Last week’s presentation came in three parts:
Paul Kilian spoke of the Cancer Resource Centers, of which 10 exist in WA. His, the Valley Resource Center, sees some 1,000 patients par year. Volunteers visit every patient on infusion. They provide support, wigs, gifts, and information binders to the patients. Advocates are full-time employees and work in behalf of this work, to the extent of lobbying in the legislature. The Committee on Cancer, a branch of the American College of Surgeons, is a consortium of professors concerned with screening and other matters. These organizations are devoted to improving social situations and quality of life for cancer patients. A 24/7 telephone network is there to answer all questions and concerns.
Audrey Fine, RN, dwelt mainly on prevention, but touched on gene therapy. This method stimulates the immune system to attack cancer cells. Positing that cancer touches all our lives, she quoted the head of the Resource Centers, to wit, 50% of cancer could be prevented if we implement what we already know. She also noted that the Research Department boasts 47 Nobel Prize winners. Prevention includes smoking avoidance, early detection, HPV vaccine, and the realization that tanning and obesity are risk factors. Access to health care is a must. The cost of cigarettes has become a factor in discouragement of the habit. Patients are seen at the resource centers regardless of ability to pay. More are needed to be screened. Certain barriers in getting patients to be seen are language, poor education, time off from work, infancy, old age. The centers have interpreters.
Kimberly Arent dealt with the matter of funding for this work, namely Relay for Life: August 12th , from 10AM to 6PM this annual event will take place. Participation is urged for as many as possible. Signups are with Alan. Our contact for this program.