There are now more than 12 million men and women throughout the United States who are Cancer Survivors. Tens of thousands of them live in Maine.
In these last decades, the focus of cancer research has rightly been on the medical aspects of the disease, with goals of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. That is where priorities must remain. But, the impacts of cancer go well beyond the reach of medicine. After their cancer diagnosis, many people are never the same; and their challenge is to figure out their new normal.
Cancer comes in many varieties -- lung, stomach, breast, blood, kidney, colorectal, prostate, and many others – but survivors share a set of issues and questions. How, in particular, can people find “healing, health, and happiness after cancer?” What are the barriers and what leads to success?
The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer, a statewide, all volunteer nonprofit organization, (www.mcfpc.org) is preparing a series of 30-minute videos about the quality of life after cancer treatment. We want to explore the way cancer affects people’s lives and feelings and learn from the varied experiences of the many who have undergone treatment.The first video will feature those whose treatments have concluded and are in remission. The second will consult professionals who work with survivors. The third will deal with those whose treatments are ongoing. The videos will be shown statewide in Maine and will be available on the MCFPC website.
MCFPC is reaching out to people whose lives have been impacted by cancer and is asking them to complete a survey. (The link to the survey is available on the home page of its website: www.mcfpc.org.) The survey is not intended as academic research. Rather, it will inform our program and help us to illustrate and understand the concerns, needs, and successes of many different people. Responses to the survey will be totally anonymous to us and to our viewers and participants will not be identified in any way. Survey results will be reported on the website and will be referenced on the program itself.
We have much to learn and will benefit from as broad a participation (people and kinds of cancer) as possible. Please help.
The MCFPC website (www.mcfpc.org) currently contains a series of 30-minute videos that can easily be viewed online. (A DVD can be requested for the cost of postage.) The last two videos feature Maine support services such as the Cancer Community Center, The Dempsey Center, and the Beth C Wright Center. Earlier videos deal with “Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer: Similarities and Differences” and with issues related to prostate cancer.
Photo, left to right: Bethany Zell, MBCC President; Jaclyn Silk, Bangor Savings Bank Assistant Vice President and branch manager of the State Street branch; Carol Beagan, MBCC Treasurer.
Currently, Medicare and many private insurance policies fail to cover the costs of the daily compression supplies people with lymphedema need to control their swelling. People who can’t afford these supplies are left with worsening lymphedema, which can lead to infections and even long-term disability.
MBCC President Bethany Zell wrote, "Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® is the National Breast Cancer Coalition's global initiative to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. As leaders in the breast cancer movement and supporters of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, we are committed to being a part of this important work."
Photo: MBCC volunteer Gail Murphy, fundraiser coordinator; Matt Howe, owner of of Sushi Maine