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  1. MY STEPS TO SURVIVING A LUNG CANCER DIAGNOSIS Step 1 – Invest in sophisticated diagnosics before diagnosis If you smoke, were a long-term smoker, or are in an occupation that exposes you to carcinogenic toxins (asbestos removal, auto mechanic, painter, etc.), I suggest getting a computed tomography (CT) scan, often called a CAT scan, of the chest once a year. Insurance now covers it and CT will detect tumors far earlier than a chest x-ray. Early detection of small tumors dramatically enhances your survival chances. I had a chest x-ray in January 2004 and was diagnosed with stage 3b, non-small cell lung cancer the following month. The tumor hadn’t shown on the x-ray; but at diagnosis, it was almost 3 inches long and ½ inch in diameter. The only symptom I had was coughing up blood the day before diagnosis. Learn more about early CT screening. Step 2 – Choose a good general practitioner Your general practitioner may be the manager of your lung cancer treatment. The GP likely will pick your cancer team and may need to do a little arm-twisting to get things moving. Therefore, there can be great benefits to having a GP who is seasoned and well known in the medical community. I prefer doctors of osteopathic medicine to medical doctors. I’ve found that in my experience the former treat people, not patients. I believe a good physician shows kindness, consideration, and compassion toward those in his or her care. These characteristics are essential. Be sure you know your GP and your GP knows you. Such knowledge and trust will give you a survival edge. There are great health care professionals out there. Step 3 – Ensure your oncologist is a physician A doctor has a degree in medicine and a license to practice. A physician is devoted to restoring, maintaining, and promoting your good health. My physician oncologist does a complete examination (looks in eyes, nose, and throat, checks pulse in the extremities, checks reflexes, listens to breathing and heart rate) every visit. He reviews and explains all test results and asks how I feel. He looks at me as I speak, and he listens and makes notes on what I say. He carefully explains medical treatment alternatives that may arrest the disease, and together we choose each next step. He never rushes consultations and, consequently, often is late to scheduled appointments. Because his tardiness results from spending time with those he treats, I know he cares about me and every other patient. These are some characteristics your physician oncologist should possess. Step 4 – Learn about your disease At diagnosis, I had no idea what lung cancer was. Moreover, I didn’t know what an oncologist did, nor could I spell the word! After diagnosis, I read everything I could find about the disease; a good resource is the www.LUNGevity.org website. Then I read medical journals, government reports, research papers, and studies. I made notes about things I didn’t understand and asked questions at my oncology consultations. My wife attended every consultation, procedure, and test to ensure every question was asked and answered, and that we understood the answers. You need to know about type, stage, statistics, radiation, diagnostics, chemotherapy, side effects, surgical options, and so much more. Your chances of survival are improved if you are informed enough to ask highly perceptive questions. Step 5 – Acquire a sanguine attitude quickly Cancer is a disease of death; lung cancer kills more than all other cancers. Your attitude toward treatment is, I believe, essential to survival. When you acquire a sanguine attitude, your treatment team will notice your optimism. They will enjoy interacting with you; they will care about you. I strongly suggest you read Stephen Jay Gould’s essay “The Median Isn’t the Message” to help you understand survival statistics and find optimism about what appear to be bleak probability of survival projections. Join a cancer blog or messageboard. I am a member of several where I can broadcast my complaints and protestations to people who understand and have useful advice for coping. Find cancer support groups and join one. Most people who treat you have no idea how you are feeling. But survivors in cancer support groups understand; they know how you feel—you’ll fit right in! Step 6 – Any port in a storm There is no such thing as “a little stick!” During procedures and treatment, almost everyone will attempt to gain access to your veins with an intravenous device of some type. All such intrusions are uncomfortable, and unless the practitioner is good and lucky he or she will miss more often than not. If your treatment involves intravenously administered chemotherapy, you likely will get stuck at least once a week. A good way to avoid discomfort and frustration is to ask for a port. Installation involves simple, low-risk surgery. Once in place, you need to keep the area clean and exercise precautions when bathing—but access to your veins is no longer a storm but a port in a storm! Step 7 – Don’t believe the miracle cure The consequences of a lung cancer diagnosis are frightening. For most, it will be your first serious encounter with the prospect of death. When you type “lung cancer” into Google, you will be bombarded by advertisement that promises miracle cure at considerable expense. There is no such thing as a miracle cure! Before you invest time (now precious) investigating one of these “too good to be true” remedies, check it out on www.quackwatch.org and discuss it with your physician. Oncology is a medical science. Procedures, drugs, and protocols are tested using scientific methods that are published and reviewed by peers and regulating organizations. When science-based breakthroughs are discovered, they are broadcast very quickly throughout the practitioner community.Read about Steve Jobs—one of the smartest technologists and businessmen the world has ever known—who delayed his cancer treatment. Step 8 – Don’t try to tough it out I am a retired soldier and believed I was man enough to handle almost anything. Cancer proved to be the “anything” I could not handle! I suffered a long time trying to tough it out before I admitted I was depressed. My physician’s response: “Of course you are depressed—how could you not be?” He prescribed appropriate medication, arranged consultations with a psychologist, and suggested I attend support groups. Unless you are tougher than I, you will experience depression. Admit it and accept help. Here are some other things you might try. Ask for the “freeze spray” before an IV is used. If claustrophobic, get a script for Xanax and take it shortly before scans. Even in summer, wear warm clothing to diagnostic and infusion sessions. Some areas where these take place are kept very cold. Many treatment centers have volunteers—engage one in conversation. Many are survivors or caregivers and have a wealth of helpful information. During consultations, I was so frightened I couldn’t rationally ask questions about results or next steps, and I certainly couldn’t remember what was said. Consequently, I never go alone to a consultation. I suggest if you can, always have someone with you too. Step 9 – Become a calendar maniac If you have a smartphone with a calendar application, become an expert in its use. If not, keep a paper “cancer calendar” to record information. Your life after diagnosis will likely become filled with scheduled appointments, and given the nature of the disease and intensity of the battle, these are appointments you don’t want to miss. For example, my chemotherapy cycle required an infusion every third Friday. I had to record three rounds of steroid medication taken every six hours before each infusion. I had a scheduled blood test every Monday following infusion. Nausea started Sunday morning and lasted until Tuesday. Joint pain started Wednesday and lasted until Saturday. If I took the nausea medication about an hour before onset, symptoms often were minimal. Furthermore, if I started pain medication a couple of hours before onset, my pain was manageable. I used the alarm feature on my phone to warn me in advance. Plus, there was life to live, and the calendar helped me avoid conflicts between my cancer treatment schedule and my life events schedule. Step 10 – Choose to live When asked about my cancer experience, I often tell those in treatment that cancer is a disease of life or death. I believe if you choose treatment, you are choosing life. And if you choose to live, do something with the life you are given. The “something” will be different for each of us, but doing whatever you enjoy or find fulfilling is so important. If you enjoyed an activity before diagnosis, do it afterward. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning. If you don’t see an expiration date stamped on your forehead, then enjoy the day and look forward to the next! Oh, by the way, your hair will grow back! Baldness is a beautiful badge of courage. Stay the course.
  2. The nature of the World Wide Web is the essence of its creators. We’ve made a conduit of ideas and information that chronicles every facet of human behavior and lots of non-human behavior. One can find a searchable version of the bible and then click to something that would be an embarrassing find in the bible. The Internet is encyclopedia, newspaper, entertainment, and abstraction all available with only one precondition, access. I was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 2004. The Internet existed but people-to-people interactions were limited to mostly email. Nevertheless, the Internet allowed access to all kinds of information about lung cancer—some of it scholarly and some of it junk. As I recall, there was nothing resembling today’s cancer message boards where people could communicate, consult, and commiserate with one another. Today, there are many and I’ll reveal how one helped me recover from depression and find hope. In March 2006, I was in active third line treatment, infused Taxol and Carboplatin hardened by the oral chemotherapy drug Tarceva. After three failed surgeries and twelve failed chemotherapy cycles. My lung cancer was persistent and I was depressed. Watching TV on a Sunday afternoon in the throes of side effects, I saw a CNN broadcast interview with Phillip Berman, M.D. Phil was a radiologist, never smoker, and lung cancer patient who ironically was diagnosed about the same time as me. He started a cancer blog to keep friends and family informed about his treatment. It morphed into RedToeNail.org. I joined, thus starting my therapy online. Why does it work for me? First is recognition that I’m not alone. Cancer treatment is a slog through appointments and side effects. It is beneficial to be reminded that others are trudging that same ground. Next, these people understand my disease, its treatments and mistreatments. Moreover, they have useful tips and tricks that work! I recall to this day the suggestion I eat a steamed bowl of plain rice each morning before taking Tarceva. It laughed at Imodium, but respected the rice. Last, it is a channel for me to express my thoughts, ideas and uncertainties with people who completely understand. To say they’ve been there and done that is a vast understatement. They designed the tee shirt the experts purchased! Today’s Internet has many opportunities to connect survivors and caregivers. There is the ubiquitous thumbs-up symbol, short sentence reply, and emoji of popular social media platforms. This is fast-paced therapy connecting hundreds, perhaps thousands quickly. It is useful, but I prefer message boards. I like to take the time to read, reflect, and recall my experience when someone reaches out for help. Both, however, are effective. It is interesting to explore why. I’ve attended hundreds of cancer support groups. They are beneficial, but I well recall my first several sessions. Certainly I was made welcome, but the fear I had of my disease was bested only by the fear I felt talking about it. I’m a relaxed public speaker but not a public cancer speaker. As I grew comfortable with a group, I realized another downside. Regulars stopped showing up. The very nature of lung cancer makes support groups a population in decline. Moreover, treatment side effects always seemed to coincide with the support group meeting. People in treatment didn’t feel well enough to attend. I’ve also been an individual support resource both in person and telephonically. First meetings are a bit awkward but these can be very effective for both survivors. There is a shared experience and in every case, this led to a meaningful relationship. There is that same downside of the support group; lung cancer claims a life and now it is a life I was personally and emotionally connected to. It takes a very special constitution to provide survivor-to-survivor support and mine doesn’t measure up. So I work the message boards, mostly at the LUNGevity Forum but some others. I am relatively new to the LUNGevity Forum and it is fascinating to read the history of the survivors, year after year. Some move on to other activities but return after a long absence to a rousing welcome. Why? For exactly the same reason online support resources are so effective. We celebrate life. Stop by and say hello. Stay the course.
  3. Lisa Haines

    Covid and me

    This is story I did with LUNGevity - I was very honored to be given the opportunity to share my how Covid has changed my life, especially as a Lung Cancer patient. I'm sure most of you can relate. COVID and Me By Lisa Haines When I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2015, I was extremely sick and my prognosis was pretty grim. I decided then, with the time I had left, I was going to live each and every day to the fullest. I wanted to do all the things that my husband and I had always talked about doing when we retired, such as travel and spend more time with family and friends, while I was still healthy enough to do so. Luckily, I responded well to treatment and have since been stable and doing well. I have been able to do a lot of the things I decided I would do and crossed many things off my bucket list. In fact, I had planned to celebrate my 5-year Cancerversary in Vegas with family and friends in March 2020. Unfortunately, that’s when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The pandemic has really inhibited my mentality to “live each and every day to the fullest” and taken away my ability to do my bucket list items. I imagine this change in mentality is something that many people with late stage cancer are facing right now. As cancer survivors, we are an incredibly vulnerable population. It’s important for people to realize how significant the risks for lung cancer patients are. Many pre-existing diseases are risky, but many of us with lung cancer have damage to our lungs already or have had a surgery and only have one lung, making the risk of serious illness worse for us. A lot of people don’t seem to understand this. Worse, some people seem to think that because we are so vulnerable, we should just stay home until the vaccine is available. What they don’t understand is that we already have our life expectancy cut shorter than we ever expected. It feels like COVID is stealing more precious time from me in so many ways. It’s a near-impossible catch-22 that this virus has put us in: try to protect your health but also live at the same time. That’s why this pandemic has been really difficult for me. The hardest part is what the virus doesn’t allow you to do. Prior to March 2020, I spent about 20-30 hours a week babysitting my grandkids, who live close by. I would see my 86-year-old mother, who also lives nearby, often. I would visit my son, who lives out West, several times a year. Once the virus hit, I stopped doing all of these things. I felt trapped in my house. As time went on, it was harder and harder to stay isolated. I would do video calls with my family, but it would just make me feel worse because it wasn’t the same. It became a quality of life issue for me. I am looking at my life in a shorter span to some degree, yet someone was telling me that I can’t see the people I cherish in the time I have left. Another added stress for me is that my husband is an essential worker and was still required to go into work each day. We of course took added precautious to ensure he wasn’t bringing home the virus, but there’s no way to be certain; there are just so many unknowns. I’m not sure what I would have done if he did get the virus. It’s really difficult to be in the same house and not touch things. All you can do is hope for the best and frequently hand wash. For me, managing the virus precautions while living with lung cancer ultimately became balancing living life and staying alive. I decided to talk to my doctor about the possibility of seeing my family again. He asked me many questions and ultimately, based on my responses, he was able to understand my need to be with them and gave me his blessing to do what I felt was safe for me. He explained that when COVID starts to affect our quality of life, it is important for lung cancer patients to make choices that they feel are best for them. I am lucky to be stable, off treatment, and not currently immunocompromised, so I decided it as best for me to see my family again. It was my choice to decide what I wanted; I made the choice to live my life. At first, I only saw my family outside and with masks. However, the day my youngest granddaughter cried because she didn’t recognize me, my heart broke. A week or two later, I started to go inside their home. I used extra sanitizer and washed my hands constantly. As I began to feel safer and the COVID case counts in our area went down, I resumed my normal life with them and go to their house on a regular basis. I consider it my second home. We do our best to take precautions, but I know I’m taking a risk. However, for me, quality of life wins out over COVID. I think the best advice I can give for someone struggling is to try to keep as busy as possible. I have used the extra time to keep more involved with advocacy for lung cancer. I even became a LifeLine mentor. I have also been joining the Virtual Meetups; they offer great support and are super helpful for people who might not have family nearby and feel isolation. While things have improved since the spring, I am starting to worry about winter. Right now, we spend as much time outside as we can. I’m not sure what we’ll do when it gets colder and that’s no longer possible. I will very likely need to isolate again this winter and that’s scary and sad. Currently, I have 5 airline tickets that are waiting for me to use. Every day I stay Stable I am hopeful that the time will come for me to be able to use them again. I hope for a safe and effective treatment for Covid, so that it’s safe for us all to get back out again. I look forward to the day that Covid is a bad and distant memory for all. It's not only stealing time, but as also taken far too many precious lives - such a devastating virus in so many ways. About me: Lisa Haines is a Stage IV lung cancer survivor who lives in Northeastern Massachusetts with her husband and two Rescue Chiweenie Dogs. She is Mom to two amazing adult sons, one living locally in MA and one living in CA. She’s been blessed with two sweet granddaughters, Harper now 3 ½ and Hazel who turned 1 this summer. Her grandchildren came into her life after her diagnosis and truly were a dream come true. At the time of her diagnosis, she did not have any grandchildren, but being a “Nanni” was something she dreamed of for many years and they have added even more joy and love to her life. They are now another huge inspiration in her cancer journey. She plans to be here for many years to watch them both grow up. Other than spending time with her granddaughters, family and friends, she also enjoy travel and can’t wait to be able to get back out to San Diego to see her son. She enjoys supporting other lung cancer patients and is very active with LUNGevity. She is also a moderator for two other Lung Cancer Support Groups on FB. Advocacy has become especially important to her and it’s something she wants to pursue long term.
  4. Good morning. I am new to this group. I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer last August 2018. Mets to brain, bone and adrenal gland. First line treatment was cisplatin, alimta and keytruda. Started maintenance in January so now on alimta and keytruda with someday every 3 months. Still processing all of this and trying to stay informed and educate myself. I feel great with no symptoms. After treatments I feel tired which leads to emotion, which is the only time I am reminded I have cancer. I remain optimistic however sometimes overwhelmed at how much information there is out there and how to stay on top of all of it. Hoping I can help others stay optimistic while at the same time looking to share experiences and learn from this group. Thanks for listening ♥️
  5. LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, announced today the recipients of its 2018 Career Development Awards (CDA) for lung cancer research. These coveted awards fund critical lung cancer research projects and offer the recipients world-class mentorship by LUNGevity’s prestigious Scientific Advisory Board. “We are excited to support these exceptionally talented new investigators. Interestingly, all three of these projects involve liquid biopsy-based approaches to detecting and optimizing treatment of lung cancer. These new projects may define new avenues for applying liquid biopsies in the clinical setting,” notes Charles Rudin, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief, Thoracic Oncology Service, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and chair of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board. “We believe that this outstanding group of awardees will help make progress in improving outcomes for lung cancer patients.” LUNGevity is proud to support the following 2018 Career Development Award researchers: Kellie Smith, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Immunometabolic T cell profiling as a prognostic liquid biopsy in non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Smith’s research group will work to develop a liquid biopsy that predicts advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer patient responses to combination immunotherapy regimens. Jeffrey Thompson, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Development of markers to predict response to immunotherapy in NSCLC. Dr. Thompson’s laboratory is working to develop blood-based tests to identify individuals most likely to respond to immunotherapy with minimum side effects, helping to ensure customized immunotherapies for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients. Edwin Yau, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Lung cancer detection by CRISPR-based detection of circulating tumor DNA. Dr. Yau’s team is developing a quick and cost-effective blood test for early detection of lung cancer that will complement CT screening. “By funding young investigators, LUNGevity keeps outstanding scientists, still early in their careers, in the lung cancer space. We work closely with these researchers with the hope of seeing them become the next generation of scientific superstars,” says Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity. “The CDA program encourages their continued development in the field of lung cancer research to grow a strong pipeline of dedicated lung cancer researchers.” Under the stewardship of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board, a group of 21 prominent scientists and researchers, LUNGevity ensures that grants are awarded to those researchers whose proposals demonstrate the greatest potential for finding lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable phase, as well as for extending and improving lives of lung cancer survivors. LUNGevity is the only lung cancer organization with a programmatic focus on early detection and a robust Career Development Award Program. Our researchers are working on finding a better way to detect lung cancer, and to better diagnose, treat, and prevent its recurrence. The foundation’s overall research program, including CDA awards, is a crucial factor in moving the science forward to improve outcomes for people living with lung cancer. LUNGevity’s Scientific Research Program is supported by individual donors, the American Lung Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation, Upstage Lung Cancer, and the Schmidt Legacy Foundation. Read the full press release.
  6. Here is the weekly clip report: OncLive “Dr. Larner on Integrating Radiation Therapy With Immune Checkpoint Blockade in NSCLC” https://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-larner-on-integrating-radiation-therapy-with-immune-checkpoint-blockade-in-nsclc Diagnostic Imaging “Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Program Findings Similar to National Trial” http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/di-executive/low-dose-ct-lung-cancer-screening-program-findings-similar-national-trial Targeted Oncology “Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Combos Are the New Standard of Care for NSCLC, Says Konduri” https://www.targetedonc.com/news/immunotherapychemotherapy-combos-are-the-new-standard-of-care-for-nsclc-says-konduri OncLive “Dr. Jotte on the Optimal Frequency of Lung Cancer Screening” https://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-jotte-on-the-optimal-frequency-of-lung-cancer-screening Targeted Oncology “Immunotherapy Combinations Are Changing the Frontline Treatment of Patients With NSCLC” https://www.targetedonc.com/publications/targeted-therapy-news/2018/August-2018/immunotherapy-combinations-are-changing-the-frontline-treatment-of-patients-with-nsclc Cancer Therapy Advisor “Heterogeneity of Drug Resistance in EGFR-Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-nsclc-heterogeneity-drug-resistance-egfr/article/786470/ Speciality Pharmacy Times First Checkpoint Inhibitor for Previously Treated Patients with SCLC Approved by FDA https://www.specialtypharmacytimes.com/news/first-checkpoint-inhibitor-for-previously-treated-patients-with-sclc-approved-by-fda
  7. Here is the weekly clip report: Cure “Lung Cancer Care Becoming More Personalized and Trials will Too” https://www.curetoday.com/articles/lung-cancer-care-becoming-more-personalized-and-trials-will-too Cancer Therapy Advisor “Lurbinectedin Receives FDA Orphan Drug Status for Recurrent Small-Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-nsclc-lurbinecedin-fda-oprhan-drug-status-treatment/article/786009/ U.S. News – Health “What to Know about Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines” https://www.nga.org/governors/addresses/ Healio “Minimally Invasive Surgery Effective for Early-Stage Lung Cancer” https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/lung-cancer/news/in-the-journals/{924a7fc0-fcda-4ffb-bad7-4f2cb101c1db}/minimally-invasive-surgery-effective-for-early-stage-lung-cancer Onc Live “Dr. Witsuba on Biomarkers for Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer” https://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-wistuba-on-biomarkers-for-immunotherapy-in-lung-cancer Drug Target Review “Reducing NOVA1 Helps prevents Tumour Growth in Lung Cancer” https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/34089/reducing-nova1-lung-cancer/ Science Daily “Finally, a Potential New Approach against KRAS-Driven Lung Cancer” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809093458.htm Oncology Nurse Advisor “New PDL1 Inhibitors for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Focus on Pembrolizumab” https://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/lung-cancer/pdl1-inhibitors-for-nsclc-focus-on-pembrolizumab/article/787627/
  8. LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce the launch of a new lung cancer awareness campaign – 234. The 234 social media campaign utilizes graphic animation to engage the public in understanding the true facts about lung cancer. Approximately 234,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, 422 people die of lung cancer every day, and lung cancer kills more people than the next 3 deadliest cancers combined. The campaign encourages the public to get engaged to make a difference (be the 1). “Our goal with the 234 campaign is to educate the general public about the significant incidence and impact of lung cancer,” said Andrea Ferris, President of LUNGevity Foundation. “We are looking to motivate people to take action and engage others in our effort to drive change.” One in 16 Americans will have a lung cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Nearly 65% of new diagnoses are in nonsmokers, most often found late when the disease is stage 3 or 4 and more difficult to treat. Just a few years ago, late-stage patients had few treatment options. Today, due to accelerated advancements in research, this is changing, and many late-stage patients are living longer and better lives. We need to continue to accelerate investments in research to save lives. The campaign will run through July as part of LUNGevity’s ongoing efforts to engage new audiences to improve public health. The video may be viewed on the homepage of our website at www.LUNGevity.org. Read the full press release here.
  9. “I’m sorry, sweetheart these are tumors in your lungs and a form of lung cancer”. These were the words spoken to a vibrant, healthy 36-year-old female on October 19, 2017, by the thoracic surgeon. I knew that things were probably not good when he came in and asked if I was alone. Unfortunately, I was alone. Looking back, that day seems like a blur. I remember the ladies at the checkout desk asking how I was doing as they ask so many patients all day long. It’s mere customer service, right? I never made eye contact and mustered enough energy to say the word “fine”. I was far from fine, but I just wanted to get out of there. I never cried in the doctor’s office that day, but walking down that winding hallway and through the parking lot felt like I was carrying cinder blocks for shoes around my feet. The minute I got in my car and closed the door was the moment that I completely lost myself. I have cancer. I am going to die. My parents are going to have to bury their only child. My world felt like it had crashed. The days and weeks ahead were just amazing considering my new circumstances. People loved on me like I had never been loved on before. I received cards and texts and all sorts of support, but a part of me wanted to tell them that I was still the same person and I appreciated the cards of support, but that I wasn’t dead yet. Please hold the flowers too. My lung cancer diagnosis was a complete shock as it is to so many. However, I was asymptomatic and cancer was the last thing on my brain. I was hospitalized for a Bartholin Cyst. I had my yearly exam already scheduled with my OB/GYN and this exam was far from routine. I explained to the nurse that I was in pain and was running temperatures between 101-103⁰. I visited the local emergency room twice to attempt to acquire some relief and was incorrectly diagnosed. My OB/GYN admitted me to get antibiotics started quickly and mentioned a minor surgery, but before I went to the hospital, he wanted me to have a CT of my abdomen to identify the cyst prior to any procedure. Thankfully, the tech caught just the lower portion of my lungs on that scan and the radiologist noted lung nodules. When I went back to my OB/GYN for my check up, he mentioned the lung nodules and ordered a full chest scan. He informed me that people had benign nodules and they could be there from my severe infection, but that he wanted to just make sure that it wasn’t anything. The next day he called me to inform that the nodules were still there and he would like for me to see a Pulmonary Specialist. I agreed and the Pulmonary Specialist was very concerned about the number of nodules in my lungs which were over 100 scattered across both lungs. He conducted a bronchoscope and a needle biopsy for which both were non-diagnostic and I was then punted to the Thoracic Surgeon. The Thoracic Surgeon removed three wedge sections and sent the pathology off to Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After further molecular testing, my oncologist educated me on the different mutations and the path of treatment that would be taken for each of them. It was determined that I was Stage IV due to both lungs being involved and was positive for T790M. I began Tagrisso as a first line on November 11, 2017. After 6 months on this drug, my last scans read “barely perceptible”. I will keep taking Tagrisso until resistance occurs and hopefully there will be another inhibitor to take its place. When I was first diagnosed, I would literally wake up in the night in a panic. I couldn’t sleep, eat or function normally. I started browsing the internet for support groups and pages as well as social media. I found the LUNGevity private patient groups on Facebook and asked to be added to every single one of them. I began telling my story and people started responding to me and sharing their stories. Strangers were sending me encouraging private messages. I saw people living and thriving with an incurable, life-shortening disease. I found hope. I started sleeping and not crying so much. Finding those support groups really made the initial journey a bit easier. Although we were strangers, we were brought together by a common bond. I’ve since been able to meet some of those people in person through the HOPE Summit and my “family” has grown by leaps and bounds. I would have never met these incredible people without lung cancer. Receiving a lung cancer diagnosis is not something any of us would have willingly signed up for, but I am thankful that I was able to find out before it spread all over my body and treatment options were expunged. I am also thankful for the perspective shift. I now know what it means to live each day with intent. The days of merely existing are over. It’s time to live and love life to the fullest because I now understand the value of each day that I am given.
  10. The Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, a multidisciplinary initiative that uses collective impact to advance high-priority opportunities in precision medicine, announced today that five leading cancer organizations have come together to share best practices, engage patients, and create synergies to advance precision medicine opportunities across cancers. The organizations include LUNGevity Foundation, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The Accelerator has begun testing the “Right Track”, a framework to help patients optimize their treatment journey by connecting them with patient-focused organizations. Cancer patients are often overloaded with information and don’t know what steps to take with their treatment. Market research supported by the Accelerator identified consistent gaps in knowledge and actions among patients with five types of cancer. The Accelerator developed the Right Track using this market research and will be testing the program with the goal of closing these knowledge gaps. The Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator brings together diverse, best-in-class leaders and health care stakeholders to develop a business framework to drive and disseminate solutions to advance precision medicine. The Accelerator focuses on four workstreams -- Direct to Patient, Data & Analytics, Clinical Trials, and Venture and Investment – all critical elements of precision medicine. The Direct to Patient workstream is supported by marketing innovators from leading consumer companies such as Marriott International, Rent the Runway, Keurig Green Mountain, Reebok, Rue La La, and leading tech companies, to help the five cancer organizations create the kind of direct relationships with patients that precision medicine needs to foster. “The Accelerator uses ‘collective impact’ – a framework based on the idea that tackling complex, systematic issues like cancer can only be achieved when diverse stakeholders work toward a shared goal,” said Lori Marcus, Chair of the Accelerator’s Direct to Patient workstream. “By bringing together leading cancer organizations and some of the world’s top consumer companies that have built loyal customer followings, we can help close knowledge gaps and increase patient engagement across cancers.” Read the full press release.
  11. Becoming Empowered Advocates My wife, Heather, told me about LUNGevity National HOPE Summit and that she wanted to attend. She received a Travel Grant from LUNGevity and I decided to join her at the conference. It is one of the best things we ever did. The wealth of information about lung cancer available through LUNGevity is not comparable to anything I could find in Canada or through any Canadian organizations. LUNGevity is so caring, thoughtful, and cutting edge. Heather and I attended our first National HOPE Summit in 2016. It was so incredibly inspiring. We got to see first-hand that the statistics are just numbers, not individual expiry dates. The number of people in attendence was impressive and the conference was well organized. We met people from across North America who embodied hope and positivity. It felt like a family. The medical professionals at this event were amazing. They spoke with my wife and gave her their contact information if they could ever assist her in any way in the future. After that experience, I felt empowered to become an advocate and to get involved with awareness events with my wife in our home province of New Brunswick. I followed LUNGevity on Twitter and I joined the LUNGevity Caregivers group on Facebook. I started participating in a few of LUNGevity’s LC Caregiver Twitter chats, which are held the first Wednesday of every month. I utilized the #stopthestigma hashtag on Twitter whenever possible. I volunteered to be a LifeLine Support Mentor to provide peer-to-peer support to other caregivers, and I joined LUNGevity’s Social Media Ambassadors to help raise awareness online. My goal is to raise awareness of lung cancer as the number one cancer killer, taking more lives annually than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers combined, while receiving the least amount of federal funding for research. I hope that my advocacy efforts will help other caregivers through sharing my experience, strength, and hope. Whenever I can, I join my wife in her advocacy work. It is important to us to stay educated on new treatments, research, and changes within the lung cancer community. We continuously meet with Federal and Provincial politicians to educate them about lung cancer, to lobby for equal access to health care, to promote genetic testing, and to demand equal catastrophic drug coverage in Canada. Heather lends her name and story to different publications to spread the word about lung cancer. Through social media, she has connected with doctors and research scientists across Canada to support their requests for research funding. The most recent was through a connection with a very passionate doctor at the Dalhousie University Research Foundation. I hope to help educate the greater public that if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. It’s not “just” a smoker’s disease and smoking is listed as a possible cause for all cancers. Lung cancer patients do not deserve this disease. I plan to continue to volunteer at events in my area to help raise funds for research and to promote the work and resources available through LUNGevity. And Heather and I look forward to attending National HOPE Summit together this spring.
  12. Join LUNGevity Foundation for a Twitter chat about Palliative Care: What it is and what it isn't. We'll answer questions and dispel myths about palliative care for lung cancer patients. Be part of the conversation on Wednesday, April 4, at 8:00PM ET. Use #LCCaregiver to join or follow the conversation. For more information about palliative care, visit LUNGevity's Lung Cancer 101 website.
  13. Here is the weekly clip report: U.S. News & World Report "From the 'Big C' to Cancer" https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-03-21/from-the-big-c-to-cancer Healio “Lower-Limb Arterial Thrombosis May Be Marker of Cancer” https://www.healio.com/cardiac-vascular-intervention/peripheral/news/online/{f342b55f-87eb-4edc-a0eb-608633079467}/lower-limb-arterial-thrombosis-may-be-marker-of-cancer Medscape “How to Improve Diversification of Patients with Cancer in Clinical Trials” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/894210 Oncology Nursing News "New Treatments for Lesser-Known Targets in NSCLC Are Emerging" http://www.oncnursingnews.com/web-exclusives/new-treatments-for-lesserknown-targets-in-nsclc-are-emerging Smithsonian Magazine “Could Immunotherapy Lead the Way to Fighting Cancer?” https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/immunotherapy-lead-way-fighting-cancer-180968392/ Medscape “From ALK to T790M: The Role of Liquid Biopsy in Lung Cancer” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/894215 Medical Xpress “RNA-Based Therapeutic Inhibits a Metabolic Pathway in Tumor-Initiating Lung Cancer Cells” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-rna-based-therapeutic-inhibits-metabolic-pathway.html Bloomberg “Robots Could Replace Surgeons in the Battle Against Cancer” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-23/robots-could-replace-surgeons-in-the-battle-against-cancer
  14. WASHINGTON, DC (March 14, 2018) — LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, today announced the addition of the President of Vogue International, a Johnson & Johnson Company, Michael Marquis to its Board of Directors. Working together with other global leaders on the Board, Marquis will lend his knowledge and passion to further LUNGevity’s work of changing outcomes for people with lung cancer. “We are excited and honored that Michael is joining our board,” said Andrea Ferris, CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “His long track record as an innovative leader at J&J, and his insight into how people view their health options, will be a tremendous benefit to the Foundation’s ability to reach key audiences.” “After losing my mother to lung cancer in 2014, I became painfully aware of the work that was needed in the lung cancer space. I was excited to work with LUNGevity over the past few years to hone their marketing messaging,” said Marquis. “I have a deep appreciation for the work that LUNGevity does and I am honored to have this opportunity to help lay the strategic groundwork for the years of progress that are ahead of us.” Michael was appointed President of Vogue in 2016 and tasked with completing a seamless merger into J&J while plotting a path for Vogue’s growth. As a valued member of the North American Leadership Team at J&J, he works in partnership with the other consumer brands to contribute to the advancement of human health in conjunction with the Credo of Johnson & Johnson. In 2014, Michael took on the leadership of the portfolio of businesses including iconic brands LISTERINE® and BAND-AID®. By focusing on core priorities and establishing a culture of health and learning, he was able to grow market shares of key product lines and build a team of leaders for the future. Prior to that, Michael was responsible for the Global Oral Care Franchise at J&J, where he headed up global strategy, marketing, innovation and business development into emerging markets. Mr. Marquis graduated from Bucknell University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Read the full press release.
  15. WASHINGTON, DC (March 14, 2018) — LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, today announced that Andre Owens, partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of WilmerHale, has joined the Board of Directors. Together with other global leaders on the Board, Owens will lend his expertise to further LUNGevity’s work of changing outcomes for people with lung cancer. “We are grateful to have someone as uniquely qualified as Andre join our Board,” said Andrea Ferris, CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “His valuable specialized knowledge coupled with a strong personal motivation for increasing survivorship in lung cancer makes Andre a great addition to help steer the Foundation’s research, education, support, and public policy programs.” “Like so many others, I have been personally affected by the loss of loved ones to lung cancer,” explains Owens. “While there has been some progress in the lung cancer space, we still have a lot more to do. I am proud and honored to help LUNGevity achieve its vision of creating a world where no one dies of lung cancer.” Andre’s legal practice focuses on securities trading and markets activities. He counsels broker-dealers, securities exchanges, investment advisers, and other clients on a variety of regulatory issues. In the past, Andre served as a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of General Counsel. He also served as counsel to former SEC Commissioner Steven M. H. Wallman. Mr. Owens graduated from Providence College with a bachelor’s degree and holds a JD degree from Harvard Law School. Read the full press release.
  16. My Dad was always my Ironman when I was growing up. In 2004, my dad had a persistent cough. He went to the doctor a few times and was finally diagnosed with pneumonia. A year went by and the cough went away for awhile. When it returned, my dad went back to the doctor. He was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I was 17 at the time. After he was diagnosed, my Dad signed up for Heather Saler’s Lung Cancer Walk in Pennsauken, NJ, which eventually became Breathe Deep South Jersey. My dad didn’t do the full walk, but he was part of the survivor ceremony. I went with him and that was how we found out about LUNGevity and decided to start fundraising. My dad passed away in 2006, less than a year after he was diagnosed, but he taught me so much during that time. I saw how strong he was during his battle. He never gave up and gave it everything he had. My dad was a photographer. When he passed away in February 2006, my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I put together a show with all of his photos at a local restaurant. People could come just to see the photos or they could buy them to help raise funds for LUNGevity. The second year, people who were impacted by cancer, either themselves or a loved one, donated artwork for the show. My dad was also a runner. He ran several marathons. I ran my first marathon, the New York City Marathon, in 2016. I wanted to strive for something more challenging so I decided to do the Ironman Lake Placid for Team LUNGevity. Lake Placid is the longest running Ironman event in North America and this is 20th Anniversary year, so it will be a great event. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. Doing an Ironman is going to be the toughest thing I ever attempt. I wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. and either swim, bike, or run for about an hour, then go to work, come home, and train again in the evening. I’ll be training for about seven months total. I’ll be posting my Ironman journey throughout my training all year long on Facebook. I’ll also post stories of my Dad and news from LUNGevity. And hopefully when I finish that Ironman, I will be wearing something LUNGevity. If anything is going to inspire me to complete this Ironman, it is my Dad. The least I can do is try to raise money for lung cancer research in his name. Every dollar counts and every life matters. I hope that my fundraising efforts will make a difference in the fight against lung cancer. Maybe it is the dollar that helps find the cure, maybe it helps give someone affected by this disease sometime of motivation or maybe it just makes people more aware of lung cancer.
  17. Here is the weekly clip report: WRC-TV “Exhibitors Guide: Full List of Exhibitors at the 2018 Health and Fitness Expo” https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Exhibitors-Guide-Full-List-Exhibitors-Health-and-Fitness-Expo-474441813.html Immuno-Oncology News “Bristol-Myers, Nektar Developing Cancer Therapy to Be Used with Checkpoint Inhibitors” https://immuno-oncologynews.com/2018/02/26/bristol-myers-squibb-nektar-cancer-immunotherapy-checkpoint-inhibitors/ Color.com – Blog/Podcast “Adam Klein, Winner of 2016 Survivor, on Becoming a Leading Lung Cancer Advocate” https://blog.color.com/adam-klein-winner-of-2016-survivor-on-becoming-a-leading-lung-cancer-advocate-f2ca8f48415 OncLive “Expert Highlights Immunotherapy Use in Stage III NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/expert-highlights-immunotherapy-use-in-stage-iii-nsclc OncLive “Dr. Gieschen on the Side Effects of Radiation Therapy in NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-gieschen-on-the-side-effects-of-radiation-therapy-in-nsclc The Baltimore Sun “Orioles Notes: Lee Expected to Miss Four Weeks; Hays to Get Break with Bum Shoulder” http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/bs-sp-orioles-notes-20180301-story.html Genome Web “As Cancer Immunotherapy Evolves, Challenges Compound for Diagnostic Development” https://www.genomeweb.com/molecular-diagnostics/cancer-immunotherapy-evolves-challenges-compound-diagnostic-development Cure Today “Taking Action to Address Lung Cancer Across the US” https://www.curetoday.com/articles/taking-action-to-address-lung-cancer-across-the-us Virginia Business "50 Most Influential Virginians - Lynne Doughtie" http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/50-most-influential-virginians-2018
  18. Let's talk about lung cancer and nutrition with the experts from Savor Health! Join LUNGevity for a special Twitter chat on Wednesday, March 7, at 8:00 PM ET. Use #LCCaregiver to follow or join the conversation. All are welcome!
  19. Alice Shaw, MD, PhD, is a pioneer in the field of targeted therapies for lung cancer—treatments designed to target specific gene mutations that are present in the cells of some patients. Her work was instrumental in earning FDA approval for three targeted therapies for patients with the ALK mutation: crizotinib, ceritinib, and alectinib. She recently presented the results of a critical clinical trial that suggest alectinib could replace crizotinib as the initial treatment for ALK-positive patients. In addition to conducting groundbreaking research, Dr. Shaw is a celebrated thoracic oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School who primarily treats patients with lung cancer. Dr. Shaw recently spoke with LUNGevity about the changes in the field of targeted therapies and her advice for patients facing a lung cancer diagnosis. LUNGevity Foundation: How has the field of targeted therapies changed over the past decade? Alice Shaw: When I entered the field more than a decade ago, we only had one targeted therapy option and that was for patients with the EGFR mutation. Because this mutation is only found in 10%-15% of patients with lung cancer in this country, the vast majority of our patients only had chemotherapy as an option. But since then, numerous targeted therapies have been developed for patients with many different types of genetic alterations. This has resulted in many more options for our patients, and it has transformed the way we treat lung cancer. These targeted treatments are more effective and better tolerated than standard chemotherapy and, as a result, are improving the quality of life for patients. LF: What is the greatest obstacle to successfully treating lung cancer with targeted therapies? AS: The biggest issue is drug resistance. Targeted therapies typically work for a year or two, and then the cancer figures out a new way to grow. This is called drug resistance, and it is the most common reason a patient comes off a targeted therapy drug. There are numerous research groups, including mine, that are working on understanding drug resistance. Once we get a handle on how the cancer is developing resistance, we can work to find a drug or combination of drugs that can overcome that type of drug resistance. LF: How do you anticipate the field of targeted therapies changing over the next decade? AS: Over the next decade, we’re going to see more efforts focused on upfront treatment and preventing the development of resistance. Right now, we are developing lines of drugs that are typically given sequentially—once the cancer becomes resistant to the first drug, the second one is given, and so on. The drugs that we are developing now are actually more effective and often safer for patients than the older generation of drugs. We’ve already started moving these newer drugs into the front-line setting, including alectinib for ALK-positive lung cancer and osimertinib for EGFR-mutant lung cancer. In addition, combination approaches may also move into the front-line setting. These combinations could include two targeted therapies, which may be more effective than a single targeted therapy, or multimodality strategies that incorporate highly potent targeted therapies to maximally reduce tumor burden and focused radiation to eradicate any residual sites of disease. These residual sites of disease may harbor the seeds of resistance, so targeting these sites may be particularly effective in preventing the development of resistance. Finally, over the next decade, I think we will be using more and more liquid biopsies, the sampling of circulating DNA shed from cancers. These liquid biopsies may help detect the first signs of resistance and may help us better tailor our targeted therapies to each patient. LF: What advice do you have for patients who are newly diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer? AS: I recommend that all patients with newly diagnosed advanced-stage lung cancer undergo multiplex molecular testing and PDL1 testing. While EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 are the best studied of the molecular targets, there are many other important targets for which we have highly active targeted therapies—for example, BRAF, MET, RET, and NTRK1. I would also recommend that all patients consider participating in a clinical trial because it is the only way we have to bring new discoveries to patients and it is a great way for patients to access the latest cutting-edge treatments. Finally, I would also suggest that patients get involved with advocacy and research organizations such as LUNGevity Foundation. LUNGevity is an amazing resource for patients and their families and also helps fund critical research into new treatments for lung cancer. Many patients and oncologists participate in LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep walks and other events, which are so important to raising awareness and helping to connect all of us fighting against lung cancer. (Dr. Shaw is a member of LUNGevity Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. She is also Director of the Center for Thoracic Cancers at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.) This blog was originally published in the LUNGevity Experts blog on February 6, 2018.
  20. Hi, SMAs, Here is the weekly clip report: Healio “Targeted Radiation Reduces Mortality for Early-Stage Lung Cancer” https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/lung-cancer/news/in-the-journals/{ea2da7d0-cbee-4aba-bba7-5028dde05d69}/targeted-radiation-reduces-mortality-for-early-stage-lung-cancer OncLive “ALK Inhibitors Continue to Reshape Treatment in NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/alk-inhibitors-continue-to-reshape-treatment-in-nsclc U.S. News & World Report “Are More People Dying of Cancer?” https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-02-20/are-more-people-dying-of-cancer Women’s Health “’How I Told My Siblings I Had Lung Cancer’” https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a18377542/lung-cancer-diagnosis/ OncLive “Clinical Trials Highlight Biomarker Progress in Lung Cancer” http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/clinical-trials-highlight-biomarker-progress-in-lung-cancer Clinical Oncology “Imfinzi Granted New Indication to Reduce Risk for NSCLC Progression” http://www.clinicaloncology.com/FDA-Watch/Article/02-18/Imfinzi-Granted-New-Indication-to-Reduce-Risk-for-NSCLC-Progression/47007 OncLive “Larotrectinib Update Shows Durable Responses in TRK-Positive Cancers” http://www.onclive.com/web-exclusives/larotrectinib-update-shows-durable-responses-in-trkpositive-cancers Cancer Therapy Advisor “Phase 2 Trial of AZD1775 for Squamous Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/azd1775-squamous-cell-lung-cancer-phase-2-trial/article/746115/ BBC News “Mini-Tumors’ Created to Battle Cancer” http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43154878 Medical Xpress “An Under-the-Radar Immune Cell Shows Potential in Fight Against Cancer” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-under-the-radar-immune-cell-potential-cancer.html GenomeWeb “New Extracellular Particle Could Prove Useful for Cancer Diagnosis, Monitoring” https://www.genomeweb.com/proteomics-protein-research/new-extracellular-particle-could-prove-useful-cancer-diagnosis
  21. Here is the weekly clip report: USA Today “Bristol-Myers Squibb Claims ‘Breakthrough’ Lung Cancer Treatment” https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/02/05/bristol-myers-squibb-claims-breakthrough-lung-cancer-treatment/306433002/ Forbes “Genprex Launch IPO for Trials of New Gene Therapy Lung Cancer Treatment” https://www.forbes.com/sites/rodnturner/2018/02/05/genprex-launch-ipo-for-trials-of-new-gene-therapy-lung-cancer-treatment/#167f00d449fd Cure Today “Not All Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment is Equal” https://www.curetoday.com/articles/not-all-small-cell-lung-cancer-treatment-is-equal Targeted Oncology “Gray Sheds Light on Considerations When Treating NSCLC with Immunotherapy” http://www.targetedonc.com/news/gray-sheds-light-on-considerations-when-treating-nsclc-with-immunotherapy Oncology Nurse Advisor “Lung Cancer Screening: Risk-Targeting Approach vs NLST Eligibility Criteria” https://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/lung-cancer/risk-targeting-approach-vs-national-lung-screening-trial-eligibility-criteria/article/741924/ OncLive “Dr. Erhunmwunsee on Factors of Disparity in Lung Cancer Treatment” http://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-erhunmwunsee-on-factors-of-disparity-in-lung-cancer-treatment News Medical “LUNGevity Foundation Launches Initiative to Promote Stronger Adherence to Lung Cancer Screening” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180207/LUNGevity-Foundation-launches-initiative-to-promote-stronger-adherence-to-lung-cancer-screening.aspx Healio “ASCO Panel: Precision Medicine in Practice Can Be Challenging” https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/practice-management/news/online/{29cffa20-1d9b-41e1-84e1-804341997d73}/asco-panel-precision-medicine-in-practice-can-be-challenging The Daily Telescope “Dr. Julie Brahmer, M.D., M.Sc. Is Named Professional of the Year by the International Assoc. of Who’s Who” http://dailytelescope.com/pr/dr-julie-r-brahmer-m-d-m-sc-is-named-professional-of-the-year-by-the-international-assoc-of-whoaes-who/66790 UCLA Health “A Double Dose of Promising Lung Cancer Findings” https://www.uclahealth.org/u-magazine/body.cfm?id=17&action=detail&ref=1137 NPR “What Not to Say to the Terminally Ill: ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/08/583774624/what-not-to-say-to-the-terminally-ill-everything-happens-for-a-reason
  22. Here is the weekly clip report: PR Newswire “American College of Chest Physicians Publishes New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines” https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-college-of-chest-physicians-publishes-new-lung-cancer-screening-guidelines-300589650.html The ASCO Post “Durvalumab Takes a Giant Leap into Stage III NSCLC” http://www.ascopost.com/issues/january-25-2018/durvalumab-takes-a-giant-leap-into-stage-iii-nsclc/ EurekAlert! “New Radiation Techniques Could Improve Quality of Life for Lung Cancer Patients” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/lhri-nrt012918.php Medical Xpress “Expert Panel Issues New Guidelines for Lung Cancer Molecular Testing” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-01-expert-panel-issues-guidelines-lung.html KETV-TV “Radon Awareness Month: Lung Cancer Survivor Thinks Radon Caused It” http://www.ketv.com/article/radon-awareness-month-lung-cancer-survivor-thinks-radon-caused-it/15893580 Oncology Nursing News “Socioeconomic Disparity in Lung Cancer Care” http://www.oncnursingnews.com/web-exclusives/socioeconomic-disparity-in-lung-cancer-care OncLive “Treatment of Locally Advanced NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/insights/multimodal-advanced-nsclc/treatment-of-locally-advanced-nsclc OncLive “Treatment of Early-Stage NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/insights/multimodal-advanced-nsclc/treatment-of-early-stage-nsclc Cure Today “Who Wears the Face of Cancer?” https://www.curetoday.com/community/bonnie-annis/2018/01/who-wears-the-face-of-cancer Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “LUNGevity Foundation Announces Initiative to Save Lives Through Increased Adherence to Lung Cancer Screening” http://markets.post-gazette.com/postgazette/news/read/35699542/lungevity_foundation_announces_initiative_to_save_lives_through_increased_adherence_to_lung_cancer_screening EurekAlert! “Small Molecule Plays a Big Role in Reducing Cancer’s Spread” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/mcog-smp013018.php KIMT-TV “Lung Cancer Survivor Heads to Super Bowl 52” http://www.kimt.com/content/news/Lung-cancer-survivor-heads-to-Super-Bowl-52-471847253.html The New York Times “After a Cancer Diagnosis, Playing the Odds” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/well/live/after-a-cancer-diagnosis-playing-the-odds.html Targeted Oncology “Will Combination Therapy with Immunotherapy Become the New Standard of Care for NSCLC?” http://www.targetedonc.com/news/will-combination-therapies-with-immunotherapy-become-the-new-standard-of-care-for-nsclc MIT News “Fine-Tuning Cancer Medicine” http://news.mit.edu/2018/fine-tuning-cancer-medicine-0201 Medical Xpress “Early Access to Palliative Care Associated with Better Quality of Life” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-early-access-palliative-quality-life.html Medical Xpress “Clinical Trial Tests Feasibility of Targeting Particular Classes of Tumor Types with Certain Drugs” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-clinical-trial-feasibility-classes-tumor.html
  23. I first became involved with LUNGevity through National HOPE Summit, a survivorship conference in Washington, D.C. Seeing so many survivors and being able to share our stories and gain knowledge made the experience very special. I’m always impressed by the quality of what I learn and what is shared. The fact that the medical researchers can interact with patients in an intimate setting and participate in the roundtable discussions is very inspiring. Going to HOPE Summit has been a springboard for many other volunteer and advocacy opportunities. At my first conference, I learned about the LifeLine peer-to-peer support program. As a long-term survivor, I wanted to use my story to try to inspire hope in others who were living with lung cancer, so I jumped at the chance to give back as a mentor. Through HOPE Summit, I also got to know Andrea Ferris, LUNGevity’s President, and Katie Brown, LUNGevity’s Vice President of Support & Survivorship. Katie recommended me as a reviewer for the Department of Defense research grant program and I love being part of that. LUNGevity also connected me with Eli Lilly & Co. who produced an Emmy-winning documentary about my family and me. I've attended a congressional luncheon on Capitol Hill with LUNGevity, and a lab tour at Lilly. I was looking for ways to give back in my local community, so a few years ago I started a support group in Fort Myers, Florida. The group provides wonderful camaraderie and community. We meet once a month to share stories and experiences and resources, and we also get together socially once a month. We’re a close-knit group. In 2017, I convinced four members of my lung cancer support group to attend National HOPE Summit with me. We were so inspired that we decided to organize a Breathe Deep event in Fort Myers to raise awareness about the facts of lung cancer. We were able to share our story in local media and even surpassed our fundraising goal. We held the 5K walk and fun run on November 4 to kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Breathe Deep Fort Myers brings attention to lung cancer and the lack of funding and gives us the opportunity to get rid of the stigma. We want to let the people in our area know that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer, that two out of three of the people diagnosed are never-smokers or quit many years ago. Being an event coordinator gives me such a feeling of purpose. I’ve been so aimless since I retired from teaching because of my health. Helping others through this event and through the support group is very rewarding. Our number one goal is to provide much needed research funding. We also want to raise money for patient education and support, and help continue to bring top-notch speakers to HOPE Summits. I hope that both the walk and the support group continue to grow and make an impact in the community. LUNGevity is so patient-oriented and offers so much support and information and education that it aligns with my goals. I want to give back to LUNGevity because I feel like they’ve given a lot to all of us. That makes me want to do as much as I can to help support LUNGevity’s mission to improve quality of life and survivorship. Melissa (bottom right) with members of the Fort Myers Lung Cancer Support Group and their families at the 2017 National HOPE Summit.
  24. Here is the weekly clip report: PR Newswire “LUNGevity Foundation Kicks Off New Public Service Campaign to Alter View of Lung Cancer Diagnosis” https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lungevity-foundation-kicks-off-new-public-service-campaign-to-alter-view-of-lung-cancer-diagnosis-300583589.html Baylor College of Medicine “Immunotherapy Treatment Gives Lung Cancer Patient Second Chance” https://blogs.bcm.edu/2018/01/22/immunotherapy-treatment-gives-lung-cancer-patient-second-chance/ Variety “Allison Shearmur, ‘Rogue One,’ “Hunger Games’ Producer, Dies at 54” http://variety.com/2018/film/news/allison-shearmur-dead-dies-star-wars-hunger-games-1202670745/ South Fine Arts Blog “LUNGEVITY Arts Coffee House” http://southfinearts.blogspot.com/ EurekAlert! “Leading Medical Organizations Update Lung Cancer Guideline” https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/iaft-lmo012318.php PR Newswire “Biomarck Announces the Start of a Phase 2 Clinical Trial of BIO-11006 for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)” https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/biomarck-announces-the-start-of-a-phase-2-clinical-trial-of-bio-11006-for-non-small-cell-lung-cancer-nsclc-300586095.html Cleveland Clinic “Immunotherapy Triggers New Lease on Life for Lung Cancer Patients” https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/01/22/immunotherapy-triggers-new-lease-on-life-for-lung-cancer-patient/ OncLive “Dr. Garon on Sequencing of Agents for Advanced Lung Cancer” http://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-garon-on-sequencing-of-agents-for-advanced-lung-cancer EurekAlert! “International Organizations Partner to Spread Awareness of Revised Lung Cancer Staging Criteria” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/iaft-iop012318.php University of Chicago Medicine “Targeted Treatments Halt Spread of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer-articles/targeted-treatments-halt-spread-of-advanced-non-small-cell-lung-cancer HealthDay “New Treatments Tackling Tough Lung Cancer” https://consumer.healthday.com/cancer-information-5/lung-cancer-news-100/new-treatments-tackling-tough-lung-cancer-730442.html Cancer Therapy Advisor “Lung Cancer: FDA Collaboration Highlights Real-World Immunotherapy Treatment Patterns” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-fda-collaboration-immunotherapy-treatment-patterns/article/739081/ The ASCO Post “Ceritinib in ALK-Positive Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer” http://www.ascopost.com/issues/january-25-2018/ceritinib-in-alk-positive-metastatic-non-small-cell-lung-cancer/
  25. LUNGevity is excited to partner with Savor Health to address nutrition for people diagnosed with lung cancer in a new blog. Savor Health is a provider of personalized nutrition solutions designed exclusively for cancer patients based on evidence-based science and clinical best practices and provided by a team of oncology-credentialed registered dietitians. You can submit your questions here and the experts at Savor Health may answer it in an upcoming blog!
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