Issue IntroductionsThe Empowered Patient

Empowering Your Cancer Journey

This issue of CONQUER is packed full of information to empower you and your family with new knowledge that can be applied to the cancer journey you are experiencing.
April 2015 Vol 1 No 2
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Co-Founder, Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators® (AONN+)
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship®
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer
Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co-Developer, Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work
Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions
Breast cancer survivor

Hello everyone. We hope now that winter is behind us, you are getting outside a bit and enjoying the flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the fresh air.

This issue of CONQUER is packed full of information to empower you and your family with new knowledge that can be applied to the cancer journey you are experiencing. There is a special article on how your navigator can be the most help to you. Frequently, patients don’t even know exactly what the role of their navigator is! This article helps lay it out so you can optimize your time with your navigator and receive the care you need.

It does take a team, a multidisciplinary team actually, to provide you the care you need, and to navigate and support you during this cancer journey. You can learn more about that in an article in this issue.

There are many different types of cancer. This issue of CONQUER focuses on providing you a sort of “Cancer 101” for some specific cancers that you may want to learn more about. Even if you are currently dealing with a different type of cancer, you should still read through these. You might be surprised by some of the information in them and realize that you yourself are actually due for some specific screening, or that you should avoid certain things that increase the risk for getting these cancers. They include colorectal cancer with a focus on cancer screening information, head and neck cancers (did you know that HPV has been identified as a major contributor to this type of cancer?), esophageal cancer, and multiple myeloma (with special information about a higher incidence among African Americans).

Read a rap song written about chemotherapy called “Chemo Wrap-Up” that might inspire you to put words to paper too and write some poetry!

Heard of cancer rehabilitation? We hope so. This is a new and up-and-coming way to prevent deconditioning that frequently happens during cancer treatment. This specific article focuses on shoulder pain associated with breast cancer surgery. If you haven’t heard of cancer rehabilitation, inquire at the cancer center where you are receiving your treatment. You are likely a candidate to receive a referral and don’t even know it.

Exercise—we hope this article motivates you to get your walking shoes on and get outdoors. The weather is perfect. Exercise is also an effective way to reduce fatigue!

Financial support is a growing concern for many patients diagnosed with cancer today. The American Cancer Society has provided information regarding resources they have available that can address money worries associated with your cancer treatment. Those without health insurance can especially find this time in their life riddled with more bills than they ever imagined. Read about what type of financial support is available that may be of benefit to you. There are even special resources for your navigator too.

Getting patients through their treatment and into short-term, then long-term, survivorship is a common goal that your oncology team shares with you. Read an inspirational story written by the daughter of a patient who is now enjoying her life that was saved.

We hope you find the contents in this issue of CONQUER to be of great interest to you

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