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Did you miss the Life After Cancer Q&A?

If your answer is yes, you can watch the replay now available on Facebook.

Dr. Rich Wender, chief cancer control officer, answered questions during a live Facebook event at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, May 18. Desiree Berenguer Carton, our Society Talk host, moderated the 30-minute chat about wellness and life after cancer, co-hosted by Fox Chase Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society from the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Philadelphia – just across the road from Fox Chase.

Dr. Crystal Denlinger, director of the Survivorship Program at Fox Chase, as well as chief of gastrointestinal medical oncology, will join Dr. Wender for the discussion. Both will share their expertise on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle after a cancer experience: what to expect, how to continue to stay healthy, and precautions for family and caregivers.

Quick facts about Hope Lodge in Philadelphia:

  • In 2017, the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Philadelphia served 1,399 cancer patients and caregivers.
  • Guests came to Philadelphia from 30 states and two other countries.
  • The AstraZeneca Hope Lodge provided 19,627 free nights of lodging in 2017, saving families an estimated $2 million in hotel expenses.
  • Nurses from Fox Chase have developed a special relationship with this Hope Lodge, and come in as a group to cook dinner for the guests a few times each year. 

  • Volunteer-driven Dance Against Cancer in NYC raises $433,000

    On Monday evening, May 7, 770 guests attended the eighth annual Dance Against Cancer in New York City. The gala benefit brought together artists from leading dance companies from New York City and beyond for a night of performances and world premieres.

    For the very first time, Dance Against Cancer was held at the Alice Tully Hall at the iconic Lincoln Center. It was previously held at AXA Equitable Center, but moved to Lincoln Center to accommodate a larger audience. The event has raised more than $433,000 to date, bringing its grand total to more than $1.5 million.

    This year's lineup included performances by members of New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Dance Company, BalletX, Jacob Jonas Dance Company, Noche Flamenca, NYC's Broadway community, tapper Ayodele Casel, ballroom and more – with a special closing number performed by students from LaGuardia High School (the school made famous by the film "Fame"). The evening was emceed by Nev Schulman, host of MTV's "Catfish".

    Pre-event press included coverage on BroadwayWorld.comGlamSquad.com, and PointeMagazine.com.

    Dance Against Cancer was founded in 2010 by Erin Fogarty, director of programming at Manhattan Youth Ballet, and Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer at New York City Ballet. 

    You can learn more about Dance Against Cancer in this recent story on Society Source.

    PHOTO: Pictured in the smaller image, from left, Dan Ulbricht, Erin Fogarty, Kris Kim, regional executive vice president, Northeast Region; and Nev Schulman. 

  • Meet Pastor Dale Swan, a 2018 Lane Adams Quality of Life awardee

    The fight against cancer is a long and challenging journey, sometimes victorious, other times devastating. Pastor Dale Swan is there to help patients through it, patients like Frank, who had a lot to reconcile before his death from prostate cancer.

    Frank had a difficult childhood, growing up in foster care. He had a hard exterior, but he loved his family deeply, and never thought he deserved their love. Just nine months after is wife's death, Frank learned that his prostate cancer had spread, and that he had only a short time left to live. 

    “Frank was lost. He had a lot of emotional business to resolve to pass away peacefully, but he had no idea how to do this,” remembered Frank’s daughter-in-law.

    It is in these difficult times that Dale truly leaves a mark. He has been the chaplain at Fairview Home Care and Hospice in Minneapolis, MN, for more than two decades. He has touched countless patients and their families, providing direct care and support in the end stages of a cancer diagnosis. His folksy and relatable approach helps him connect with patients and their loved ones. “Dale has a nice blend of humor to serious conversations,” said Kris, the facility’s director of the hospice.

    The transition between active treatment and hospice care is not an easy one to make for patients and families. Dale realized staff and volunteers are often ill-equipped to provide support during this time, so he developed a program to teach end-of-life prayers and readings to anyone interested in learning. This has empowered staff and volunteers to provide emotional and spiritual support to those in need, if a chaplain is not available. Dale’s teaching has expanded to staff in other health care facilities, such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, as well.

    Furthermore, Dale is a strong advocate for patients beyond the hospice. He has been a champion of the Palliative Care Program, offering much needed comfort care for patients not emotionally ready for hospice. He has served as the keynote speaker at many bereavement events for staff and families, and he has spoken at churches, grief and loss groups, and clergy gatherings to educate people on hospice care, spirituality in illness, and to share techniques in how to deal with grief and loss.

    Dale helped Frank find the peace he had always searched for. “Our family will never be able to thank Pastor Dale for what he provided to Frank. He came into our home and accepted our beloved father as he was, and built a caring relationship void of judgement and rich in laughter. It takes a special person to do what he did,” said Frank’s daughter-in-law.

    Dale was honored at our 2018 Nationwide Volunteer and Staff Leadership Summit with the American Cancer Society's 2018 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award in February. You can learn more about Dale here, as well as listen to his acceptance speech.

    Do you know an exceptional volunteer that should be nominated for the 2019 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award?  This award seeks to recognize those individuals who go beyond the duties of their positions to make a difference in the daily struggles of cancer patients yet their contributions are seldom significantly acknowledged. Learn more hereThe nomination deadline has been extended to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, May 25!



  • Don't Fry Day resources now on cancer.org

    The Friday before Memorial Day is designated Don’t Fry Day – a day to raise awareness of sun safety and encourage everyone to take steps to protect their skin. This year, Don't Fry Day falls on May 25.

    Lots of resources can be found on the updated Don't Fry Day page on cancer.org. It has a handy short URL easy to share with family and friends: cancer.org/dontfryday.

    Did you know that you should use sunscreen every day of the year? 

    It's true, and especially important in the summer, when the days are longer, the sun is stronger, and it’s easier to spend more time outdoors. 

    When choosing sunscreen, be sure to read the label before you buy it. Food and Drug Administration regulations require the labels to follow certain guidelines. 

    Here are ACS tips for buying and using sunscreen: 

    • Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection. Sunscreens with this label protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancers. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Only products that pass a test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
    • Make sure your sunscreen has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
    • “Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.


  • ACS CAN reacts to FDA's new menu labeling rule

    As of May 7, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  started requiring restaurants with 20 or more outlets to post the calorie counts and other nutritional information on their menus. The rule applies to a broad range of eating establishments, including chain restaurants, supermarket cafes, convenience stores, superstores, and movie theaters.

    Nutrition labeling provisions were included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act and scheduled to take effect in 2017, but the ruling was delayed due to FDA negotiations with the food industry and various legislative efforts to limit consumers' access to nutrition information on menus. 

    The change will be most evident at mid-size and regional restaurants and grocery stores, since most of the country's largest chains began displaying calorie counts after Congress passed the menu-labeling law in 2010.

    A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

    "With one in five cancer cases being linked to obesity, physical inactivity, or poor nutrition, ACS CAN has supported national enactment of menu labeling requirements since its original inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. We are pleased that the finalized rule will take effect after years of extraordinary delay and efforts by some politicians and certain retail establishment interests to undermine the health benefits of menu labeling.

    "Arming consumers with more information about what they're ordering when eating away from home is a good thing. Final implementation of menu labeling requirements by the FDA will help ensure people know more about what they are about to eat and can empower them to make healthier dietary choices. Additionally, menu labeling requirements can encourage food retailers to offer and promote healthier meal options.

    "ACS CAN believes providing people with useful information will help them make healthy food and beverage choices when eating out that can ultimately reduce their cancer risk. This is a substantial step forward as we work to support policies that will promote public health and reduce suffering and death from cancer. We call on Commissioner Gottlieb and the FDA to implement and enforce this rule in the strongest way possible."

    In an interview with The Washington Post, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said "we know that information on menu labels actually inspires consumers to make smarter choices about overall consumption . . .  Studies show a reduction of anywhere from 30 to 50 calories a day, on average, for consumers who are eating out -- and consumers eat about one-third of their meals outside the home. So over the course of a year, that could translate into three to five less pounds gained, just from the reductions that you achieved through providing more information on menu labels." 

    He said he also believes that "menu labeling will inspire competition among restaurants to produce options that are more healthful." 

    Gottlieb said that for the first year, the FDA will work with restaurants that fail to comply. After that, penalties will be assessed.




  • Poll shows majority of voters want Congress to increase cancer research funding

    American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers were on Capitol Hill May 15 with more than 100 other cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, physicians, and researchers representing more than 50 cancer organizations to share poll results that show overwhelming public support for continued robust and sustained federal investment in cancer research, and urge lawmakers to make fighting cancer a top national priority. 

    These advocates united as part of the 19th annual One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) lobby day to ask their legislators to fund cancer research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as cancer prevention funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    A poll recently commissioned by OVAC, found that nearly 92 percent of voters say federal medical research funding, including for cancer, is "extremely" or "very" important. Seventy-three percent say they support Congress' decision to increase NIH funding by $3 billion in the FY 2018 omnibus bill, and nearly 70 percent say they favor continued significant budget increases for NIH. 

    Additionally, 68 percent of all voters—including 47 percent of Republican voters—oppose significant NIH budget cuts proposed by the president, and 60 percent of respondents say Congress should continue to increase investments in medical research even in light of increasing national debt.

    Additionally, 87 percent of voters say federal funding for state and local cancer prevention programs through the CDC is "extremely" or "very" important, and 60 percent think CDC funding should be increased.

    "Cancer doesn't care how old you are, where you live, or what political party you support," said Caroline Powers, ACS CAN federal relations director and OVAC chair. "ACS CAN volunteers are uniting with cancer advocates from across the country to urge lawmakers to put medical research ahead of politics and make cancer a national priority by guaranteeing strong and sustained funding that will spur discovery and eventually eliminate death and suffering from this disease."

    OVAC volunteers took part in scheduled meetings with members of Congress and their staff. Together, OVAC volunteers urged Congress to capitalize on the promise of recent NIH investments, including the 21st Century Cures Act, and support new research and maintain momentum in ongoing discoveries. Specifically, they asked Congress to:

    • Provide at least $39.3 billion for the NIH in FY 19, including funding provided from the 21st Century Cures Act
    • Support $6.375 billion for the NCI
    • Support $517 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer programs

    "For decades, research supported by the NIH and the NCI has played a key role in virtually every major cancer prevention, detection and treatment discovery," Caroline said. "While recent funding increases for the agencies has begun to reverse course after years of flat or reduced funding, funding is still far below where it should be when accounting for the increased cost of doing research. Congress should seize this important opportunity to fully get cancer progress back on track."

    More than 1.7 million people will be newly diagnosed with the cancer in America this year and cancer is expected to kill more than 600,000 people in this country –  1,650 today.  Annual cancer incidence rates are projected to increase by 31 percent over the next decade, growing to 2.1 million people diagnosed with cancer in 2025.

    Resources

  • Seeking volunteers for new roles within our Volunteer Engagement Team

    Our Volunteer Engagement Team has a new structure that, when in place, will have far more volunteers in positions than staff – an 8 to 1 ration to be exact.

    These volunteer teams will play a critical role in informing, developing, and implementing nationwide strategies for the recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and engagement of our volunteers. Some of these teams are already in place, and more opportunities will be added.

    We are recruiting members for the four teams listed below. If you know someone who is interested in serving on one of these new teams, please have them fill out this questionnaire

    • American Cancer Society Volunteer Product Council:  This group will help ensure that the volunteer staff partnership remains the heart of everything we do. "Our overarching priority is to maximize the volunteer staff partnership," said Diana Diaz, volunteer chair of the council. "The volunteer who might be interested in this team is one who has had an opportunity to work across program roles with ACS. We need volunteers who aren't afraid to identify where we fall short, and who are able to utilize data to develop strategies that will support volunteer engagement (recruitment, development, retention."
    • American Cancer Society Volunteer Performance and Evaluation Team:  This team is looking for volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise with our Volunteer Engagement products and services, and are knowledgeable about performance and evaluation. It will be responsible for providing insight into business data analysis and customer trends, prioritizing projects and identifying solutions in areas of data support on engagement surveys, evaluation, metric development and market trends, and monitoring quality assurance.
    • American Cancer Society Volunteer Technology Strategy and Implementation Team: This team is looking for volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise with our Volunteer Engagement products and services, and are comfortable with technology. This team will provide leadership in technology strategy; model and promote technology use to volunteers; advise the training and roll-out of new technologies to volunteers; advise design and customer support process; review content and feedback; and test systems, experience, and processes on programs such as Salesforce, Office 365, and the Volunteer Learning Center.
    • American Cancer Society Volunteer Recognition Workgroup: This group will be made up of volunteers who have an interest and/or expertise in recognition practices and standards. The team will strategize and implement recognition requirements and best practices for ACS; apply business metrics and evaluation data to improve recognition standards, specifically for National Volunteer Week; partner with Regions to provide strategic support of recognition requirements; develop partnerships with other organizations to enhance recognition standards; and ensure our products support our diversity and inclusion strategy.

    "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."  - Helen Keller

     "As our department went through an organizational design process, we were committed to identifying meaningful roles that volunteers could play, both in the overall strategy development and the daily execution of our work," said Eustacia Mahoney, vice president for Volunteer Engagement. 

    "Engaging volunteer leaders is a critical component to ACS remaining viable and relevant," said Tim Osterholm, volunteer co-chair of the Volunteer Engagement team's organizational design process. "There will be even more opportunities, as we continue to build our diversity and grow as an organization."  

    Working with volunteers is not new to members of the Volunteer Engagement team. There are several volunteer teams currently in place:

    • The nearly two-year-old National Volunteer Training Team (NVTT), which offers virtual trainings to fellow volunteers
    • Volunteer recognition teams that help develop and guide the process for prestigious ACS awards like the St. George Medal of Honor, Lane Adams, Volunteer Leadership, Trish Greene, and the newly established Volunteer Staff Partnership.  These teams are led by volunteers and guide the process for volunteer award nominations, including the review and selection of the nominees and determining the format for recognition.
    • The Gen2End Roundtable of volunteers and staff from all different areas of the organization who work with young professionals regularly. The Roundtable is led by young professional volunteer leaders who have significant ACS and ACS CAN experience among them. Their goal is to come up with ways to get more young professionals involved in all aspects of our mission.


  • Nomination deadline for Quality of Life awards has been extended!

    The deadline for nominating caregivers for our 2019 Lane Adams and Trish Greene Quality of Life awards has been pushed back to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, May 25.  Both of these awards will be presented at the Nationwide Volunteer and Staff Leadership Summit in February 2019.

    To submit a nomination, complete the Trish Greene Quality of Life nomination form and/or the Lane Adams Quality of Life nomination form. Please note the name, credentials, and title submitted with the nomination form will be used on all collateral materials including the certificate. 

    Please submit completed forms and appropriate supporting documents for each nominee via email to Caira Turner, senior volunteer recognition manager, at caira.turner@cancer.org.

    LANE ADAMS QUALITY OF LIFE AWARD

    The Lane Adams Quality of Life Award is reserved for those unique caregivers who lead in their areas of expertise and make a significant impact on patients, families, and communities. Nominees for the Lane Adams Quality of Life Award can include individuals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, chaplains, technologists, and volunteers who provide direct care, counsel, and/or service to cancer patients and their families. ACS volunteers are eligible for this award, but ACS involvement is not essential. Healthcare systems and family members caring for their loved ones with cancer are not eligible to receive the award. 

    Nomination Requirements

    A candidate must meet the following requirements to be nominated for the Lane Adams Quality of Life Award:

    • Provide direct care, counsel, and/or service to cancer patients and their families
    • Have a demonstrated record of outstanding performance that goes above and beyond the usual roles and responsibilities associated with his or her position
    • Serve as a role model to his or her colleagues by teaching/training/educating others either formally or informally
    • Demonstrate innovative and collaborative approaches to enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients and their families by using creative problem-solving skills to eliminate obstacles to care or improve care
    • Creates/develops services to fill unmet needs
    • Advocates for individual patients, groups or system changes to improve care
    • Promotes health care access outside their specific job/role

    TRISH GREENE QUALITY OF LIFE AWARD

    The Trish Greene Quality of Life Award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding investigator whose lifetime body of work shows significant contributions in quality of life research that benefits cancer patients and their families. Nominees for the Trish Greene Quality of Life Award can include individuals whose research may be from any discipline in the oncology field, and the research may address quality of life concerns at any stage in the cancer continuum, from diagnosis through survivorship or palliative care.

    Nomination Requirements

    A candidate must meet the following requirements to be nominated for the Trish Greene Quality of Life Award:

    • Have a history of funded research on quality of life issues that improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families. The investigator's body of work illustrates outstanding innovative contributions over the years, has had years of funding sources recognized nationally/internationally and a program of quality of life research built over his or her career.
    • Have demonstrated leadership and contributions to the science of cancer oncology quality of life research, including publications in peer-reviewed literature, citations in literature in own discipline, mentoring and teaching of students and professionals, national and international awards and speaking engagements, a history of advocating for QOL indicators in standards of care and innovative research, and building on own or other's research which contributes to best practices in cancer quality of life.
    • Not have previously been honored with this award. Recipients of the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor Award are not eligible.


  • 5 healthy habits may help you live more than 10 years longer

    New research published by the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that adults in the U.S. who follow five healthy lifestyle habits may live more than a decade longer compared with people who follow none of the habits. These five habits are:

    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Getting regular exercise
    • Not smoking
    • Staying at a healthy weight
    • Limiting alcohol

    The study authors point out that the U.S. ranks 31st in the world for life expectancy among those born in 2015, even though it’s one of the richest countries in the world, and spends more on health care per person as a percent of gross domestic product than any other country. 

    According to the authors, the U.S. healthcare system focuses mainly on drug discovery and disease management, even though a greater emphasis on prevention could go a long way toward controlling the most common and most expensive diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    The researchers looked at data of 123,219 people enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1980 to 2014 and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 2014. They used information on death rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to estimate the impact of the five healthy lifestyle habits on how long people lived. Among the findings:

    During a follow-up period of up to 34 years, 42,167 people in the study died. Of the reported deaths, 13,953 were due to cancer and 10,689 were due to cardiovascular disease.

    In men and women who reported following all five healthy lifestyle habits, life expectancy was found to be lengthened. At age 50 years, women who adopted none of the healthy lifestyle habits had an average remaining life expectancy of another 29 years compared with 43.1 years for women who adopted all five healthy lifestyle behaviors. Men aged 50 who adopted none of the healthy lifestyle habits had an average remaining life expectancy of another 25.5 years compared with 37.6 years for men who adopted all five healthy lifestyle habits.

    Those who followed all the habits were found to be 74% less likely to die during the follow-up period than those who followed none of the habits. They were 82% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65% less likely to die from cancer.

    Each individual healthy habit was directly linked to a reduced risk of premature death in this study, with the combination of all five habits showing the lowest risk.

    How healthy is ‘healthy?’

    To compare diets among the study participants, researchers created a scoring system that gave higher scores to people who reported eating more foods considered healthy and fewer foods considered unhealthy. Healthy foods included vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Unhealthy foods included red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium. The American Cancer Society recommends:

    • Eating at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day
    • Choosing whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals (such as barley and oats) instead of breads, cereals, and pasta made from refined grains, and brown rice instead of white rice.
    • Choosing fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and instead of processed meat (bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs).
    • Drinking more water and less of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks.
    • Limiting refined carbohydrate foods, including pastries, candy, sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals, and other high-sugar foods.
    • Avoiding calorie-dense foods such as French fries, potato and other chips, ice cream, doughnuts, and other sweets.

    Participants also received the highest health scores if they never smoked, if they got more than 30 minutes per day of moderate or vigorous activity (including brisk walking), if they kept their body weight within a body mass index (BMI) range of 18.5 – 24.9, and if they limited alcohol to less than 15 grams a day for women and less than 30 grams a day for men. That calculates to about one drink a day for women and two for men.

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