Winning the Scariest of Battles - Cancer

08/31/2017 10:23 am ET
Original painting by Ira S. Kalb
Fractured Man

As Baby Boomers age, more hear a word that scares the hell out of them – cancer. While scary, it is not the death sentence it once was. According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis is expected to grow from 14.5 million in 2014 to nearly 19 million in 2024. Of course, cancer does not only strike older people. In 2014, an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents were diagnosed with cancer.

Hospitals to help

While many people that receive a cancer diagnosis are devastated, there is a positive side to large numbers – more and more resources are being invested in cures and places you can turn for help. Expenditures for cancer care are expected to rise to $156 billion in 2020. With greater resources comes greater complexity. And, in places far from population centers, it is hard to find solutions that fit local needs. To mitigate these issues, there are a lot of organizations you can turn to for help. It is useful to start with hospitals.

US News and World Report ranked the top 50 of 902 hospitals that treat patients with cancer. Click here to find them.

Non profit organizations

Hospitals are not the only place you can turn. There are many organizations online and off that can help. The following is a partial list.

While the above is a partial list, some find it lengthy and intimidating. Where do you start? While some are more obvious by their names than others, what is the one that is the right fit for you?

Cancer Commons

A new expert network (listed above) is being assembled online called Cancer Commons (cancercommons.org) to provide life-saving knowledge to anyone looking for cancer solutions. Cancer Commons reviews your case, consults with leading cancer experts, and gives you evidence-based opinions free to patients and their families. A cancer survivor founded Cancer Commons. He did his own research and found a vaccine that saved his life. He started this organization to help others.

Life Raft Group

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) are rare. Because of this fact, they are often misdiagnosed, and people with them often have difficulty finding resources to help. The Life Raft Group (liferaftgroup.org) is an invaluable organization for connecting GIST patients with medical resources and other patients to help.

Tough opponent

Anyone that has gone to battle knows that cancer can be a tough opponent. The hope is that the information in this brief post can help you find what you need to begin fighting the disease in its many forms. Early detection, if possible, makes the battle so much easier. That’s why it is important to get tests and scans periodically even though you don’t have any symptoms, you may think you are too busy, or you don’t like to visit doctors. The quicker you find any problems, the easier and less expensive it is to solve them. Best of luck.

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