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  • How do CSCP’s Services Remain Free of Charge?

    Since the day that Cancer Support Community Pasadena’s (CSCP) doors opened in 1990, all services have remained free of charge to the community. We’re proud that services are free of charge, because no one impacted by cancer should face an additional financial burden to receive essential psychosocial support. However, while CSCP’s programs are offered at no cost to members, that does not mean that CSCP’s programs are “free.” So, how is a nonprofit like CSCP able to provide professionally-facilitated, high quality services at no cost to the community? Private Donations Nearly 100% of CSCP’s $1,050,000 operating expenses are covered by private donations. CSCP does not receive any government funding (except for an annual $1,000 grant from LA County’s Board of Supervisors). Donations come in several forms: event revenue, foundation grants, Benefactor Society major gifts, direct mail appeals, tribute gifts, and planned gifts. No matter the dollar amount - big or small - every bit makes a difference. Individual donations are a great way to give to CSCP at a dollar amount and frequency that is comfortable to you, knowing that your contribution makes a tangible impact on our service delivery. Event Revenue Each year, CSCP hosts major events that generate funding through ticket sales, raffles, sponsorships, and auctions. This funding accounts for 30% of CSCP’s 2021 annual expenses. Typically, these events consist of our annual Angel Gala, Ladies Night Out, Pokerbowl, and other small events throughout the year. Of note, our annual Gala is being held virtually this year on May 15th. Our Around the World Gala will give attendees an opportunity to travel around the world in less than an hour from the comfort of their own homes! It is free to attend this event, and there are a number of fun ways to give to CSCP (e.g. host a virtual trip, participate in the auction, or buy a raffle ticket). Foundation Grants Many of CSCP’s programs and office items are funded by foundation grants. Namely, specialized programs such as the Lunch Bunch Breast Cancer Support Group and the Black Support Circle are funded by foundation grants. CSCP’s Development Manager, Judith Hamilton-Marquez, works tirelessly to ensure that CSCP secures funding from foundation grants, which account for 25% of CSCP’s operating expenses this year. Volunteerism There are many more ways than a financial contribution to give back to CSCP. Volunteers are the backbone of CSCP’s programs: they facilitate weekly healthy lifestyle classes and educational workshops, provide in-office support and sit at the reception desk, plan and provide support at fundraising events, and serve on our Board of Directors and its various committees, among several other duties and contributions. CSCP, a vital organization in our local community, offers programs free of charge due to the generosity of individual and corporate donors and volunteers. We invite you to give what you can to help ensure that no one faces cancer alone.

  • Breaking the Silence

    By Rachel Koonse, LMFT Early on, there are usually no symptoms. And, when there are symptoms, one might notice unusual cramping or bleeding – both of which are usually passed off as a UTI. Furthermore, irregularities in women’s menstrual cycles are common, and that normalization often leads to ignoring menstrual abnormalities. It is typically only when more serious symptoms, such as weight loss, swelling, or bone fractures, occur that cervical cancer is diagnosed. At this stage, the disease is often more advanced, which is associated with a poorer prognosis. There are only about 13,000 cervical cancer diagnoses per year in the U.S., categorizing it as a rare cancer. As is true with many rare cancers, there is a lack of knowledge and awareness regarding cervical cancer. And yet, it is the 4th most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide, and it is almost entirely preventable. The Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America, with 43 million cases reported in 2018 (many of which are cases in teens and young adults). In fact, HPV is so common that nearly anyone who is sexually active will contract the infection if they aren’t vaccinated. In most cases, HPV resolves itself without intervention. But, in some cases, decades after exposure, HPV can lead to cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, or anal cancer. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. The good news is that we have a vaccine that protects against HPV. With screening and vaccination, it is possible to eradicate nearly all cervical cancer cases. In a study published in February 2020, researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health projected that elimination of cervical cancer could occur in 2-3 decades. This process could be further expedited by increasing vaccination and screening rates. Dr. Stephen Lee, a gynecologic oncologist at City of Hope, recently presented on cervical cancer for cervical cancer awareness month at CSCP (visit our virtual library to watch his workshop). He spoke to the fact that HPV vaccination rates are low. As of 2017, only about 49% of adolescents received the vaccine. Dr. Lee posits that this may be due to lack of education around the vaccine as well as a stigma associated with it. Instead of presenting the vaccine as a cancer prevention tool, many providers lead with presenting the vaccine as an STD prevention tool. We have a vaccine to protect against HPV, and thus, we have a tool to virtually eradicate cervical cancer. So it’s time we break the silence on cervical cancer! We must do our part to: 1. Spread awareness about the HPV vaccine as a cancer prevention tool; 2. Promote cancer screening practices, such as getting regular pap smears; 3. Refrain from overly normalizing abnormal menstrual patterns. If you experience abnormal bleeding, speak to your doctor. Will you join us at CSCP in breaking the silence about cervical cancer? Breaking the silence can look like advocating for your health by making an appointment for a pap smear, looking into getting your children the HPV vaccine, or simply referring a loved one to this blog post. Together, let’s break the silence and eradicate cervical cancer. References Burger, E. A., PhD, Smith, M. A., PhD, Killen, J., BE, Sy, S., MS, Simms, K. T., PhD, Canfell, K., DPhil, & Kim, J. J., PhD. (2-2-). Projected time to elimination of cervical cancer in the USA: A comparative modelling study. The Lancet Public Health, 5(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30006-2 Cervical cancer. (2019, July 31). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cervical-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352501 HPV. (2018, August 23). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/partners/outreach-hcp/hpv-coverage.html STD Facts - Human papillomavirus (HPV). (2021, January 19). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm What are the Symptoms and Signs of Cervical Cancer? (2020, November 04). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/cervical-cancer/symptoms?invsrc=non_branded_natural_search_google

  • The Power of Being Patient Active

    By Rachel Koonse, LMFT With so much uncertainty this year, it feels as though much is out of our control. We have adjusted our lives, and then readjusted, to acclimate to the ever-changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country. And yet, while so much is out of our control, we do have some agency to pursue medical services that maximize our health and well-being. Unfortunately, due to legitimate concerns about safety, healthcare shutdowns, and continually present uncertainties, many of us have deferred these potentially lifesaving medical services. Growing research is illustrating that cancer screening appointments have significantly decreased in 2020. This is due to a number of factors, including guidance from the American Society of Clinical Oncology at the beginning of the pandemic to postpone routine screenings to “conserve health system resources and reduce patient contact with health screening facilities.” What’s more, many patients are compelled to weigh an internal cost benefit analysis: does it do more harm to enter a medical clinic for a screening appointment and risk exposure to COVID-19, or does it do more harm to delay preventive care? In a recent study published by the Oncology Journal, it was found that routine cancer screenings for breast cancer decreased by 89.2% and that, by May of 2020, colorectal cancer screenings decreased by 84.5%. Ultimately, delays in screening appointments have resulted in almost 50% fewer cancer diagnoses this year. What this means is that, in 2021, we may see a significant surge in cancer diagnoses. And not only will we see an increase in diagnoses, we will also see more late stage diagnoses as undetected cancer is like a “ticking time bomb” according to Debra Patt, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology. Those with later stage diagnoses tend to have poorer outcomes, meaning that we may see more cancer-related deaths in the next year. Some models predict that we will see 34,000 cancer-related deaths in 2021 and an 11.9% increase in death rates from the disease. These projections are alarming, bleak, and extremely disconcerting. And yet, we do not have to be complacent: we have agency to take steps in our lives, and compel others to take steps to change these outcomes. 1. Routine cancer screening is vitally important. If you have deferred screenings, or needed to cancel a screening due to the pandemic, contact your healthcare providers to talk about the best option for rescheduling those appointments. Additional resources on how to resume delayed screenings can be found through “Back on the Books” – a list of tools from the Prevent Cancer Foundation on how to reschedule your cancer screenings. 2. Many screenings can be done in the comfort of your own home. For example, stool tests can be completed at home for colon cancer screening. 3. Research your medical clinic’s coronavirus safety precautions. The CDC has issued guidelines for healthcare facilities to ensure that day-to-day clinic operations are conducted safely. Knowing what your medical clinic is doing to promote safety may give you more peace of mind going in for a screening appointment. 4. Don’t discount telemedicine! Telehealth is a great option to meet with your provider in an entirely socially-distanced manner! Additionally, some screenings can be conducted virtually, including visual analysis for skin cancer screening. 5. Educate. Educate your loved ones about the importance of screening. Encourage them to contact their healthcare team to discuss their options for screening appointments during this time. Also, turn to resources like the Community Oncology Alliance for accurate and up to date information. In this year of uncertainties, make some things a certainty: collaborate with your medical team to ensure that you have critical medical appointments on the books. CSCP embodies a “Patient Active” model, meaning that we empower our participants to pursue health and well-being in the manner that is best for them. Part of being Patient Active is remaining informed so that you are equipped to make important decisions about your health. We hope that this post will compel you to be Patient Active, prioritize your health in the new year, and encourage your loved ones to do the same. References: Back on the Books - Prevent Cancer Foundation. Prevent Cancer Foundation. (2020). Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.preventcancer.org/education/back-on-the-books/. Boyles, S. (2020). Covid-19: Pandemic Causing Deadly Delays in Cancer Diagnosis | Physician's Weekly. Physiciansweekly.com. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.physiciansweekly.com/covid-19-pandemic-causing-deadly-delays-in-cancer-diagnosis/. Cancer care and screenings must remain a priority during COVID-19. MD Anderson Cancer Center. (2020). Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/cancer-care-and-screenings-must-remain-a-priority-during-covid-1.h00-159384312.html. Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Cancer Tests and Coronavirus. Cancer.org. (2020). Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines/cancer-screening-during-covid-19-pandemic.html. Crist, C. (2020). Cancer Screening Delays May Cause Spike in Deaths. WebMD. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201012/cancer-screening-delays-may-cause-spike-in-deaths. Forster, V. (2020). Cancer Diagnoses Drop Almost 50% During Coronavirus Pandemic. Forbes. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/08/04/cancer-diagnoses-drop-almost-50-during-coronavirus-pandemic/?sh=4426f39f7053. New Study Finds COVID-19 Substantially Reduced Cancer Screenings, Diagnosis, and Treatments in 2020. Prnewswire.com. (2020). Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-finds-covid-19-substantially-reduced-cancer-screenings-diagnosis-and-treatments-in-2020-301157148.html#:~:text=COA%20and%20Avalere%20Health%20also%20report%20reductions% 20 in,to%20-33%25%29%2C%20and%20lung%20%28-58%25%20to%20-47%25%29%2C%20 respectively. Pruthi, MD, S. (2020). Routine cancer screening during the pandemic. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/cancer-screening-during-covid19/faq-20489122. Vose, J. (2020). Delay in Cancer Screening and Diagnosis During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Is the Cost?. Cancer Network. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from https://www.cancernetwork.com/view/delay-in-cancer-screening-and-diagnosis-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-what-is-the-cost.

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  • CSCP | Free Cancer Support in Pasadena

    ...so that no one faces cancer alone Getting Started Testimonials Volunteer at CSCP Virtual Program Calendar Fundraising Events Support our Mission "I consider Cancer Support Community Pasadena to be the biggest blessing in my life when I got my cancer diagnosis." CSCP Member Our Mission Our Goal, Vision & Commitment Our Calendar CSCP's Programs Give Find Ways To Give

  • CSCP | Educational Workshops

    Top oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, and other medical specialists give presentations designed specifically for people with cancer and their loved ones Educational Workshops The Power of Immunotherapy Register Tuesday May 11 6:00 – 7:00 pm The first western medicines were developed in the early 1900’s, but we had doctors (healers, shamans, etc) in every civilization for centuries prior to the advent of current drugs or technical advances. If they had no medicines, how were they successful? Our immune (defense) system serves to recognize foreign invaders (such as germs or cancer cells) destroying them, and keeping us well. Recent data demonstrates that loneliness, fear, depression and anxiety all weaken the immune system. I hypothesize that the presence of these healers served to dampen the fear and anxiety of illness, providing the emotional peace that strengthened the immune system, allowing us to heal. Modern immunotherapy has taken these principles forward, with remarkably stunning results. Alexandra M. Levine, MD, MACP is a Professor of Hematology/Transplantation at the City of Hope National Medical Center. Slow Flow Yoga for Youth and Families Register Thursdays May 13, 20 & 27 6:15 – 7:00 pm Slow Flow Yoga for Youth with Heather- a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher, and licensed voice and speech therapist, combines mindful movement, a gentle flow, guided meditation, and sound to calm the central nervous system and access a state of calm and hope. All levels and ages are welcome! Optimizing Nutrition Register Tuesday June 1 6:00 – 7:00 pm Join Mark Simon, founder of Nutritional Oncology Research Institute , for a presentation on optimizing nutrition for improvement in treatment response and lowering risk of recurrence. The workshop will address how nutrition intervention can be a complement to conventional treatment. Easy and accessible tips will be shared to begin working towards a nutritional plan that can assist in improving overall health and wellbeing. Mindfulness for Daily Life Register Wednesdays June 9 June 16 June 23 June 30 4:00 – 5:00 pm Join Alex Maizuss from InsightLA for a 4-week mindfulness series to explore how to live a more mindful life. Week 1 : Arriving to Now : The power of the breath\ Week 2: The Wisdom of the Body Week 3: Cultivating Compassion Week 4: Loving Presence Life After Cancer: Taking Charge of Your Health Register Tuesday June 15 6:00 – 7:00 pm Karla Wilson RN MSN FNP-C CPON is a nurse practitioner who specializes in Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship at the City of Hope . This workshop is being offered to assist you in becoming your own best healthcare advocate by providing strategies to develop positive lifestyle practices that can improve and enhance health and well-being after cancer. We will also discuss the importance of healthcare screenings for general health maintenance and the value of a healthy diet and exercise to improve energy and decrease fatigue. Health Disparities: A Call to Action Register Tuesday June 22 6:00 – 7:00 pm Join Dr. Rick Kittles, Ph.D ., the Founding Director of the Division of Health Equities at City of Hope , for a discussion on cancer health disparities in the U.S. His research has focused on understanding the complex issues surrounding race, genetic ancestry, and health disparities. Dr. Kittles has published over 160 research articles and was on the steering committee for the Cancer Disparities Progress Report released by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) . In this workshop, Dr. Kittles will share information about health disparities, discuss research surrounding health disparities, and deliver a call to action on how our community can combat inequalities. West African Drumming Register Tuesday June 29 4:00 – 5:00 pm Master Drummer Gerald C. Rivers , with over 20+ years playing in and facilitating drum circles, presents the healing power of the West African djembe. Gerald and a small group of drummers play with the intention of sending a healing vibration to all who listen. They will present traditional West African rhythms with purpose, intention, and joy. Meals that Heal 3-Part Series Register Tuesdays July 6, 13 & 20 3:00 – 4:00 pm This three-session series will focus on helping you make healthy and nutritious meals! You will broaden your cooking skillset and nutrition knowledge, while also learning about how to meal plan when you experience side effects that may interfere with your eating. Nancy Clifton-Hawkins is a HER2 breast cancer thriver, and a senior community benefits manager at City of Hope . She will infuse her practical experience with solid recommendations while creating a foundation of accessible resources and flexibility that encourages experimentation for all class participants. Advances in the Treatment of Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas Register Wednesday July 14 3:00 – 4:00 pm Join Drs. Lee Zuckerman, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, and Mark Agulnik, M.D ., medical oncologist at City of Hope, for this interactive workshop on Sarcoma. The doctors will discuss advances in the treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. There will be an opportunity for Q&A throughout the workshop. Frankly Speaking about Lung Cancer Register Monday July 19 6:00 – 7:00 pm Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Lung Cancer: This program is created for people diagnosed with lung cancer. The materials educate patients on the types on lung cancer, potential treatments and side effects, clinical trials, and the emotional concerns of a lung cancer diagnosis. Quiet the Mind Meditation Register Wednesday July 21 1:00 – 2:00 pm This is an in-person event, to be held in CSCP's large common area. ​ Join Emily Gonzales, Chopra Center ™ Certified Instructor to learn techniques for quieting the mind and shifting to a calm and balanced state of wellbeing. Learn tools to develop your own personal meditation practice. ​ In order to participate in this in-person program, you must be fully vaccinated for COVID 19. Vaccination must be completed two weeks prior to the program for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and 28 days prior to the program for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. When inside CSCP’s facility, you must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Finally, you must show proof of vaccination upon entrance of CSCP’s facility. Thyroid Cancer Register Tuesday September 21 6:00 – 7:00 pm Join Dr. Sasan Fazeli, M.D ., oncologic endocrinologist at City of Hope, for this interactive workshop on Thyroid Cancer. Dr. Fazeli will discuss screening practices, treatment options, and health monitoring for the disease. There will be an opportunity for Q&A throughout the workshop. Pancreatic Cancer Register Tuesday November 2 6:00 – 7:00 pm Join Drs. Laleh Melstrom, M.D . surgical oncologist and Vincent Chung, M.D . medical oncologist at City of Hope, for this interactive workshop on Pancreatic Cancer. The doctors will discuss screening practices, treatment options, and health monitoring for the disease. There will be an opportunity for Q&A throughout the workshop.

  • CSCP | Social Events

    CSCP offers a variety of special events to bring our community together Social Events Can You Hear My Voice? Register Thursday ​ May 27 ​ 5:00 - 7:00 pm Join CSCP for a special screening of This film chronicles the one-of-a-kind Shout at Cancer choir in the UK, whose members have all had their voice boxes removed due to cancer, as they prepare for an ambitious concert at London’s historic Tabernacle theater. The film includes spirited performances of songs popularized by Nina Simone, Tears for Fears, and Louis Armstrong, all backed by the stellar Peter Edwards Jazz Trio and a saxophone quartet. Along the way, choir members’ cancer stories unfold, revealing their struggles with self-identity, self-doubt, and loss. Far from maudlin, “Can You Hear My Voice?” bears witness to the power of music, and is a triumphant testimony illuminating a universal theme - the human capacity for resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity. The Director, Bill Brummel, will host a live Q&A at the end of the screening. "Can You Hear My Voice?” Love and Laughter with Jason Love Register Tuesdays ​ May 25 July 27 September 28 November 23 ​ 6:00 - 7:30 pm Enjoy an evening of PG-13 comedy for CSC & Gilda's club participants, members, and staff. Each Love & Laughter features and different, but equally hilarious, comedians. Jason Love Virtual Game Night Register 2nd Wednesday of Every Month ​ March 10 April 14 ​ 5:00 - 6:30 pm Join CSCP for some virtual fun and games! Games and connection are possible even through a computer screen. Scattergories, bingo, uno, checkers, cards... the options are endless! Coffee Club Register 2nd Thursday of Every Month ​ April 8 May 13 ​ 10:00 - 11:00 am Grab some coffee and your favorite breakfast, and join CSCP members for some social time! We have all missed connecting in-person in our kitchen, and Coffee Club is the virtual version of those fun meet-ups! Coffee Club is not structured or facilitated, but a CSCP staff member will be present to answer questions or address any tech issues that arise.

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