National Cancer Survivors Day

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Inspiration and Progress:
Our National Commitment to Defeat Cancer

by Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director of the National Cancer Institute

Every year, for the past two decades, the National Cancer Institute has had the honor of writing an article for Coping’s July/August issue. While searching for a fitting theme for this year’s contribution, I was struck by the challenge we sometimes face – both as individuals touched by cancer and as a nation – in articulating the inspiration needed to confront cancer.

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What to Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed
with an MPN

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a closely related group of progressive blood cancers in which the bone marrow typi­cally overproduces one of the mature blood elements. Other shared features include tendencies toward blood clot­ting or bleeding, organ enlargement, bone marrow scarring (fibrosis), and a possibility of transformation. Although MPNs can strike anyone at any age, most people are affected in the sixth decade of life or later.

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Breathing Easier When You Have Lung Cancer

Having the best quality of life possible – both during and after treatment – is a goal for most people living with lung cancer. An im­portant component of that is being able to breathe well.

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Infections Are Serious Threats for People with Cancer

by Linda Graviss, MT, CIC, and Roy Chemaly, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FACP

Did you know that your body’s number-one defense against infections is often compromised when you have cancer? Both chemo­therapy and radiation therapy can weaken your immune system, lessening its abil­ity to put up a good fight against the germs that cause infections. Moreover, surgery and other medical procedures break or damage the skin – your body’s primary infection defense – increasing your risk for developing infection.

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A Transformative Moment for Cancer Research

by Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director of the National Cancer Institute

Although he was writing specifically about financial advice, Franklin’s words could no doubt apply to decades of scientific investment that is opening up numerous, exciting opportunities for progress against cancer. From the rapid emergence of immune-based therapies to the continued advances in cancer genomics that are forever altering how we think about and approach preven­tion, diagnosis, and treatment – this is truly a transformative moment for cancer research.

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Treating Cancer in Older Adults

by Hyman B. Muss, MD

“I didn’t know older people got cancer.” I hear this frequently from newly diagnosed older adults, who are often surprised to find out that the risk of getting cancer rises dramatically with age. But the fact of the matter is that, thanks to improvements in healthcare, people are living longer, resulting in an increasingly larger population of older Americans and, subsequently, an ever-growing number of older adult cancer survivors.

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Fertility and Cancer

by Lisa Kolp, MD

When you hear the news that you have cancer, you may feel as if your life is spinning out of your con­trol. You wonder whether you will survive. And what about all the side effects of cancer treat­ment? Will you be able to manage them? Then your doctor drops another bomb, sending your sense of control hurtling even further from your reach: the treatments intended to save your life may leave you infertile.

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Put an End To Cancer Pain

by Julie Knight, PharmD, Charlene Whittlesey, PharmD, BCPS, and Sorin Buga, MD, FACP

Pain, as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain, is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue injury or de­scribed in terms of such damage.” In other words, pain is whatever you per­ceive it to be. We all feel pain differently; therefore, the pain experience is unique to each person.

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