Cancer Risk Reduction & Treatment Resources
October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Read IUFW employee and breast cancer survivor Mary Jo Toenges' Journey Story. Learn more and register for the October 28 Simon Says Expert Series webinar, "Breast Cancer & Black Women: Research to Reduce Disparities."
No matter where you are in your journey, there are resources and support for you.
According to the American Cancer Society, avoiding use of tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, eating health-promoting foods, and getting physical activity are important factors in risk reduction. Check out their recommendations here, and local resources below.
- Tobacco Cessation: Learn about IU's tobacco-free policy, and find resources to help you kick the habit. IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Tobacco Treatment Program: One-on-one counseling, assistance with medication options and other resources for Simon Cancer Center patients. Services are provided by highly skilled Tobacco Treatment Specialists. Call 317-944-7848 or email email@example.com
- Physical activity: Learn more about recommended physical activity guidelines, and check out physical activity options on your campus. Or get active for a cause by participating in cancer-related events such as Race for the Cure and Relay for Life.
- Eat fresh, nutritious foods: Find delicious and healthy options near you, and check out Healthy IU nutrition resources and personalized nutrition counseling sessions.
- Healthy weight: Whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight, there are resources and Healthy IU programs for you.
Additional Risk Reduction Factors
According to the National Cancer Institute, certain infectious agents can cause cancer or increase the risk that cancer will form. You can lower your risk of infection by getting vaccinated, not having unprotected sex, and not sharing needles.
HPV vaccines are vaccines that protect against infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV).
Cancer Screening & Early Detection
Early detection of abnormal tissue or cancer is important. According to the National Cancer Institute, if cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.
There are many screening tests in use today. These include: colonoscopies, mammograms, pap tests, skin exams, and more. Screening tests are recommended based on age, gender, and risk factors. This interactive tool from the American Cancer Society shows which screenings are recommended for your age group.
Talk to your healthcare provider to develop a personal plan for cancer screening based on age, gender, and risk factors.
Click here for a calendar of Cancer Awareness Months and ribbon colors (from choosehope.com).
If you or a loved one needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Include clinical trials in any discussions with your healthcare provider about treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials with the resources below.
What is a clinical trial?
- Kathy Miller, MD, discusses clinical trials at IU (IU School of Medicine)
- "Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research" brochure (National Cancer Institute)
- Clinical Trials and You (National Institutes of Health)
Finding a clinical trial
- Research & Clinical Trials (IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center)
- How Do I Find a Clinical Trial That's Right for Me? (American Cancer Society)
- Find NCI-Supported Clinical Trials (National Cancer Institute)
- Clinicaltrials.gov (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
When it comes to your treatment team, give yourself the best. The resources below will help you find the care you need.
- Commission-on-Cancer: The Commission on Cancer recognizes cancer care programs for their commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality, and multidisciplinary patient centered care. (American College of Surgeons)
- NCI-Designated Cancer Centers: NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science. The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is Indiana’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and one of only 51 in the nation.
Finding high-quality care
The National Cancer Institute provides the following definition for survivorship:
In cancer, survivorship focuses on the health and life of a person with cancer post treatment until the end of life. It covers the physical, psychosocial, and economic issues of cancer, beyond the diagnosis and treatment phases. Survivorship includes issues related to the ability to get health care and follow-up treatment, late effects of treatment, second cancers, and quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also considered part of the survivorship experience.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, these resources can assist you:
- Office of Cancer Survivorship (National Cancer Institute)
- Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment (National Cancer Institute)
- Coping with Cancer (National Cancer Institute)
- Your Survivorship Care Plan (The LIVESTRONG Foundation)
- National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- Cancer Survivors (CDC)
- The National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center (American Cancer Society and the George Washington University Cancer Institute)
- Tools for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers (American Cancer Society)
- Breast Cancer Survivors (American Cancer Society)
- Little Red Door Agency
- Cancer Support Community
IU Resources & Policies
IU has resources and policies that can help provide support to employees diagnosed with cancer or those caring for someone diagnosed with cancer.
Care.com: Eligible employees have access to IU's premium Care.com membership to search for care options such as backup care, home & pet care, child care, and more.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, provides up to 12 weeks of absence to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. The purpose of FMLA is to help eligible employees balance work and family obligations while providing an element of job security during the leave period. Contact askHR to learn more.
Castlight: Indiana University has contracted with Castlight to provide employees and their adult family members enrolled in an IU-sponsored medical plan help with finding in-network medical services and prescription drugs based on price and quality of care.
Please contact askHR if you or someone you know needs additional assistance or workplace accommodations.
IU Employee Stories
Read Melissa Williams' Journey Story: As a colorectal cancer survivor, IU Bloomington's Melissa Williams hopes sharing her story will help inspire others to get screened.
Read Mary Jo Toenges' Journey Story: Breast cancer survivor Mary Jo Toenges from IU Fort Wayne shares how her yearly mammogram helped save her life.
Simon Says Expert Series
To better connect IU’s 250 cancer experts with the community, the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is launching “Simon Says Expert Series,” a monthly virtual event where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from cancer center experts about various topics and ask your questions.
A Focus on Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancers
As part of the Healthy People 2030 initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services has a Preventative Care objective of increasing the proportion of adults who get screened for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers. Evidence-based screenings for these cancers can help reduce cancer deaths.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, and excluding skin cancers, the most frequently diagnosed cancer among females in the U.S. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer among females is one in eight.
Cervical Cancer / HPV
Watch the on-demand webinar, Cervical Cancer Prevention 101: Take Charge of Your Health.
The cervix is part of the female reproductive system — connecting the uterus to the vagina (or birth canal). Cervical cancer is an abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, or an abnormal growth of cells that began in the cervix. HPV infection is the single greatest risk factor for cervical cancer.
Q&A with HPV expert Dr. Darron Brown (IU School of Medicine)
Watch the on-demand webinar, Colorectal Cancer Prevention 101: Take Charge of Your Health.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and cause of cancer-related death among both males and females in the US and Indiana.
Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
The Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is the Hoosier implementation of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). The BCCP provides access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, diagnostic testing, and treatment for underserved and underinsured women who qualify for services. Learn more.
Cancer + Careers: Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events.