World Cancer Day 2019: I Am and I Will

Cancer causes about 1 in every 6 deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Today, it is the second-leading cause of death (following cardiovascular diseases) worldwide.

Today is World Cancer Day, and the American Cancer Society has dedicated coverage of events around the globe and updates on the state of cancer research.

Find more information on the global cancer burden and the fight against cancer here.

Alliance to advance patient centered cancer care webinar

Life After Grant Funding: Making the Business Case for Your Intervention

Many grant proposals require a plan for sustainability, carrying the expectation that a funded program will continue to be viable once the start-up resources have run out. This can be a challenging proposition for medical researchers, who have to run their interventions while identifying all direct and indirect financial benefits of their work. Drawing from his international research experience, Dr. J. Brian Cassel will discuss his approach to developing long-term funding models in palliative care, presenting universal considerations that could assist researchers in maintaining clinical and quality-improvement programs that expand access to care.

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Caring for Cancer Patients with Serious Mental Illness: A Patient-Centered Roadmap

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has recently released data showing that mental illness is a growing, largely unaddressed public health concern. Their findings show that over 44 million adults have mental illness, and of those, 16 million people (including 3.1 million youths aged 12-17) have experienced a major depressive episode.

In this context, oncology and primary care practitioners are striving to attend to their patients’ mental and physical health, monitoring them for signs of mental distress. Although it is common for 20-30% of patients to experience clinically relevant levels of depression or anxiety when receiving a diagnosis of cancer, according to Dr. Kelly Edwards Irwin of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, physicians and patients should not ignore prolonged symptoms of depression. “Depression can be treated effectively with psychotherapy and medication,” she explains. She adds that it is important to address these symptoms because they impact the patient’s quality of life and ability to engage in needed cancer treatment. Continue reading

Alliance to Advance Patient Centered Cancer Care Webinar

A Report from the National Navigation Roundtable: The State of Patient Navigation Today

According to the American Medical Association, a patient navigator is someone who provides personal guidance to patients as they move through the health care system. Patient navigators may have professional medical, legal, financial, or administrative experience, or they may have personally faced health care-related challenges and want to help others who find themselves in similar situations1.

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De-Activating Implicit Bias: the University of Arizona Expands Implicit Bias Training

Dr. Jeff Stone has recently expanded his implicit bias training program and is looking to take his expertise beyond the University of Arizona. The Alliance National Program Office reached out to Dr. Stone to learn more about implicit bias and discuss the impact of his intervention.

In Southern Arizona, the largest population of underserved minority patients is of Hispanic descent.  Research shows that, even with all other factors being equal, minority patients are less likely to receive adequate health care. A growing body of research suggests that implicit bias may be one of the factors associated with this finding. Jeff Stone, PhD, from the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC), has been working with the University of Arizona College of Medicine (CoM) to train first year medical students to recognize their own bias before they start interacting with patients. According to Dr. Stone, “by understanding the psychology underlying their bias, they [medical students] can learn to control it, no matter who they are interacting with.” The training teaches medical students a variety of techniques that have been shown to reduce bias, helping promote equitable care for all patients. Continue reading