Category Archives: mission

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.

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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.

 

Mission Monday: Mammograms- Before, During and After Screening

The biggest key to fighting breast cancer is early diagnosis. Along with your monthly self-exam, most women should schedule an annual mammogram.

Breast cancers found during screening exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the prognosis of a woman with this disease.

For women with an average risk of breast cancer the American Cancer Society recommends this screening schedule:

Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.

Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening – what the test can and cannot do.

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get an MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. This includes women who:

  • Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history (see below)
  • Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation (based on having had genetic testing)
  • Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves
  • Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
  • Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes

Once you have had your mammogram, what happens next?

Usually following a mammogram you will get a letter with your results within 30 days that everything was normal.

But if doctors find something suspicious, they’ll call you back – usually within just 5 days – to take new pictures or get other tests.

Getting that call can be scary, but a suspicious finding does not mean you have cancer.

A suspicious finding may be just dense breast tissue, a cyst, or even a tumor that isn’t cancer. Other times, the image just isn’t clear and needs to be retaken. Or, if this is your first mammogram, your doctor may want to look at an area more closely simply because there is no previous mammogram to compare it with.

You will likely have another follow-up mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram. You may also have an ultrasound of your breast or possibly an MRI.

Following one of these tests you are likely to be told 1 of the following:

* The suspicious area turned out to be nothing to worry about and you can return to your regular mammogram schedule.

* The area is probably nothing to worry about, but you should have your next mammogram sooner than normal – usually in 4 to 6 months – to make sure it doesn’t change over time.

* Cancer was not ruled out and a biopsy is needed to tell for sure.
– Even if you need a breast biopsy, it still doesn’t mean you have cancer. Most biopsy results are not cancer, but a biopsy is the only way to find out. During the procedure, a small amount of tissue is removed and looked at under a microscope.

If you do have cancer and you are referred to a breast specialist, use these tips to make your appointment as useful as possible:

* Make a list of questions to ask at the appointment. Download a list from the American Cancer Society or call us at 1-800-227-2345.

* Bring a family member or friend with you. They can serve as an extra pair of ears, help you remember things later, and give you support.

* Ask if you can record important conversations.

* Take notes. If someone uses a word you don’t know, ask them to spell it and explain it.

* Ask the doctors or nurses to explain anything you don’t understand.

How can I stay calm while waiting?

Waiting for appointments and the results of tests can be frightening. Many women experience strong emotions including disbelief, anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness during this time. Some things to remember:

* It’s normal to have these feelings.

* Most breast changes are not cancer and are not life-threatening.

* Talking with a loved one or a counselor about your feelings may help.

* Talking with other women who have been through a breast biopsy may help.

* The American Cancer Society is available at 1-800-227-2345 around the clock to answer your questions and provide support.

For more on mammograms and the importance of early detection, visit Cancer.org here.

Learn more about non-cancerous breast conditions here.

Guidelines for what to do if you are called back after a mammogram, visit here.

Fact Friday: FDA Approves Verzenio (Abemaciclib) for Certain Advanced Breast Cancers

As we near the end of this year’s MSABC campaign, We are pleased to inform you that another step has been made toward our end goal!

On September 17, 2017 it was released that the FDA had approved Verzenio (Abemaciclib) for the treatment of certain advanced breast cancers.

To learn more about Verzenio (Abemaciclib) and what types of advanced cancers it can be used for, please see the official release here.

This is why we continue to Make Strides with your support!

Ways to Help Wednesday: Reach To Recovery

For more than 45 years, the American Cancer Society Reach To Recovery program has been helping people cope with their breast cancer experience – as early as the first possibility of a diagnosis and continuing for as long as breast cancer remains a personal concern to them.

The Reach To Recovery volunteers are specially trained to help people through their experience by offering a measure of comfort and an opportunity for emotional grounding and informed decision making. As breast cancer survivors, our volunteers give patients and family members an opportunity to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns, and ask questions of someone who has been there. Most importantly, Reach To Recovery volunteers offer understanding, support, and hope because they themselves have survived breast cancer and gone on to live productive lives. Program volunteers do not provide medical advice.

To learn more about the how the program works, please visit the Reach To Recovery page here from Cancer.org

If you are a breast cancer survivor and are interested in becoming a Reach To Recovery volunteer, please visit this page.

Mission Monday: Look Good Feel Better

Look Good Feel Better is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. The program includes lessons on the skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling, helping people with cancer to find some normalcy in life that is by no means normal.

Thousands of volunteer beauty professionals support Look Good Feel Better. All are trained and certified by the Look Good Feel Better Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Professional Beauty Association at local, statewide, and national workshops. Other volunteer health care professionals and individuals also give their time to the program.

The program is open to all women with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or other forms of treatment.

There is also Look Good Feel Better for Men is a practical guide for helping men with some of the side effects of cancer treatment, including skin changes, hair loss, and more. As well as the Look Good Feel Better for Teens program which is a hospital-based public service program created by the Look Good Feel Better Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Professional Beauty Association to help girls and guys between the ages of 13 and 17 deal with the appearance, health, and social side effects of cancer treatment.

In addition to the U.S. program, the Look Good Feel Better Foundation oversees a global network of 25 licensed affiliates that deliver Look Good Feel Better support programs in countries across the globe.  Collectively, the 26-country network has served more than 1.8 million people living with cancer on six continents since the program began in 1989.

There are so many ways to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better and make an impact. More than ever, your dedicated support helps give hope to those most affected by cancer.

  • Experienced beauty professionals such as hairstylists, estheticians, makeup artists, and nail technicians are always needed to help conduct group programs and/or one-on-one salon consultations.
  • Volunteer coordinators are also needed to help schedule, plan and promote the workshops. This role is great for anyone who likes planning, organizing, and working with other volunteers.

For more information on the Look Good Feel Better program, please visit the official website here.

For information on becoming a Look Good Feel Better volunteer, please visit the Volunteer page here.

Fact Friday: Breast Cancer Rates Decline, But Still 2nd Leading Cause of Death

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women affecting 1 in every 8 women. Breast cancer deaths for women are only second to lung cancer, with 1 in 37 deaths attributed to breast cancer.

The good news is that breast cancer death rates have declined between 1989 and 2015 by approximately 36%. The peak rate came in 1989. Most of this is attributed to earlier detection and raised awareness, along with better treatments.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. However, in 21 states it is the number one cause of death. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women aged 20 to 59 years.

For more information about how common breast cancer, get the facts here from Cancer.org.

To learn more about the declining rates of cancer, please visit this page.