Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Cancer

For the final day of September’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and #GynCAN, I thought I’d share some of the most important things I’ve learned from my journey with endometrial (uterine) cancer this year.  Share this with the women you love—awareness and early detection are so critical to survivability!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A World Without Cancer (and Obesity)

Before driving cross-country a few weeks ago, I happened to see that Amazon now offers free audio narration with many of their Kindle books that are part of their Kindle Unlimited program.  With a 30-day free trial (and only $9.99/mo if I wished to continue), I signed up and have enjoyed listening to books this month as I drive and do my daily walks.

The first book I tried out was simply mind-blowing—Dr. Margaret Cuomo’s 2012 book, A World Without CancerDr. Cuomo is a radiologist, and sister of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Dr. David Chan of Stanford wrote an excellent article (“Where Do the Millions in Cancer Research Dollars Go Every Year?”) summarizing the staggering dilemma highlighted in Dr. Cuomo’s book.  Since the start of President Nixon’s “War on Cancer” in the early 1970’s, and despite the billions of dollars spent on researching treatments and cures, the incident and death rates of cancer (per SEER) are slightly higher today than they were in the mid 1970s--

Incident_Rate_Trend_-_All_cancersDeath_Rate_Trend_all_cancers

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Dozen Days in Colorado

I should have known my travel schedule this month would make daily blog posting prohibitive for GynCAN.  Well, at least I have managed to keep up with daily posts on the GynCAN Facebook & Twitter pages.  Once I get settled in New Mexico, I’ll finish the month with a few more GynCAN posts, but first, I’ll share the highlights of my recent dozen days in Colorado.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Some RVing updates

After researching and posting the depressing, infuriating GYN cancer statistics yesterday, I think it’s time for a day off from #GynCAN to get back to happier stuff we’d much rather post and read about…pretty pictures and RV mods!

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I’m preparing to shove off today from my summertime roost in Chicago and start my journey West.  When fog starts covering the prairie at night, it’s a sure sign that cooler temperatures are on their way.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Women’s Cancers by the Numbers

If you’d like a surefire way to become depressed in a hurry, spend a weekend like I just did pouring over the U.S. statistics for women’s cancers-- their incident and death rates, 5-year survival trends, NCI research funding, and charitable donations. 

Apart from a few positive glimmers, the numbers are sobering.  And if you happen to be a woman with a “non-pink” GYN cancer, prepare to become absolutely infuriated! 

I hope the charts to follow demonstrate why #GynCAN efforts of spreading awareness are so important.  U.S. Government research funding, and corporate/individual charitable donations never begin unless public awareness and demand for change exists first.

But let’s first start with the glimmer of good news— after rising to record levels around 1990, the overall cancer incident rate in the U.S. is going down (note the green middle line on the chart below).

Note: All cancer incident, death and 5-year statistics are for the U.S. only and taken from the SEER website -- the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Incident_Rate_Trend_-_All_cancers

While cancer rates among males rose and dropped significantly (and are now nearly back to where they were 40 years ago in 1975), cancer rates among women have increased since 1975 (and have essentially plateaued since the late 1980s).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What Every Woman Should Know

If you have 15 minutes this weekend, take a look at this great video series that the filmmakers from Spark Media (of the documentary No Evidence of Disease fame) created for gynecologic cancer awareness. 

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It features survivors and the N.E.D. Band doctors sharing what they’d like every woman to know about ovarian, cervical, uterine/endometrial, and vaginal/vulvar cancers.

Here’s the full 16-minute video:

Friday, September 4, 2015

Save a Sister – Share these charts!

Do you know the risk factors or early-warning signs for gynecologic cancers?  Didn’t think so.  Well, fear not! Here are 2 quick-reference charts to share with all the women in your life.

First, this high-level symptoms chart from the CDC. 

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

7 Words We Don’t Say in Public…but should

I’ve had George Carlin on the brain lately.  After finding his classic bit about “too much stuff” on YouTube a couple weeks ago (when I was writing my Year in the Rear-View Mirror post),  I was recalling another one of his classic routines today, and yep, it was there on YouTube too—the 7 Words You Can Never Say on Television.  

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Americans and their euphemisms was a constant treasure trove of great material for Carlin.  If a word was too uncomfortable or impolite to say directly on a 1950’s TV show, then gee wiz by golly, we had to come up with a euphemism for it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

100 Miles for #GynCAN

Yesterday not only began the month-long #GynCAN Challenge (to blog/post daily to social media for September’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month), it also started the other month-long initiative-- the GynCAN100.

This 100-mile walk/run raises funds for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to all (and only) gynecologic cancers (details on how to donate are at the end of this post).

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A Month of Daily Purple Posts (for #GynCAN)

There’s a new purple ribbon displayed on the WinnieViews banner today.  Purple is the awareness color for all combined gynecologic cancers, and September is our month to promote Gynecologic Cancer Awareness.

I missed the A-to-Z Blogger Challenge last April due to a cancer diagnosis that turned my world upside down.  So, what better way to make up for it than by doing the new #GynCAN Challenge – a post a day during September to raise gynecologic cancer awareness.

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Now before faces start to wince, and eyes begin to roll…hear me out on this!

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