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Be the Boss Over Cancer

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hello! I’m Kelsey Fenton, Associate Manager of Programs at Cancer and Careers, a national non-profit organization that empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, and a long-time partner of CSC.

Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, you might be overwhelmed not only with treatment decisions, finding support and financial stress (in which CSC provides a number of great resources) but also employment challenges. Whether you are deciding if you should take time off for treatment, are looking for work after treatment or trying to figure out how to manage working through treatment, there is a lot of information that you need to gather – from various sources.

At Cancer and Careers, we provide a variety of programs and information in person, print and online to help you gather such information and navigate the practical and legal challenges of balancing work and cancer.

What I’ve Learned from Watching “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When I first started watching the PBS documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies on Monday night I wasn’t sure I agreed with calling cancer an emperor. It seemed to be such a positive and powerful term to place on something with such a negative impact. But after two nights of tuning in and live tweeting, and as I get ready for the third, I get it. Cancer is a disease like no other, even within itself it never seems to be the same way twice—it’s smarter than that. Giving a powerful disease a powerful name pays respect to the millions of people who take on “The Emperor” every year–a respect greatly earned by all who are affected.

But that isn’t the only thing that struck me while watching the first two nights of the film.

3 Things to Know About Oncology Social Work: #31daysofSW

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cancer Support Community Helpline counselor Justin Short shares how he copes with the emotional turmoil of the cancer experience and the best part of his job as a counselor.

What We Can Learn from Angelina Jolie Pitt

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yesterday, Angelina Jolie Pitt made headlines when she revealed her decision to surgically remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, due to an estimated 50% risk that she would develop ovarian cancer. The risk stems from a hereditary mutated gene, the BRCA1, which not only affected Jolie’s ovaries, but gave her an 87% chance of developing breast cancer as well (before her double mastectomy in 2013).

We sometimes forget that even celebrities face challenges which can make them feel lost and without control, but the emotional effects of cancer are universal. People say cancer doesn’t discriminate, but that’s not true; cancer is an unfair disease which affects the population unequally, and the sad truth is that some of us are more at risk for certain cancers based on our genetic backgrounds than others. But just because you carry a gene doesn’t mean that you don’t have options.

A Day in the Life: #31daysofSW

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cancer Support Community Helpline Counselor Charli Prather, MSW, LCSW, answers questions about her career, her work as a helpline counselor and why she loves what she does.

A Day in the Life: #31daysofSW

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I have been an oncology social worker for 25 years. There are many lessons I have learned but probably the one that has transformed my life is to try to live each day with as much presence in the moment as I can. I admit that this isn’t always easy but the closer I stay to living in the moment, the more I experience the joy of being alive and the less I worry about what’s to come or trying to control what’s beyond my control.

Why I Became a Social Worker - #31DaysofSW

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Back in the 1960s, as a young, newly married man, I felt a sense of hope for the future – if someone would just do something. I felt that I was up for the challenge. I was naïve. Had no idea of what would lie ahead; how my “liberalism,” idealism and good wishes were no match for engrained experiences and intractable behaviors that resulted in often disastrous consequences.

Preventing Cancer—It’s in the Numbers

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Prevention and early detection are the most important keys to the future health and wellbeing of individuals and families around the world. Since February is Cancer Prevention month, it is not only a time to reflect on the progress we have made in the fight against this disease, but also to take bold steps toward dramatically decreasing the number of lives impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

Pink, Black and White: The Real Color of Breast Cancer

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In 2014, the Sinai Urban Health Institute and the Avon Foundation for Women conducted a study of the death rates of white and black women due to breast cancer in 50 of the nation’s largest cities over a period of 20 years. The results were striking:

Though white women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, on average black women are 40% more likely to die from it.

The most lethal city is Memphis, TN where black women are more than twice as likely to succumb to the disease.

Cities with the highest disparity rates are cities where there are geographically separated medical centers that serve either primarily black or white patients (with little racial mixing).

The mortality rates were relatively even until 1995. After that, white women’s rates declined while black women’s rates stayed the same.

Understanding the Impact of Cancer on Caregivers

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Whether you love this holiday or completely despise it, Valentine’s Day is this Saturday. If you’re a person who loves Valentine’s Day, this is a day to celebrate love and companionship. But when your Valentine is living with cancer and you’re acting as the caregiver, this day can take on a deeper and more complex meaning. Caring for a spouse can be extremely challenging. According to the National Quality of Life Survey for Caregivers, a caregiver spends an average of eight hours a day providing care and support to their loved one, and many caregivers feel just as much distress, if not more, than the patient does.

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