June 5, 2011

Surviving Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Charlotte Hofer @ 2:00 pm

It begins with three chilling words, “You have cancer.” And then, your life forever changes.

Annie Johnson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota was a young college student when she was told she had cancer—and that it was terminal. She was given 2 months to live. So she dropped out of school and prepared for the worst. “I’m not supposed to be here…” Annie says. “But I’m living proof that miracles happen—they can happen at any moment of life, and sometimes even in the darkest hour.”

Today, June 5 is National Cancer Survivor’s Day. More than 11 million cancer survivors—like Annie—will celebrate around the nation on that day to observe the 24th annual Survivor’s Day. Communities worldwide will join together to celebrate life, and show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and fulfilling.

Annie was devastated with her diagnosis, but refused to give up. She went through multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplants. She started eating better, exercising, drinking nutritional shakes, taking better care of herself. And she decided to keep on living her life.

She even enrolled again in college, knowing full well she might never finish. But then, Annie is a fighter, determined not to let cancer slow her down, determined that cancer is only a sidestep in her life, and that nothing—not even cancer—can slow her dreams.

“I have been surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma for three years,” says Annie. “This has given me strength and focus. Every day I think about my future with confidence, knowing that I have the ability to beat this cancer.”
Today she’s in full remission. “I celebrate life every day,” says Annie. “I want to use my life to make a difference for those going through the same thing I am; to give them hope.”

Annie is also making it her mission to tell people about the American Cancer Society and how they can help survivors and their families.

“When I was going through treatment, one of the services that really helped me was the Look Good, Feel Better program,” says Annie. Look Good, Feel Better (LGFB) is a free service to patients in active treatment, offered in partnership through the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association. Look Good, Feel Better helps female cancer patients with the appearance-related side effects of cancer—with classes on how to cover skin problems, and how to compensate for loss of eyelashes or eyebrows.

“It’s a program that too few cancer patients know about,” says Annie. And like Annie, they could receive help. It’s offered in group sessions where a make-up kit is supplied to participants, and it’s also offered online for those who can’t get to a group session. It helps women feel more confident during cancer.

“Cancer can take a lot of things from you,” says Annie. “But it doesn’t have to take your self-esteem.” In addition to cosmetic programs like Look Good, Feel Better, the American Cancer Society also helps patients by providing rides to treatments; lodging during treatment; emotional support (such as breast cancer support and cancer education classes); hair-loss and mastectomy products (wigs, hats, bras, etc.); online community (to share stories, blog, and talk in an online chat room with other survivors, visit our Cancer Survivors Network at www.cancer.org) and information (all 1.800.227.2345 to talk to a Cancer Information Specialists, day or night; they can can help you understand your cancer and treatment options, find help with insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, and find programs in your area for people with cancer).

A survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer, from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. And best advice from Annie for anyone newly diagnosed with cancer? “Cancer did not take away the important things in my life. It cannot stop your creativity, your ability to love, your optimism, or your faith. That’s the most important message I want people to hear: That there’s hope. I’m living proof.” She pauses for a moment, and smiles, “And there’s a miracle waiting for you too; I believe that.”

Charlotte Hofer is Public Relations Manager, South Dakota, for the
American Cancer Society and a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Read more @ Indian Country Today Media Network.com.

June 16, 2011

Five Easy Ways for Men to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Filed under: Health & Wellness,News Alerts — Tags: , , , , , , , , — American Cancer Center @ 4:52 pm

According to the American Cancer Society, one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. More than 789,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in men in 2010. The American Cancer Society wants men to know how to stay healthy, and there’s no better time than now to start healthy lifestyle habits and put your health first—for you and your family. Here are some easy tips for cancer prevention.

1) Eat healthy. Your mom was right all along—you need those fruits and veggies! The American Cancer Society recommends 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Limit processed foods, alcohol and red meat. Processed meat would include hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, bacon, bologna and luncheon meat.

2) Get active. Exercise is important to stay cancer-free. Fit in 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week to feel great and prevent cancer. Mowing the lawn counts!

3) Don’t smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, 87 percent of lung cancers can be attributed to smoking. By staying away from tobacco (including second-hand smoke) you can dramatically reduce your chances of lung cancer. The American Cancer Society can help you quit smoking. Call 1-800-227-2345 to learn about the Quit for Life program.

4) Protect your skin. With summer in full swing, everyone wants to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re fishing, camping or doing yard work, you are at risk for skin cancer if you are not protected from the sun’s rays. Wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, a hat, and sunglasses are all ways to prevent skin cancer. Check for any changes in your skin, and ask your doctor about a skin exam during your health check-up.

5) Get cancer screenings. Get screened for colon cancer if you are age 50 or older; screening should be done earlier if you have a family history of the disease. Regular check-ups and screening tests could save your life. The American Cancer Society lists cancer screening guidelines at www.cancer.org.

Today is the perfect time to start living a healthier lifestyle. Be proactive about your health and choose to take these 5 simple steps to reduce your risk of cancer. Your family will be glad you did!

For more information on men’s health and a detailed explanation of cancer risk factors, contact the American Cancer Society at 1.800.227.2345, or visit www.cancer.org.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org

Read more @ Indian Country Today Media Network.com.

June 20, 2011

Akwesasne Mohawk Youth Are Still at Risk of Industrial Pollutants

The industrial facilities built in the 1950s on the St. Lawrence River where New York, Quebec and Ontario meet were a toxic turning point for the unwary Akwesasne Mohawk.

While the Mohawk continued their 9,000-year traditional fishing and hunting lifestyle, and celebrated ceremonies on the river, industrial contaminants from the manufacturing process poisoned its waters. Instead of their fishing birthright, the river they call Kaniatarowanenneh has yielded industrial pollutants through contaminated fish, wildlife and their mother’s milk.

The bodies of young Akwesasne Mohawk adults have twice the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as the national average, compared to those studied by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of PCBs in 1979 because of their toxicity, longevity, and ability to accumulate in the food chain and in people’s bodies. The Akwesasne were told to limit consumption of local traditional fish and animal foods in the early 1980s when studies found persistent organic pollutants had contaminated local fish and wildlife. Health assessments, which found the breast milk of young Mohawk mothers contained elevated concentrations of PCBs and was transferred to nursing infants, led to an outright ban of all fish for mothers, infants and children.

The ban, it seems, was well founded. A study in the May 2011 issue of the journal Chemosphere found higher levels of PCBs in those born before the advisories against eating local foods went into effect, than in those born afterward. The study also revealed significantly higher levels in those who had eaten fish within the previous year, in those who were first-born, and in those who were breast-fed.

“What this study is saying is that these chemicals are extremely persistent in people,” said co-author Lawrence Schell, a professor at the State University of New York (SUNY at Albany) and director of its Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities. “Once you’re exposed it’s difficult to remove that exposure burden.”

PCBs are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), commonly called endocrine disruptors. EDCs mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. They are also linked to some cancers and have been found to have adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system and nervous system. “Endocrine disruption seems to be the effect which is most far reaching because other effects on the reproductive system may be well tied into that,” said Schell.
The findings are part of a 16-year research project between the St. Regis Mohawk Nation and SUNY researchers who are examining PCBs and the health concerns of Mohawk youth.

The St. Regis Akwesasne community is adjacent to an EPA Superfund site, an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located. It was once occupied by a General Electric facility that dumped tons of hazardous waste into two landfills that released PCBs. Nearby aluminum smelters belonging to Reynolds and Alcoa, now New York state Superfund sites, also released the PCBs that contaminate the river, its tributaries, its wildlife and its people.

The high PCB levels rapidly changed their traditional lifestyle after 1988. Snapping turtles, known to Natives as the foundation of Mother Earth—Turtle Island—were found to be contaminated at levels that would qualify them as hazardous waste. Yet outwardly the area is placid, and still a beautiful place to live, Craig Arquette, a member of the tribe who serves on the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment, a group that assisted the researchers, told ICTMN.

The more researchers learn about how PCBs affect human health in the community, the more questions are raised. But as Schell pointed out, “It’s important to acknowledge that there have been some questions that have been answered.”

Researchers have already established that PCBs have altered thyroid gland function in the Akwesasne community. Prior studies found lower testosterone levels and established links to autoimmune disorders.

PCBs are ubiquitous in today’s environment. Nonetheless, there are instances in which potential exposure is justified. In all but the most extreme circumstances, for example, breast milk remains the best food for babies, according the American Academy of Pediatrics. It contains important nutrients that boost immunity, and can even confer protections against neurotoxic pollutants.

But concerns over PCBs continue. “The results [of all the studies] are interesting because they establish the link between disease and exposure,” Arquette said. “This latest is an indication that we’ll need to do more.”

Read more @ Indian Country Today Media Network.com.

July 28, 2011

OU ‘Native Navigators’ Program Targets Cancer Prevention Among American Indians

Filed under: Health & Wellness,News Alerts — Tags: , , , — ICTMN Staff @ 4:00 pm

The Comanche Nation is teaming up with the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing to evaluate whether tribal members trained as health educators can assist with cancer prevention, screening and treatment—and if that can encourage more American Indians to get screenings and make healthy lifestyle changes.

The Native Navigators program aims to increase knowledge about cancer and motivate people to achieve health goals, thus reducing cancer-related deaths, in the Comanche community surrounding Lawton in southern Oklahoma. The research also will evaluate whether age, education and family income influence knowledge about cancer.

Valerie Eschiti, an assistant professor of nursing at the OU College of Nursing, is the principal investigator of the federally funded project.

Eschiti said American Indians in the Southern Plains have a higher incidence and higher mortality rates for some types of cancer when compared to other racial and ethnic groups, as well as Indians living in other parts of the country. Poverty, lack of education about cancer and difficulty accessing health care may factor into this disparity.

Two Comanche Nation members, Stacey Sanford and Leslie Weryackwe, have been trained by Eschiti and other faculty as Native Navigators and now are leading educational  workshops throughout the Lawton area.

Sanford, a licensed practical nurse, said she was attracted to the project because she’s seen how members can influence each other more effectively than outsiders.

“Our native people are more comfortable hearing from other natives,” she said. “It’s a cultural thing.”

Weryackwe agrees.

“There is so much caring and love in our people,” Weryackwe said. “We’re all family, and we just want to help each other.”

The two said they are already seeing signs of positive change with participants asking how to eat better and how to take other steps to ward off disease.

“Cancer is a word that a lot of Native Americans get scared of,” Sanford said. “But now they want to learn more about how to prevent it.”

In addition, the program will evaluate the impact of support by Native Navigators on cancer care. For instance, if someone has a finding that may point to cancer or is actually diagnosed with cancer, a Native Navigator helps guide that person through treatment, follow-up and even end-of-life care.

“They guide patients through and around barriers in the complex cancer care system to help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment,” Eschiti said, adding that similar programs in other parts of the country have shown an increase in screening for certain cancers.

The program is funded by a $363,563 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes for Health. Denver-based Native American Cancer Research also is a partner in the project.

“Research and outreach are an integral part of our mission at the OU College of Nursing,” said Dean Lazelle Benefield, Ph.D., R.N. and Fellow, American Academy of Nursing. “Reducing health disparities and helping underserved populations is of vital importance. This project highlights the critical contributions nursing professionals are making to health care across the state and nation.”

This year, the OU College of Nursing marks its 100th year of teaching excellence. Based in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton with additional outreach sites in Ada, Ardmore, Duncan, Enid, Woodward, Grove, Hugo, McAlester, Poteau and Talihina, the college boasts 9,500 graduates in all 50 states and 10 countries.  A leader in nursing education, the OU College of Nursing is also committed to advancing faculty research that leads to new discoveries and avenues for improved health.

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September 30, 2011

Alberta Government to Study Health Downstream from Oil Sands

In a never-before-seen partnership, the aboriginal communities around Fort McKay will work with the government of Alberta over the next few years to study health in communities downstream from the oil sands.

The agreement, made public September 29 in a letter of intent, is between the Fort McKay First Nation, Fort McKay Métis Community, Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Aboriginal Relations, Postmedia News reported. It’s unique partly because the study will be driven by the First Nations, with Alberta Health playing a supporting role, the newspaper Fort McMurray Today reported.

tar sands icon Alberta Government to Study Health Downstream from Oil Sands

“Our Chief and Council, in partnership with leadership from the Fort McKay Métis Community, have expressed for quite some time now that there is a great need to conduct a health assessment study of our community,” said Raymond Powder, deputy chief of the Fort McKay First Nation, according to CBC News. “We need to better understand the state of our people’s health, and how the environment around us is impacting our health, not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.”

This would be the first time the province has studied an entire community’s health, CBC News said. Working together, the groups will interview residents of 600-population Fort McKay to gauge health priorities and create new programs if necessary, Postmedia News said.

The Athabasca Oil Sands and pipelines emanating from it have been the subject of numerous protests over the past several months. Controversy has been especially heated over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would wend its way from the oil sands down to the Gulf of Mexico through indigenous territory. Hundreds have been arrested in protests in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa.

John O’Connor, a doctor who was ridiculed several years ago for drawing attention to what he said were higher cancer rates in the region, told Fort McMurray Today that the studies will involve both a long-term study of all aspects of health, and a shorter-term look at Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan and the possible effects of environmental changes on their health.

“It’s been too long coming, but now they’ve agreed and we have it quite clearly from them, it’s good. I’m happy. I’m happy this is going to start and it’s going to be firmly in the hands of First Nations’ control,” he told the newspaper, “every aspect, the methodology, the terms of reference, but with the co-operation and support of Alberta Health, and because it’s on-reserve issues, Health Canada will be in a supportive role as well.”

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November 25, 2011

The Land as Life-Giver: Two First Nations Cultivate Health and Economic Independence

One started as a community kitchen, aiming to improve health and well-being of the general population as well as people of few means. The other started as a community garden, helping people get off welfare. The goal of both was to create food self-sufficiency.

In two provinces, two unconnected projects are paving the way for the future. The Squamish Nation’s Ustlahn Social Society today oversees programs serving dozens of members, and the Muskoday First Nation’s community gardens, in partnership with Heifer Canada, feeds everyone from elders to schoolchildren, training youth for jobs in the process.

“Their vision was to launch a service organization that would supply nourishing meals to people and help them lead a healthier life,” the North Shore News reported earlier this year of the Ustlahn Social Society, founded in 2007 by Squamish Nation elder Barbary Wyss and her brother Rennie Nahanee.

The community kitchen serves 50 or more on a given day. As the kitchen component grew, the founders started looking for ways to make it more sustainable, the North Shore News said in a story on the society and the ways its garden has helped strengthen community ties and improve health.

Wyss and Nahanee got the band council to let the kitchen use an abandoned two-acre lot on Squamish land that had been designated as a park but never really put to use. It had become overgrown, choked with litter, and was a host to thick foliage, rodents, feral cats and dogs, the newspaper reported. The brother and sister transformed it into Harmony Garden, which grows produce for the community kitchen.

Today the Ustlahn Social Society is “elder-driven with a strong focus on youth involvement, training and employment,” as the newspaper described it. Besides helping operate the kitchen and maintain the community garden, the society’s members are restoring an estuary in the area, the North Shore News said.

Enough fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown there that the garden not only stocks the community kitchen but also donates produce to the tribe’s elders center, various community events and to individuals.

Over in Saskatchewan, The Star Phoenix reported earlier this year, the food sovereignty organization Heifer International and Muskoday First Nation are getting people off welfare and onto healthy eating with organic produce they members are growing themselves. This program stemmed out of a 1999 program in which members grew 450 metric tons of potatoes and got several people off welfare by training them to work in agriculture and related fields.

Although that program didn’t last, a new incarnation was born in 2005 when several community members formed the Muskoday Organic Growers Co-op with the band’s permission, in partnership with Heifer International Canada, and started growing potatoes and other vegetables. Today a program exists to train families into farming self-sufficiency, The Star Phoenix said. The program is also training families in other First Nations bands.

Moreover, Heifer International said on its website, the gardens are furnishing everyone from 25 community elders to the school lunch program with produce.

Together the two programs are helping aboriginals in their respective communities in several areas: High rates of diseases such as diabetes and cancer are being combatted by consumption of the actual produce, jobs are being created, and training for youth and strengthening of community is providing an option for those who might contemplate suicide, which is rampant among aboriginals.

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December 1, 2011

Some Apple Juice Contains High Levels of Arsenic

Findings from a study released Wednesday reveal there are dangerous levels of arsenic and lead in some apple juice, reported ABC News. Many different juices list apple juice or apple juice concentrate as their primary ingredient.

Consumer Reports tested 88 samples of juice and found that 10 percent had arsenic levels higher than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  allows for drinking water, 10 parts per billion (ppb). Twenty-five percent of juices also had lead levels higher than the FDA’s bottled water limit of 5 ppb, reported Greg Martin for AgInfo.net.

The advocacy group is now pushing the FDA to lower its standards for arsenic levels in juice beverages.

ABC reports that Dr. Mehmet Oz was the first to raise the alarm that some of the biggest brands in America have arsenic in their apple juice. “We believe the elevated exposure of arsenic can cause heart disease; we know that it’s associated with cancers, skin disorders, developmental delays,” Dr. Oz told ABC.

Indian Country Today Media Network recently reported in “Arsenic in Indian Water Tables Can Cause Diabetes, Other Illnesses” on new findings by a group of scientists that support the theory that there is a link between arsenic and diabetes. “Our panel of experts, who met last January, concluded there is sufficient evidence to link high arsenic exposure in drinking water to diabetes,” says the study’s principal investigator, Miroslav Stýblo, a biochemist and an associate professor in the department of nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “With low levels, there is significant uncertainty. Our data also suggests that if you have a certain genetic makeup you are at higher risk.”

Adding to the risk factors associated with consuming arsenic in juice, pediatricians discourage parents from allowing children to drink juice excessively anyways. Since juice contains sugar, pediatricians recommend that children under six months don’t drink any, and children under age 7 should drink no more than four to six ounces per day. But ABC reports that most children drink much more than that. The impact of long-term, low exposure of arsenic levels in children is still unknown.

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December 3, 2011

An American Indian Physician Discusses Cancer in Indian Country and the Spirit of Eagles Program

Click here to view the embedded video.

Dr. Judith Kaur, an American Indian physician and Medical Director of Native American Programs at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, speaks about visiting reservations to help American Indian and Alaskan Native communities discuss cancer and treatment.

Meanwhile, she highlights her work with the Mayo Clinic and the Spirit of Eagles, an American Indian/Alaska Native leadership initiative on cancer. “I think the emphasis on health and wellness, not disease and dying, is what is unique about our philosophy. It’s finding that balance, that spiritual core. That’s what the Spirit of Eagles symbolism means—there’s strength, spirituality, health, healing, and that’s what our communities need,” Dr. Kaur says.

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December 4, 2011

Drug to Treat Diabetes May Also Reduce Risk of Cancer

Filed under: Health & Wellness,News Alerts — Tags: , , , , , , — ICTMN Staff @ 1:00 pm

A new Michigan State University (MSU) study reveals an inexpensive Type-2 diabetes drug may prevent natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells, MSU News recently reported.

James Trosko, a professor of pediatrics and human development in the College of Human Medicine at MSU, lead the study with South Korea’s Seoul National University. The research is available in the current edition of PLoS One.

The study proves long-term use of the drug metformin to treat Type-2 diabetes reduces the risk of diabetes-associated cancers, such as breast cancers.

“People with Type-2 diabetes are known to be at high risk for several diabetes-associated cancers, such as breast, liver and pancreatic cancers,” said Trosko. “While metformin has been shown in population studies to reduce the risk of these cancers, there was no evidence of how it worked.”

Trosko concluded, “…[T]his study reveals the need to determine if the drug might be used as a preventive drug and for individuals who have no indication of any existing cancers.”

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December 5, 2011

Circle of Life: New Cancer Education for American Indians

Buffshield 2 by Gary Robinson e1323106969745 Circle of Life: New Cancer Education for American Indians

Gary Robinson's artwork, contributed to the American Cancer Society's "Circle of Life" program, depicts a buffalo shield. (Courtesy of ACS)

Nine Tribes attended the “Train the Trainer” session in Aberdeen, South Dakota

We may not like to talk about it, but cancer affects all of us. And American Indians have the lowest survival rate from cancer than any other population.

That’s why it’s really important to talk about it: because education is the key to preventing cancer and helping survivors live better and longer lives. And now, with the help of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) brand new teaching tool called Circle of Life, there’s help to do just that.

Health educators from nine tribes across South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska met in Aberdeen recently for a “train the trainer” session for the new Circle of Life curriculum. The meeting, hosted by the ACS in conjunction with the Indian Health Service, was an opportunity for Community Health Representatives (CHRs) to get familiar with the Circle of Life material, and talk about the best ways to present it to their communities.

“Circle of Life is designed specifically for Native American audiences,” said Roberta Cahill (Yankton Sioux), ACS staff member in Pierre, South Dakota. “And what makes it so unique is that it can apply to every tribe, because it’s completely customizable.”

Circle of Life is cancer education built upon common tribal values such as spirituality and respect for the natural world. The material features holistic and positive health messages. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, both located on South Dakota reservations, have been a part of the preliminary field testing for the culturally appropriate messaging.

Circle of Life was developed by the ACS and Indian experts from around the country. The curriculum covers breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers—all cancers seen in Native populations. Screening, diagnosis, treatment, and end-of-life care are also discussed. The materials can be customized for individual tribes and feature American Indian photographs and artwork.

And with more than 500 tribes in the United States, who speak more than 217 different languages, the need for customizable material is very important. Every community is unique.

“I’m excited to start presenting the Circle of Life to my community,” said Shirley Crane, CHR Director, Lower Brule Sioux community, who attended the Aberdeen meeting. “It’s an opportunity to change the face of cancer, so we don’t have to tell our children they should be afraid of a word called cancer.”

The Circle of Life curriculum will be available online in 2012 for Native Americans looking for cancer and health information relevant to their community. The program aims to increase the understanding of cancer and its causes, promote wellness and prevention of cancer, and emphasize the importance of support during treatment.

Mostly, it aims to get the discussion going—and bring cancer out from the shadows.

About the American Cancer Society

At the ACS, our vision is a world with less cancer and more birthdays. As part of that vision, we are fighting cancer in every community, for every family, to help save lives. We recognize each community has different needs and we’re here to help everyone stay well and get well, to find cures, and to fight back against cancer. For cancer information, contact us at www.cancer.org or 1.800.227.2345

Charlotte Hofer is the public relations manager for the American Cancer Society, and a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She is based in South Dakota. Contact her at charlotte.hofer@cancer.org.

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