Be part of the national cancer conversation

By Kerri Susko

“We’ve come a long way baby” is not only the name of a Loretta Lynn album, but it describes the steps we’ve taken to identify and mitigate cancer risk factors while advancing cancer treatment and addressing the “whole” individual when discussing survivorship care. However, there is a way to go and we need a cure!

Wednesday June 29, Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative will rocket launch this national conversation.  Through the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, individuals, including healthcare providers, patients, family members, researchers, and others, will come together at multiple sites around the country.  The National Cancer Moonshot Summit provides an opportunity to discuss where we are going in both the community and nation regarding a cure for cancer and increasing the quality of life for all cancer survivors (defined as anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis).  I am excited that the Cancer Support Community at Greenville Health System (Prisma Health) is one such host site.  The summit will take place that same day from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Prisma Health Life Center, 875 Faris Road, Greenville, SC.

This is a great opportunity to hear directly from Vice President Biden how he plans to push research forward on a federal level and encourage collaboration as well as an invaluable opportunity to hear directly about what’s going on locally.

Prisma Health physicians will provide information on new clinical trials and how immunotherapy is changing the way we look at and treat cancer.  It’s so exciting to learn about game-changing technology that is being used to activate the human body to take the fight directly to the cancer cells and where it all can go from here.  More and more cancer is becoming a chronic condition versus a terminal diagnosis, but wouldn’t we all love to make even more progress in controlling it and, hopefully, curing it. Additionally, regardless of length of life, we all need to focus on having the best quality of life possible. Clinical advances, complementary therapies and social and emotional programs are increasing survivors’ quality of life. Understanding and embracing this holistic approach is important for all of us.

The summit is the place to learn about and discuss new technologies, local survivorship care and how changes in behaviors impact our health and future. There will be an open panel discussion where thoughts, questions and suggestions are encouraged.

Be part of the conversation about living, not dying, with cancer!

Kerri Susko, MSW, LISW-CP, OSW-C, is a social worker with the Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship (CIOS) and director of the Cancer Support Community at Prisma Health.

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