Issue Introductions

Youth Doesn’t Shield from Cancer

Welcome to the August 2017 issue of CONQUER. There is so much information in this issue for you to read, I hardly know where to start.
August 2017 Vol 3 No 4
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

Welcome to the August 2017 issue of CONQUER. There is so much information in this issue for you to read, I hardly know where to start.

We always have patient stories. Real-life cancer stories are powerful and provide the human side of a disease that lacks humanity. You will read about a 24-year-old man who was diagnosed with cancer, and the impact cancer had on him and his life.

This story reaffirms what a life-altering experience a diagnosis of cancer has on someone. And when it happens to young people, it can really wreak havoc on what they foresaw as the direction their lives. To quote a line from John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Read how he coped with the disease, and what he learned, including about himself.

There is also a story about a young single mother whose reliance on her instincts resulted in getting her 4-year-old daughter diagnosed earlier than otherwise would have happened. Without her mother’s intuitiveness, the daughter may not have survived. When cancer strikes young children, it often comes back and increases the likelihood that the young patient will have other cancer in the future. So it’s not surprising that at the young age of 16, her daughter was diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer. Read how this mother-daughter team dealt with these medical crises.

And in case you aren’t aware, a nonprofit organization called the Emilio Nares Foundation provides transportation for families when a child is diagnosed with cancer. It was founded by the parents of a child who died of cancer to help other families. It can be very time-consuming and expensive to go back and forth for frequent appointments; think about the time and money needed to keep daily radiation appointments for a youngster that could last 6 to 8 weeks. The Emilio Nares Foundation takes care of those trips, focusing on families in financial need.

The completion of cancer treatment is something everyone looks forward to, but once it happens, it can feel different from what was anticipated. In addition, changes can occur during treatment, not just physically but also emotionally, that can turn one’s life upside down. Patients with cancer and cancer survivors need help physically, of course, but also emotionally. More than 70% of cancer survivors experience some form of mental health issues as a result of their diagnosis. Learn about the M Powerment organization. Read about how you can stay emotionally healthy at a time when your body and mind are experiencing so much change.

Yes, even movie stars get cancer. Ben Stiller is such an actor, diagnosed in his late 40s with prostate cancer, a younger age than anticipated for this type of cancer. Although a comedian, he realized quickly that this was no laughing matter. Read about his story, and about the issues that revolve around who should get a PSA test, and why. It’s a controversial topic today.

With the power of science and improvements in treatments, access to new drugs and devices is thankfully happening every day. Learn about a new type of implant that enables the patient to inflate it herself and at her own pace.

And there’s more! Didn’t I tell you there is much to learn from in this issue? Thank your navigator for making CONQUER available to you. Take advantage of the enclosed postcard to complete and mail back to us so you can continue to receive future issues mailed directly to your home.

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