Coping with Cancer as an Older Adult

August 7, 2014

Older adults have numerous strengths, including knowledge and experience, that can assist them in coping with a cancer diagnosis. Simultaneously, they may face unique challenges that affect their ability to make health care decisions and receive quality care.

Today, older adults find themselves in an increasingly complex medical system where they are expected to take an active role in managing their care when they may be unable to do so. Access to medical information through technology may prove confusing and cause patients to refrain from asking key questions about their care or feel unsure about where to access important and accurate health information.

It is essential that older adults and their loved ones be able to openly and honestly discuss their care with their doctors and any potential difficulties that may arise. CancerCare has valuable tips for communicating with your health care team.

Many older patients struggle with changes related to aging and becoming more dependent on others. As oncology health professionals, we are in the unique position to provide care and support. To learn more, please call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

Our guest blogger Sarah Kelly, LSCW is coordinator for Older Adult Services at CancerCare


Treatment Update: Breast Cancer With Advances in the Treatment of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer and Highlights from the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

June 21, 2013

Read about new treatment therapies for breast cancer in our Connect Booklet Treatment Update: Breast Cancer With Advances in the Treatment of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer and Highlights from the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In this booklet, we talk about the medications now available and new drugs in development for treating breast cancer. We also describe possible treatment side effects and how to prevent and cope with them.

You can also order free copies from our publications page.


Latest Treatments Updates from the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

March 18, 2013

Read our publication Latest News in Blood Cancer Research: Highlights from the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which gives an overview of the cutting-edge research presented at the annual meeting. A number of exciting advances in leukemia treatment were reported, and some of the new developments presented included a fourth effective targeted treatment for people with resistant leukemia.

You may also order free copies through our website.

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


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 Booklets on Mouth Pain and Multiple Myeloma

November 23, 2011

CancerCare’s newest Connect Booklet, Managing Oral Mucositis, is now available.

The term “oral mucositis” refers to mouth sores caused by irritation of the mucosa, soft tissues that cover the tongue and inside of the mouth. Our new booklet offers tips on controlling mouth pain and managing this side effect of some cancer treatments.

Read the booklet or order free copies.

Our new e-booklet, Advances in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, is now live on www.cancercare.org. The e-booklet describes the different treatment options for multiple myeloma, and offers tips on coping with the emotional and practical challenges of a multiple myeloma diagnosis.

Read the e-booklet.

Like all of CancerCare’s services, our publications are available to you completely free of charge. View all of CancerCare’s in-stock publications.


CancerCare to Honor Leading Cancer Experts at Annual Tribute

October 25, 2011

Dr. Noopur Raje, MD, director of Mass General’s Center for Multiple Myeloma, will be presented with CancerCare‘s Physician of the Year award during our annual “Tribute to Our Friends”  ceremony, on October 27 at our national office in New York City.

Dr. Raje, who is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been a presenter in numerous Connect Education Workshops focused on multiple myeloma. CancerCare‘s educational workshops are one-hour live discussions with leading oncologists across the country that can be listened to over the telephone or online.

Dr. Noopur Raje, MD

Listen to Dr. Raje’s recent presentation on “Coping with the Stress of Caregiving When Your Loved One Has Multiple Myeloma.”

CancerCare will also honor Guadalupe R. Palos, DrPH with our Interdisciplinary Award. Dr. Palos’ career in oncology has included roles as a health educator, clinician in cancer prevention and detection, and researcher in symptom research.

Dr. Guadalupe R. Palos, DrPH

Listen to Dr. Palos present on “Understanding the Important Role of Adherence in the Medical Management of Cancer.”

View all of CancerCare’s upcoming Connect Education Workshops.

CancerCare will also honor the Dan Ferrante Memorial Fund Committee with the Special Fund of the Year Award. The committee was created in memory of Dan Ferrante, who died from lung cancer in 2005, with the goal of raising funds to support people facing cancer. To date, the Dan Ferrante Memorial Fund Committee has raised more than $100,000 in support of CancerCare’s free services for anyone affected by cancer.


New Study Shows Early Detection of Lung Cancer Saves Lives

July 18, 2011

The results of a new study show how the CT scan is more effective than the X-ray as a screening tool to prevent deaths from lung cancer.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) followed current and former smokers who did not have any symptoms of lung cancer. Participants were scanned with either a CT scan or chest X-ray when they entered the study, and then at the end of their first and second years of the study.

Participants were then tracked for up to five years, during which time researchers recorded the deaths of participants from lung cancer. The results showed 20% fewer lung cancer deaths in people who were screened with a low-dose CT scan than with a chest X-ray.

These results are very encouraging, as a major hurdle to treating lung cancer has been diagnosing it early enough to begin effective treatment. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is exploring the most effective way to implement screening guidelines based on these results.

“The news of these results is welcomed by the entire lung cancer community as a major turning point in the way lung cancer can be detected and treated as an early stage disease,” says CancerCare National Lung Cancer Program Coordinator Win Boerckel, LCSW-R.

Read more about the National Lung Screening Trial.

CancerCare created www.lungcancer.org to serve as a source of information and support for people affected by lung cancer. You can also visit CancerCare’s lung cancer diagnosis page on our newly-designed website to learn more about our free, professional support services for people affected by lung cancer.


New Treatment for Metastatic Melanoma is First to Prolong Lives

April 1, 2011

Experts in the treatment of melanoma answered listeners’ questions this week during CancerCare’s free Connect Education Workshop, Metastatic Melanoma Treatment Update.  Melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, is one of the fastest growing cancers worldwide.

The workshop coincided with the FDA’s approval of “breakthrough” drug Yervoy, the first drug shown to prolong the lives of people with metastatic melanoma.  Listen to the workshop.

Yervoy’s manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, is expected to present studies on its effectiveness at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, to be held June 4-8 in Chicago, IL.  

Yervoy is an immunotherapy drug that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight tumors. A recent New York Times article about the development of Yervoy described how it works by “essentially disabling a break on the immune system.”

CancerCare’s offers free, professional services for people affected by melanoma. The Melanoma Helpline, a partnership between CancerCare and the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), is staffed by professional oncology social workers who provide free telephone counseling and reliable information about resources and ways to cope with melanoma. Call The Melanoma Helpline at 877-MRF-6460 (877-673-6460).

Teb’s Troops, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for people affected by melanoma, will hold its annual 5K in Chicago, IL on Sunday, July 24. Teb’s Troops provides a generous grant from funds raised at this event to support CancerCare’s free, professional services for anyone facing melanoma. Visit Teb’s Troops’ Facebook page to learn more.


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 www.lungcancer.org 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.