Scientific American published this fantastic article as part of a special report “New Answers for Cancer” There are some fantastic resources here and I am printing this in its entirety.
Rather than surrendering to despair and impersonal medical treatments, growing numbers of cancer patients are empowering themselves with information and control over their therapies. The trend is finding acceptance in mainstream medicine and helping people with cancer lead healthier lives.
The experiences of author and filmmaker Kris Carr, who was diagnosed with a rare, incurable malignancy, illustrate how successfully one can manage cancer as a chronic disease.
The following resource guides offer tips on developing a strategy for managing the illness, asking the right questions of physicians and getting the right professional and personal support.
1.You Have Cancer: Now What?
The first things you should do (after taking a deep breath and trying to chill):
2. Questions to Ask
3. Your Odds of Beating Cancer
Below is a sampling of five-year relative survival rates for common types of cancer diagnosed between 1996 and 2004. These rates are calculated by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, which collects survival data from state registries covering about 26 percent of the U.S. population.
Survival rates have increased dramatically over the years, thanks to earlier detection and better treatments. The five-year relative survival rate for patients diagnosed with any type of cancer in 1975 was 50 percent; the rate jumped to 67 percent in 2000.
Bear in mind that survival rates vary widely depending on the type of cancer and the patient’s age, gender, general health, lifestyle and ethnicity. You can find more detailed statistics at http://seer.cancer.gov
Five-Year Survival Rates
4. Getting Support: Tips, Tools and Tenderness
5. Medical Resources
You can also check whether the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer ( www.facs.org/cancerprogram ) approves of a given program. Some of the things to look for in a cancer center include a low mortality index, a high ratio of nurses to patients and opportunities to participate in clinical trials. For more tips, see www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/doctor-facility. Here is a selection of some of the most respected cancer treatment centers around the country:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Texas M. D. Anderson
University of Chicago Medical Center
University of Washington Medical Center
UCLA Medical Center
6. The 411 on Health Insurance
7. How to Stay Healthy
8. Looking Ahead: Start a Family?
For more, check out: