Joan Lunden talks fight against cancer, creates support group

Meg Farris talks to Joan Lunden about a group she started to help with cancer support.

Every year, more than a million and a half people in the U.S. hear the words, 'You have cancer.'

Now, a well-known TV journalist and cancer survivor wants to help patients know they are not alone by spreading the word about a prevention and support program.
 
Nothing prepared television personality and journalist Joan Lunden for the shock of finding out years ago she had breast cancer.

"I think anybody who hears those words, 'You have cancer,' I mean it's just so scary to hear," Lunden remembers.

She quickly learned navigating through her new life was more than finding the right doctors, and that a world of other people with cancer had the same questions on her social media.

"What do you tell your children? How do you tell your friends, everyone? How do you deal with your workplace? How do I get a ride to chemo? How do I pay my electric bill when I have to, you know, pay co-pays for medication?" she recalls all the questions and concerns patients had.

Lunden grew to understand the power of the cancer community and the difference help makes to break through barriers and frustrations. And now she has teamed up with Breakaway From Cancer, a national initiative that helps people from prevention through survivorship.

"They kind of did all the work for everyone. Found all the resources and put them into one place so now I've got the resources too help connect with everyone that reaches out to me all the time," Lunden explained.


"Really no matter who you are, no matter where you live, we've got a whole support team standing ready to help you today," said  Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of Cancer Support Community, one of the four non-profit organizations behind Breakaway From Cancer.

Joan's most passionate message is regular screenings.

"Be vigilant. Put them (annual screenings) on that calendar. Get them every year. I had a very, very aggressive kind of cancer and had I not caught it when we did at early stage 2, it could have been a very different ending to my story," Lunden advised.

Founded by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer aims to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship.  Breakaway from Cancer is a collaboration between Amgen and four nonprofit partner organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. These organizations offer a broad range of support services complementing those provided by a patient’s team of healthcare professionals.

For more information visit http://www.breakawayfromcancer.com/

© 2017 WWL-TV


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