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Posts Tagged ‘Cancer Research’

Caregivers Needed for Cancer Communication Research Study

Cancer caregivers needed for communication study


My name is Alexis Johnson and I am a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My research centers on health communication processes, and I am conducting research that I hope will improve our understanding of supportive communication between social networks and family caregivers of patients with cancer. As someone who has provided care to a patient with cancer, I am interested in conducting research that is aimed at better understanding the memorable, supportive messages that are shared with family caregivers in cancer. You may access the survey at the following links:



To participate: Participants in the states of Nebraska and Alabama must be at least 19 years old or older to participate, participants in the state of Mississippi must be at least 21 years old to participate, and participants in all other states must be at least 18 years old to participate. If you meet these requirements, and are a current or former family caregiver of a patient with cancer, and have 20-30 minutes to complete an online survey, you are eligible to participate in this important research.




Alexis Johnson, M.A.


Primary Investigator                                                 Secondary Investigator

Alexis Johnson, M.A.                                                 Jody Koenig Kellas, Ph.D.

Dept. of Communication Studies                           Dept. of Communication Studies

University of Nebraska-Lincoln                              University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Phone: (708) 772-2626                                             Phone: (402) 472-2079

Email:                              Email:


Thank you so much for your consideration. My goal is to help people cope more effectively. I’ve dedicated my life to helping others who are going through or have had to go through this experience.

Enhancing Cancer Supportive Care Survey

Enhancing Cancer supportive Care survey


A group of researchers at CeRGAS, the Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management of Bocconi University, Milan, Italy, invite you to participate in the project we have developed together with Helsinn Group: “Mhealth for improving quality of life: enhancing cancer supportive care”.


We would ask you for your cooperation to complete our short survey, which you can find at the following link:



Impact of Cancer in Young Adulthood Study

Were you diagnosed with cancer as an adolescent or young adult, between the ages of 13 and 39? Are you now over the age of 18?

Liane Kandler (Doctoral Student, Lakehead University, Canada) created an online survey to try and understand the impact of cancer and would like your input.


Email AYA Research Study for more information on how to complete the survey or visit the AYA Survey Research Facebook page Participants will be entered into a random prize draw for one of three prizes: a personalized iPod nano in the colour of choice, a Kindle e-reader, or a $100 VISA gift card!”


A recent blog post on the AYA Research Survey can also be found at the Cancer Knowledge Network.


Young Adult Cancer Survey Poster

Between the Lines of Stand Up 2 Cancer SU2C

Once Again Stand Up 2 Cancer was an Awesome EventStand Up To Cancer Written on notepaper 

I have been watching Stand Up 2 Cancer since the original event in 2008 and each year chills come to my skin and tears to my eyes. The event is amazing given the celebrities that participate and the fact that it is broadcast uninterrupted on all of the major networks. However, more amazing is the money they have raised and most importantly the impact and work they are supporting with those funds.


While watching this year four things came to mind that should generate questions and I wanted to address those questions.


What is the Role of Obesity in Cancer?

The opening scene started with Melissa McCarthy comedically running with a torch and a joke that she just completed 29 miles. Melissa handed off the torch to Steve Carell, who decided to take the escalator instead of running up the red carpet steps. Steve tossed the torch to Eric Stonestreet with Eric saying, “I don’t want to get sweaty.” I applaud all 3 celebrities for providing an entertaining opening but it got me thinking about exercise and the role of obesity in cancer.


According to the National Cancer Institute it was estimated that in 2007 obesity was the cause of cancer in 34,000 men and 50,500 women. This means 4% of male cancers and 7% of female cancers are being caused just because of obesity. Obesity is linked to increased risks of 8 cancers and most likely involved with more. I won’t get into the role of exercise on obesity or on cancer but I think the stats on obesity causing cancer are shocking and need to be addressed.

Why has Government Funding for Cancer Research Diminished?

At the beginning of the program, talking about the need and impact of Stand Up 2 Cancer, Robert Downey Jr. stated, “So much government funding for cancer research has diminished.” But, why? In September 2008, the Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer promised to double funding for cancer research within 5 years, with focus on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). However, the NIH reports that funding of cancer research since 2008 has decreasedSo where did all of these promised funds go? I have no answer to this question but perhaps your politicians may know so why don’t you ask them.

How Common is Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers?

Stand Up 2 Cancer featured a lot of stories about cancer survivors and how cancer research contributed to their survival. Most of these patients were either pediatric patients or older adults. Where were the adolescents and young adult (AYA) cancer patients age 15-39? There are 6 times more AYA cancer cases, affecting 15-39 year olds, than pediatric cancer cases, affecting 0-14 year olds. I don’t think SU2C purposefully left out AYA patients. To be honest, perhaps there would even be justification to leave AYAs out. Cancer survival rates for AYAs have basically remained the same for decades. One of the reasons is thought to be a lack of participation and access to clinical trials that have been so valuable to pediatric and older adult cancer fighters. Raising awareness of AYAs and clinical trials is beyond the scope of SU2C but it does need to be brought more out into the open.

Will Crushing Cancer’s Testicle Kill it?

I applaud Ron Burgundy for making an appearance, entertaining us and declaring his distaste for cancer by announcing, “Lets grab one of cancer’s testicles and pop it like a plump water ballon on a hot summer day.” I just thought I would help educate Ron in that crushing testicles will not kill cancer or anyone for that matter. All of my testicular cancer survivor brothers are proof that one can live a long, healthy and active life without one, or two, testicles.


Once again, Stand Up 2 Cancer was amazing and I hope it was a huge success to raise funds for all of their programs to help cancer fighters live longer lives. The show had one purpose and that was to raise money and not to address other issues in the cancer continuum. The questions raised in my mind while watching the show were just from me reading between the lines.


Thanks for Reading,

Mike Signature




Cancer is Just Not Scary Enough

In 2010 we wrote a blog post titled Cancer Research or Halloween and since then not much has changed.

To get our fright on, it is estimated that Americans will spend between $6.9 billion and $8 billion on Halloween festivities this year. U.S. News and World Report reports that the average participant will spend $80 which is up from the $72 spent on Halloween for 2012.


To put these large numbers into perspective the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to only spend $5.6 billion on cancer research in 2013 via the National Cancer Institute (NCI).


Does that mean that cancer isn’t scary enough so we have to supplement the frights with Halloween spending?


We think it shows the financial power of the public.


The federal government uses our tax dollars to fund the NIH and NCI but the best that they can come up with is $5.6 billion dollars. Note that this is in spite of the Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer in which they promised in September of 2008 to double the funding for cancer research within 5 years. We have yet to find any proof that the budget has doubled.


If all the Americans that participated in Halloween were to give the average of $80 a year to fund cancer research then we would be able to double the funding provided by the NIH. Our point being is that to many people $80 a year or $6.67 a month isn’t an enormous amount of money. In fact, most people would feel that even if they gave $10 a month to cancer research or to a charity that helps reduce the burden of cancer that it wouldn’t amount to much.


In fact, that is not the case. Giving $10 a month and encouraging your ghoulish friends to do the same can add up and make a huge different. Every little bit helps but don’t skip out on the Halloween candy to make a donation towards cancer because we don’t want the American Dental Association to get angry at us for reducing the rate of caries.






Testicular Cancer Survivors Needed for Research

The Need for Research with Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Testicular Cancer Survivors

As survivors we have the opportunity to help pave the road for future young men that are diagnosed. That is why we are very excited that Dr. Melissa Carpentier from the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Houston, TX could share with us about her current study with testicular cancer survivors. The following is what she had to say…


Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in AYA men.  Because so much happens in the AYA years…moving out on your own, college/vocational school, work, dating, marriage, children, a diagnosis of testicular cancer at this time can really throw you for a loop.  Unfortunately, there is very little research out there on the impact of testicular cancer during the AYA years.  That’s where we come in…with your help, we hope to fill this gap in research and help others diagnosed with testicular cancer in the future.


The focus of our 5-year, National Cancer Institute funded study is on examining the impact of testicular cancer on romantic relationships and quality of life in the AYA years.  There are 3 phases to our study: individual interviews and focus groups, web-based survey, and web-based intervention program.  Currently, we are recruiting individuals to wrap up our first phase of interviews and focus groups.  Survivors 18 to 39 years, who have completed treatment for testicular cancer within the past 5 years, and who are located in the United States are eligible to participate.


If you are interested in learning more about our study or participating, please contact us toll free, (855) 700-5939, or via email,  You can also find information about our study on our Facebook page: and, in particular, on our FAQs:!/notes/aya-testicular-cancer-research/frequently-asked-questions/236054709850386.


Thanks in advance for considering this research opportunity and please share with any and all testicular cancer survivors you may know.  The more perspectives we have, the better we can identify and meet the needs of AYA testicular cancer survivors!

Cancer Research or Halloween

The budget for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is downright scary.

The Federal Government  fiscal year started on October 1st and the announced budget for the National Cancer Institute should scare anyone. For 2011, the NCI budget is $5,264,643,000 or $5.2 billion to make it simple. This is a 3.2% increase ($163 million) to the 2010 budget.

Let’s Put the NCI budget into perspective.

A budget of $5.2 billion appears very robust but how does it relate to say Halloween? According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the amount of money spent by U.S. consumers for Halloween this year is expected to reach $5.8 billion. Can this be correct? Yes, unfortunately, it is. U.S. consumers will spend more on candy, costumes and decorations for Halloween than is spent all year on cancer research by the National Cancer Institute.

The average Halloween participant was expected to spend $66.28 because…

In recent years, Halloween has provided a welcome break from reality, allowing many Americans a chance to escape from the stress the economy has put on their family and incomes,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This year, people are expected to embrace Halloween with even more enthusiasm, and will have an entire weekend to celebrate since the holiday falls on a Sunday.

What we need is a break from the cancer reality

However, this break is unlikely to occur anytime soon if the NCI is spending $5.2 billion on 310 million American or less than $17 per American on cancer research. Hopefully, the NCI budget will be increased. In 2008, the The Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer stated that

The Obama-Biden plan will double federal funding for cancer research within 5 years, focusing on NIH and NCI.

Lets hope that the increased funding of the NCI comes soon. However, from 2009 to 2010 the budget increased only 2.7% and from 2010 to 2011 the increase was only 3.2%. Thus, unless something is in the works the doubling of the budget is unlikely to become a reality in 5 years. There was an additional $1.2 billion added in 2009-2010 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act but that is still far from doubling.

Perhaps the answer to cancer research funding relies with Americans and not America. Perhaps we need to spend a little less every Halloween and donate this money to cancer research. If we spent just half the amount on Halloween and donated it to cancer research our goal of doubling the NCI budget would be halfway accomplished and take no political intervention at all.

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