. The American Cancer Society offers 24 hours a day, and seven days a week support to patients newly diagnosed with cancer, currently going through treatment or to caregivers, by offering information, day-to-day help, and emotional support. Their support ranges from temporary housing, free transportation, understanding the diagnosis, treatment options, treatment side effects and near the end of life support (ACS, 2018).
Educational support starts with understanding the diagnosis. The patient can learn what cancer is, how it spreads to other parts of the body, and how cancers are different. Some cancers spread very quickly, and others grow more slowly. The patient can learn that some type of cancers is best treated with surgery, while others do betters with medication and radiation treatments (ACS, 2018).
Patients can access information online at www.canger.org or via telephone Cancer Helpline 800.227.2345. A team of doctors writes the information provided at the American Cancer Society, master prepared nurses, journalist, editors and translators specialized in medical writing.
The patient can learn how is treatment planned and anticipate their growth rate of cancer. An example would be certain types of leukemias and lymphomas grow faster than solid tumors. Thus, the treatment for those cancers should be started in a couple of days (ACS, 2018).
The ACS service that I would recommend for someone I knew, who is diagnosed with cancer would be the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO). The reason is finding a clinical oncologist for a second opinion. The diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming and having the reassurance that the right treatment is initiated, or finding out a different treatment option can help the patient explore all options. I would advise the patient to communicate that decision with their physician and to verify with the insurance before making arrangements (ACS, 2018).
Over the next decade, it is expected that there will be nearly 1.5 million new cancer diagnosis. Factors that contribute to this include people being more in tune with their bodies. More woman are doing routine self-breast exams, and now with the Affordable Care Act, pap smear, mammograms, HPV, lung cancer and nutrition screening are covered at 100% as preventative health (HealthCare.gov, nd.) . By having more people tested, there will be more diagnosis but hopefully in early stages. Medical advancements also make detecting cancer faster and easier. MRI’s, CT Scans, Pet Scans and now digital mammography make it easier to find abnormalities quicker, leading to faster treatments. It would be nice to see these numbers trend down but having people starting to eat more organic foods and quit smoking, but unfortunately, cancer is a disease that is becoming more common in this day and age.
Research projects being funded and encouraged by the ACS mostly include ways to diagnosis and treat the cancers themselves. Dr. Jennifer Mack (2018), of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, recently received a grant to allow her to study support systems, a different but equally important role in the fight against cancer. The purpose of her research is to improve relationships between parents and their child’s cancer doctor. The focus was on how to encourage positive relationships to help reduce miscommunication and anxiety. The team is studying relationships that are working well along with difficult ones to learn strategies to quickly identify and repair relationships in need. The plan is to design interventions to diffuse stress and distress and eventually put those interventions into action. The ACS has provided comfort and peace of mind to millions of individuals and their families when they receive a cancer diagnosis. With support through donations and fundraising events, this organization will continue to make strides in treatments, hopefully eliminating cancer for good.
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