Friday, January 30, 2015

I’m a cancer survivor; now what?

July 8, 2011 |


What: Livestrong Challenge, attracting as many as 1,500 bicyclists to raise money for people and families affected by cancer

When: Rides of 20, 45, 70 and 105 miles begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday

Where: Start/finish line on C Street between Third and Fourth streets, adjacent to Central Park

The fun: A post-ride party for participants and their families is planned Sunday in the park; food lines open at 8 a.m., the kids zone and massage tent open at 9 a.m. and the beer tent follows at 9:30 a.m.

Info: and

By Doug Ulman

You’ve done it. You’ve beaten cancer. Come through the treatment. Endured the pain and the fear and emerged a new person: tougher, wiser and more resilient than ever.

Now what? “Your cancer treatment is over and all of the focus that was on you during the treatment is now over,” a survivor told us recently. “You are left with many side-effects and no support or answers.”

For decades, research has been focused on helping people beat cancer. This year alone, 1.5 million Americans will face a new diagnosis and, due to advances in medicine and treatment options, more of them will survive than ever before.

But once they have completed treatment and said goodbye to their medical team, they will find that while cancer may leave their bodies, its effects can last a lifetime —physically, emotionally and financially. Calibrating these effects and offsetting them with resources and support is the focus of an emerging field in the cancer community — survivorship.

To help shed light on the challenges survivors face and how the survivorship field can address them, Livestrong released the second installment of its survey for people affected by cancer last week, an undertaking that included more than 11,000 cancer survivors, their loved ones and family members.

The survey results show fewer Americans today are getting help for physical, emotional and practical concerns after cancer than in 2006.

Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in America. However, only one in five respondents received help with debt, insurance coverage or career concerns. Seventy-nine percent said they suffered from fear centered on a possible recurrence yet only 49 percent got emotional help. That’s down 2 percent since 2006.

And many reported chronic physical effects like trouble concentrating, lingering pain and lack of energy, with varying levels of help for those challenges.

The report shows survivorship has a long way to go. The good news is that there are resources to help survivors and their families navigate the after-effects of cancer.

Within the cancer community, there are many nonprofit organizations and services who seek to fill the gaps. Livestrong’s navigation services, like the American Cancer Society’s, connect survivors with information and services to overcome the during-treatment and post-treatment challenges they face.

Through our ongoing work and with the findings in this study we aim to continue to advocate for treating survivorship as a distinct phase of the cancer continuum. We hope to see public policy makers, health advocates and medical professionals acknowledge that survivorship is a critical piece of cancer care, and work to help more people live successfully with the long-term impact of cancer.

Fundamentally, our organizations are about hope — hope for a cancer-free future. But until we get there, we will continue to work each day to fight cancer, help people live and thrive with and through cancer, and bring the voice of survivors to life.

We will advocate for better care, better medicine, better treatments and better answers for the millions of people who will someday wake up and ask: Now what?

— Doug Ulman is a three-time cancer survivor and president and CEO of Livestrong, a nonprofit organization that serves people and families affected by cancer. Its signature Livestrong Challenge fundraising bicycle ride takes place Sunday in Davis, beginning at 7:30 a.m.



Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery



    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10



    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery





    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery







    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9