The United States boasts the best cancer care in the world, and yet many patients have complained that the "human" side of their care has lagged far behind. Fortunately, there is now a strong body of research supporting the treatment of the whole person.
No one tells you what you're going to feel like as you walk away from the doctor's office to face autonomy for the first time in months or even years. Perhaps if someone had, it wouldn't have taken me so long to get help in the struggle I had self-diagnosed as the harbinger of insanity.
It's not easy for patients (or their loved ones) to cope with a diagnosis of cancer. But if that first reaction is tempered with the knowledge that you don't have to beat cancer in order to have a full life, then it becomes bad news that's somehow easier to take.
In order to succeed we will also have to radically change the way we practice medicine. Matching macroscopic symptoms with standardized drugs just won't do. Each cancer patient is a new scientific problem.
Twenty-seven years have passed, and I'm still enjoying the miracle of being alive every day. I contribute it to a healthier lifestyle and organizing my priorities in life. I learned that accumulating possessions at our health expense are only useless.
Three weeks ago I was walking in Cape Town, South Africa and three weeks later I was told I will be dead within weeks to a month or so. Life leaves us all with a lot of questions, but I know I don't blame anyone.
I became an advocate in the fight against cancer as I saw how powerful my own mother was when her body was at its weakest. As she found the strength to fight, I found a greater sense of purpose in my responsibility as her daughter.
A report called "Move More" by an organization called Macmillan Cancer Support surveyed 60 studies and over 400 health professionals to show how important exercise is to cancer treatment -- and for reducing the risk of some cancers progressing or coming back.
Never in my life did I think I would ever hear the word "cancer" in reference to me. After all, I have devoted my life to fitness, healthy living and nutrition. Turns out, you can't always outsmart genetics. They actually have something to do with it.
In 2009 I founded FCancer, and over the last three years we've noticed a few things were missing in the cancer space. So we decided to build -- build the assets, tools and information that we thought would really contribute to the cancer space.
When walking in to the Feldman's home, one can't help but notice the challenge they face. And yet, their home, now thrust in a cacophony of crisis, has energy of hope, optimism and unconditional love pulsing through its veins.
The National LGBT Cancer Network wants to create a better map so that LGBT people who are diagnosed with cancer can make the best treatment decisions. We are developing a database of providers who are both highly skilled and culturally competent.
More people are getting cancer and more are surviving it. The costs of survivorship -- financial, physical, psychological, social, emotional -- affect not only survivors and their families, but our country and our communities.
It's no secret that the need to tighten our belts during the recent economic downturn has sent us into an era of cost containment. But we must find ways to both contain health care costs and continue to move cancer knowledge forward.