Get Help Managing Cancer-Related Pain

February 6, 2012

A new study found that many patients coping with cancer reported better managing their cancer-related pain after receiving emotional and/or practical support. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also found that education about pain management helped patients learn to better control their pain.

Read more about the study.

Pain is a symptom of cancer and its treatments that can—and should—be controlled. CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers work with people coping with cancer to develop strategies for managing cancer-related pain. It is important for patients to discuss any pain they are experiencing with their health care team, which can include doctors, nurses, social workers, or pain specialists.

CancerCare provides pain-management information in our free publications, Controlling Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know to Get Relief, and “Opening the Door to Effective Pain Management.” Leading medical experts also addressed pain-management techniques during CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshop, “Coping with Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know.”

Learn more about CancerCare’s free resources about pain management.

Most Promising Cancer Treatment Advances of 2011

December 29, 2011

New treatment therapies and promising results from a variety of clinical trials over this year are giving new hope to people affected by cancer. Showcased at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held this past June in Chicago, these advances and breakthroughs in cancer treatments were especially encouraging for people with melanoma, breast cancer, lung cancer and numerous other diagnoses which have been difficult to treat.

CancerCare has compiled these most promising findings in its new booklet, Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments: Highlights from ASCO 2011, available online now. You can also order your free copies from our publications page.

New Drug Approved for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

May 6, 2011

The FDA has approved a new drug for the treatment of advanced-stage pancreatic cancer.

Approximately 60% of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed in its advanced stages, where the disease has spread to other parts of the body and is difficult to treat. Afinitor, made by Novartis,  is the first drug in nearly 30 years to be approved for advanced pancreatic cancer.

Read Novartis’ press release about Afinitor.

CanceCare offers free, professional support services for people affected by pancreatic cancer, including financial help,  thanks in part to funds donated by the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families.

New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

May 3, 2011

This past Friday’s Connect Education Workshop, What’s New in Metastatic Prostate Cancer, coincided with the FDA’s approval of a new treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Zytiga, a pill that decreases the production of a hormone that stimulates cancer cells to grow, prolonged the lives of men with late-stage prostate cancer who had received prior treatments and had few available therapeutic options. Listen to the workshop.

Learn more about Zytiga.

CancerCare offers free support services for people affected by prostate cancer, including an online support group for men affected by cancer. We are also recruiting participants for a face-to-face men’s cancers support group. Register and learn more about CancerCare’s free support groups.

Men who are affected by prostate cancer may also be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year in co-payment assistance through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation. Learn more.

New Publications are Available, Free of Charge

April 26, 2011

CancerCare recently added eight new publications to its reading room of Connect booklets and fact sheets, all of which can be ordered free of charge from our online order form:

Three of these new publications are in Spanish:

Stay up-to-date on new publications by signing up for CancerCare E-News, CancerCare‘s free monthly email newsletter.

On the Other Side of Sick: The Journey of a Cancer Survivor/Thriver

April 6, 2011

This week (April 3-9) is Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week and we’ve invited guest blogger Michelle Malavet to share her thoughts  on Copelink. Michelle, who is a writer and visual artist in New York City, came to CancerCare for support after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Michelle has just published her first book, Cancerland and The Other Side of Sick, a quick and inspiring read about the journey from “diagnosis to empowerment.” Michelle has donated copies of the book for free distribution to CancerCare clients as a way of giving back for the help she received from our specialized services for young adults.

Read Michelle’s post below, and check out her book at

Want to be a guest blogger on Copelink? Please email


My Little Red Dictionary

by Michelle Malavet

Living on The Other Side of Sick, my life is full of wonderment. I carry a little red dictionary most everywhere I go. I love words, especially words that rhyme, like “ignite” and “light,”  or “cancer” and “answer.”

Whenever I have a question in my life, my pocket-sized companion offers clarity and distinction. It has provided answers to many questions along my cancer survivor/thriver journey, including, Why me? Why did I get cancer?”

My little red dictionary defines these words as:

why, adv. for what cause.

me, pron. objective case of I.

get, v., acquire; capture; achieve power over.

cancer, n. potentially unlimited growth that expands.

So whenever you ask, “Why me? Why did I get cancer?” consider that you are actually asking:

“For what cause am I? For what cause did I acquire potentially unlimited growth that expands?” 

These are very powerful questions.

Continually answering them has helped me express who I am as a cancer survivor/thriver. One can say that these questions are my journey.

Everyday, I am on a mission to inspire anyone living with cancer to fully express themselves. That is my “why.” That is my cause.

Today I woke up wondering, “What is a miracle?” What to know the definition in my little red dictionary? Please write to me, and share what you discover:

Year in Review: The Most Promising Treatment Advances of 2010

January 3, 2011

CancerCare’s newest Connect® Booklet, Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments, highlights the year’s most exciting treatment updates on a number of different cancers. The information was presented by leading experts at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Some of the year’s most promising findings included:

Melanoma: For the first time ever, a new drug extended the lives of people whose melanoma no longer responds to other treatments and has spread beyond the skin to other parts of the body. (Learn more about CancerCare‘s free support services for people affected by melanoma).

Lung Cancer: Researchers reported that older patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer can be safely and effectively treated with more aggressive chemotherapy. Researchers also reported that supportive care not only improves the quality of life for people with metastatic lung cancer, but also extends their lives. (Visit to learn about CancerCare‘s free resources for people diagnosed with lung cancer and their loved ones).

Blood and Lymph Cancers: For the first time, drugs such as lenalidomide (Revlimid) can be used not only to treat newly diagnosed or relapsed myeloma, but also as therapies to keep myeloma from coming back after successful first-time treatment. (CancerCare provides individual transportation grants to people with multiple myeloma through our “Door to Door” program, along with a wide range of additional free support services).

Head and Neck Cancer: Researchers discovered that testing a patient’s human papillomavirus (HPV) status helps doctors craft more effective treatments for the patient. (CancerCare helps people affected by head and neck cancer and their loved ones through free support services including counseling, support groups, education, financial assistance, and referrals to other resources).

Read the entire booklet online, or order free copies from our website.

Promising Blood Cancer Treatments Presented at Annual ASH Conference

December 6, 2010

At the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) held this past weekend in Orlando, FL, researchers discussed promising new treatment options for multiple myeloma and several forms of lymphoma and leukemia, as well as the importance of stem cell transplantation.

Leading experts will present information from the conference and answer questions live during two upcoming CancerCare Connect Education Workshops:

  •  Update on Lymphoma Treatment on December 15, 2010
  •  The Latest Developments in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) on January 13, 2011

Register for a workshop.

Lean more about CancerCare’s free, professional support services for people affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

New Clinical Study Seeks Patients Living with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

September 22, 2010

MAGRIT, a large study in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, seeks volunteers who have had surgery to remove their tumor. Over 400 medical centers in 33 countries are participating in the study.

Visit the study’s website to learn about what MAGRIT involves, if you are eligible for this study, and to find a study center close to you. It’s best to consult with your doctor first to determine whether you should participate.

CancerCare offers reliable information about clinical trials and how they can improve the quality of your care. You can read our free booklets and fact sheets about lung cancer and clinical trials directly on our website. In addition, on Friday, September 24, leading experts on clinical trials will answer your questions and concerns in the Connect Education Workshop, The Important Role of Clinical Trials. Register for the live discussion here.

Through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation, people undergoing treatment for non-small cell lung cancer who have health insurance coverage may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year in co-payment assistance.

You can help show your support for people facing lung cancer by participating in CancerCare’s 8th annual Lung Cancer Walk. This year, the walk will be held in two locations: on Sunday, November 7 in Woodbury, NY, and on Sunday, November 14, in Palo Alto, CA.  The Walks raise funds to support CancerCare‘s free, professional services for anyone affected by lung cancer. To register,  visit our Lung Cancer Walk website.

To learn more about lung cancer and CancerCare’s services for people affected by lung cancer, visit

Inspirational Stories of Metastatic Cancer Patients Leading Long and Active Lives

July 23, 2010

A recent article in Cure Magazine highlights how some people with metastatic cancer have benefited by “hitchhiking,” meaning when one treatment stops working, they can move on to the next.

When Suzanne Lindley was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and informed she had six months to live, she and her family moved to the country, where she’d always dreamed of living.  Twelve years later, Suzanne leads an amazingly active life, traveling all around the country as a colorectal cancer advocate.

She credits her current quality of life to hitchhiking treatments, as well as to her CancerCare social worker Keith Lyons, who provided her with essential support and motivation through individual counseling and a support group.  “[Keith] said I could see cancer as a death sentence or I could celebrate the fact that I was very much alive and experience now,” Suzanne recalls.

The complete article is available here.

CancerCare offers online, telephone and face-to-face support groups that connect you with people who are in a similar situation. All support groups are free and led by professional oncology social workers who are experienced with cancer-related issues and concerns.