The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is a great source of information about legislative action in your community and nationwide that affects screening guidelines, insurance coverage, and standard of care for cancer treatment and detection. In a world where the problems loom ever larger and our ability to reach out and help each other feels so limited, ACS CAN is focused on providing you the information you need to email your Senator, participate in events on the Hill or at your statehouse, or just be informed about how the latest news may affect cancer patients in treatment or in recovery.
The ACS CAN also recruits cancer survivors and those who have loved someone with cancer to speak at Congressional hearings, hearings on the state level, and other events where your words can make a difference. I’ve responded to two requests this week, actually, and I am waiting and HOPING to hear that I’ve been selected to speak on the Hill on February 10. I need to talk about cancer research funding and what a difference research and clinical trials can make. After all, 20 years ago, only 1-2% of patients with IBC survived to the five-year mark. Today, 50% do.
I’m one of those 50%. I have to be. I have way too much to do to fight a relapse. And I WILL NOT let cancer beat me.
It’s not completely up to me, you know. My survival depends critically on new advances in research into inflammatory breast cancer and other locally advanced breast cancers, those that kill far too many of the women that they invade. Right now, there are only a few studies that are even investigating the mechanisms involved in inflammatory breast cancer. Komen sponsors one. The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation sponsors another. The others must compete against much more popular cancers in peer review, and since not many of us are around to advocate for IBC and other locally advanced breast cancers (LABC), they rarely receive funding.
We must change that. We must.
And we must do it before my friends and I have a recurrence, or more of our friends are diagnosed.
To find out more about how you can speak out against cancer in a real and meaningful way, visit the ACS CAN web page and sign up for updates to your inbox. You can also friend ACS CAN on Twitter and Facebook.