how your donations helped cancer patients and survivors in 2017:

  • Helped more than 33,000 women manage appearance-related side effects of treatment
  • Provided more than 9,000 peer support services to breast cancer patients
  • Provided more than 112,000 special kits of tailored information and resources for newly diagnosed patients
  • Thousands of patients, survivors, and caregivers use our online Cancer Survivors Network

*statistics can be found at cancer.org

Not only do patients, survivors and caregivers have access to the Cancer Survivors Network in their first lives, they also have access to support groups provided by the American Cancer Society within Second Life.

The American Cancer Society offers cancer survivors and caregivers the opportunity to receive and give support through our Hope Haven program.

Hope Haven is one of the best examples of the impact of our fundraising dollars making a real difference in our virtual world. The program exists to offer emotional support to people going through their own personal cancer journey.

The two primary functions of Hope Haven is the cancer survivor support group and the caregiver support group.

Each support group is led by a volunteer who works closely with American Cancer Society staff to:

  • Deliver the type of support that Second Life residents need
  • Reach out across the grid to let Second Life residents know about Hope Haven and offer support to cancer survivors and caregivers, everywhere
  • Work together with RFL & MSABC volunteers so that event opportunities are made available to members of Hope Haven
  • Offer event participants the opportunity to join Hope Haven support groups

For more information about the American Cancer Society and the inworld support groups for cancer patients, survivors and caregiver, please contact, Sandie Slate (Sandie Loxingly), Hope Haven Services Lead.

Visit Hope Haven on the American Cancer Society region here.

 

Springboard Beyond Cancer

Springboard Beyond Cancer is a joint venture between the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society to help you Manage Cancer- Your Way.

Take control of your health and manage the challenges of cancer through self-management. Self-management is all of the actions you take to deal with problems and prevent new ones.

  • Learn to advocate for yourself and navigate cancer’s challenges with self-management.
  • Explore the Symptoms section for information on fatigue, nausea, and more physical side-effects of cancer.
  • Understand your rights in the workplace.
  • Understand the importance of taking care of yourself while being there for your loved one.

Create an action deck to collect information related to a cancer topic or treatment.

To learn more, visit Springboard Beyond Cancer today.

Ways To Help Wednesday: The ACS CHANGE Program

The NFL, its clubs, players and the NFL Players Association are proud to support the fight against breast cancer. Our campaign, “A Crucial Catch”, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins – all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. All apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program.

The American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) Grant Program builds community and system capacity to promote health equity, access and navigation to screening resources within underserved communities.

CHANGE grants serve as a catalyst for partners to implement and sustain interventions to effectively engage and mobilize patients; and implement systems and policies that are essential to increasing access to timely cancer screenings.

The Society has awarded nearly 350 grants since 2011 and grant recipients are making amazing impact! Our grant recipients represent community health centers, community-based organizations, academic medical centers, breast and cervical cancer early detection programs, Indian Health Service health centers and faith-based organizations. Learn more about how these CHANGE grants are impacting communities here.

New in 2017 the NFL and the American Cancer Society have expanded the Crucial Catch program to include early detection and risk reduction efforts for other cancers to increase the impact of the campaign. Read the full press release here.

As part of the campaign, the NFL and ACS launched a new, digital tool, The Defender, which provides the public with free personalized tips to reduce their cancer risk. In the spirit of ‘The Best Defense is a Good Offense,’ people can enter information about their height, weight, exercise regimen and more. The tool will analyze and provides personalized recommendations on what they can do to reduce their risk of getting cancer. The Defender was funded by the NFL and developed by ACS and can be found at TheDefender.cancer.org.

You can take part in the Crucial Catch initiative by bidding on authentic game-worn NFL Crucial Catch products, to learn more or place your bid visit the NFL Crucial Catch page here.

Schools and leagues are also invited to join the fight as part of the Crucial Catch with the Coaches vs. Cancer program. To sign up or learn more, visit here.