Wednesday, October 31, 2007

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

The Healing Project wants to reach out to the lung cancer community during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. One of our first publication’s, was Voices of Lung Cancer, an anthology of stories of patients, caregivers and family members. It may be purchased at Amazon. This is a community that must come into the light as it is one of the three leading causes of death in America.

The Healing Project also offers a free publication, Lung Cancer: What the Patient and Family Need to Know by Reed Phillips, MD. This patient guide includes information about talking with your doctor, choosing the right doctor, choosing the right surgeon and getting a second opinion.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month Public Service Announcement

Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) is a national campaign dedicated to increasing attention to lung cancer issues. By organizing rallies, distributing educational material, holding fund-raising events, contacting Congress, and speaking to the media, those involved in LCAM bring much-needed support and attention to a disease that each year kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined.

Regrettably, the view that lung cancer is a self-afflicted condition, and therefore should receive minimal funding is unenlightened. One could extend this same argument to numerous other conditions including but not limited to cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury and Type II Diabetes. If we only accounted for people who never smoked, 20,000 to 25,000 people who be diagnosed with lung cancer and would still represent one of the 10 largest causes of death in US. It is time to be enlightened and find a cure.

A Couple of Facts from Lungevity (LUNGevity is the premier grant-making nonprofit organization funding lung cancer research and providing support to the lung cancer community):
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Approximately 50% of the people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or are former smokers.

Lung cancer accounts for approximately 29% of all cancer deaths.

Lung cancer kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers combined.

Lung cancer kills more than three times as many men each year than prostate cancer.

Lung cancer kills more women each year than breast, ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers combined.

In 2007, an estimated 213,380 people will be newly diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 160,390 people will die of lung cancer. An estimated 89,510 of these deaths will be men and an estimated 70,880 will be women.

Lung cancer kills 84% of newly diagnosed patients within five years. The survival rate is 49% for cases detected when the disease is localized to the lung, but only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed that early.

More than 7% of American men and women will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the course of their lifetime.

The 5-year survival rate for…
Breast cancer has reached 88%
Prostate cancer – 99%
Colon cancer – 63%
Lung Cancer – 15%!

In 2007, approximately $1,633 will be spent on research per lung cancer death, compared with:
$13,471 per breast cancer death
$11,298 per prostate cancer death
$4,774 per colorectal cancer death
Lung Cancer has the lowest survival rate of any other cancer but continues to receive the least amount of funding per death!

In fact, Joan’s Legacy, one of our sister 501 (c)’s The Joan Scarangello Foundation to Conquer Lung Cancer is committed to fight lung cancer by funding innovative research and increasing awareness of the world’s leading cancer killer, with a special focus on non-smoking-related lung cancer.

Can Research Make a Difference?

Certainly, one only has to remember the enormous progress made in Breast Cancer in the last two decades to realize that a deadly killer can evolve into a chronic condition.

We ask all those afflicted to visit and participate in both diagnostic and therapeutic trials. It is the only way to find a cure.

For more information about Lung Cancer Awareness Month contact:
Lung Cancer Alliance
888 16th Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
(800) 298-2436 Lung Cancer Hotline
(202) 463-2080
(202) 355-1396 Fax
Materials available
Contact: Kay Cofrancesco

Monday, October 29, 2007

November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

The Healing Project wishes to take this opportunity to cast a light across the entire spectrum of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a term often used as a catch-all for a group of symptoms characterized by a loss of memory judgment, language, motor skills, and impairment of other cognitive skills due to the damage or death of neurons. Alzheimer’s is large subset of dementia, but Alzheimer’s patients often present with more than one dementia. Complicating matters, many Alzheimer’s patients also exhibit depression, severe mental illness and other psychiatric conditions.

Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis
In the hands of a skilled clinical team, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can approach 85% in accuracy. Community-based screening techniques being pioneered by Rhonna Shatz, MD of the Henry Ford Health System offer the best model not only for correctly identifying patients’ disorders but also offering families the best continuity of care for those afflicted with dementia. It combines the latest technologies, medical instruments and clinical methods to render an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

It is essential that patients’ presenting with severe memory impairment are carefully and professionally screened for nutritional deficiencies (B1, B12, Folate), metabolic disorders (thyroid,etc.) depression, psychiatric illness, negative drug synergies (pharmaceutical dementia) before any formal diagnosis is made. All of the above conditions can be treated and the cognitive decline in many cases reversed. If none of the above conditions are present, a baseline genetic and medical history should be compiled to determine the probable type of dementia the patient might have. A panel should be assembled review the patient's case history that should include a cardiologist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, gerontologist and a psychiatrist. After the determination is made, the gerontologist or neurologist should design a course of care for the patient and the family should be counseled on caregiving practices and social services that may ease the transition as the ailment progresses.

Regrettably, the training of general practitioners has been lacking and many still use such flawed instruments such as Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE) to make a diagnosis. At the early stages of the dementia, the MMSE is a useless instrument and at late stages it is not very relevant as a child could identify the impairment. Newer, more powerful, cognitive screening instruments, such as the Headminder Cognitive Screening Tool (CST), are available but low reimbursement rates make its use limited only to the most advanced medical centers. Since no cure is available for Alzheimer's or any organic form of dementia and the available treatments are of limited value, little emphasis is placed on the screening and diagnosis of dementia in family practice.

Why Is Early Diagnosis Important?

Early diagnosis is important for two reasons:

1. Identifying patients early allows families to develop the resources and build the a support system necessary to comfort the afflicted; and
2. Identifying patients early offers the opportunity to participate in clinical research trials essential to the development of new courses of treatment for dementia.

For information about ongoing clinical trials visit The Healing Project can not emphasize enough that every available patient should volunteer for these trials as it is the only hope of finding useful drugs.

Current Drugs

The leading drugs available are the cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept and for later stage cases Namenda. Neither Aricept nor Namenda reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease and have limited efficacy in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Neither drug alters the progression of the disease.

Future Development

More than 60 drugs are in clinic, but it is highly unlikely any compound will make it to approval. It is not that some of these compounds lack efficacy, it is manner in which they are screened and tested. The FDA and EMEA (Europe’s FDA equivalent), must re-examine how the drugs are tested to ensure those that do work are properly identified. The second issue is Alzheimer's research has been largely focused on a single theory for more than 20 years. The theory may simply be targeting a symptom as opposed to the cause or causes of Alzheimer’s. Precious time has been lost and a vast amount of resources misallocated. Clinical experience and post-mortem analysis argues that the etiology of the disease and its complex co-morbidities demand a radical rethinking of the conduct of Alzheimer’s research. The Alzheimer’s patient community must demand that both the NIH and Alzheimer’s research community begin to fund alternate theories of the disease process.

What can be done now?

If a loved one is exhibiting symptoms associated with dementia, it is incumbent on the family to seek the best diagnostic center available in their area. In the event the patient is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, families should take full advantage of all the services available to help care for the afflicted. Proper nutrition, exercise and human interaction can have positive results in mitigating the speed of cognitive decline in most patients.

The Healing Project has published Voices of Alzheimer’s to offer perspective patients, caregivers, and families dealing with Alzheimer’s. It is available for purchase from Amazon.

Resources can be found at The Healing Project’s links section select Alzheimer’s.

For more information regarding Alzheimer’s Awareness Month’s activities:

National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
Alzheimer's Association
225 North Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-7633
(800) 272-3900
(866) 699-1246

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Treatment of Returned Wounded Service Members and Veterans is a Travesty

As Veterans’ Day approaches, The Healing Project wishes to call attention to the appalling level of treatment that our returning wounded service members and veterans are receiving at the hands of a government that is obligated to take care of them.

As of October 26, 2007
Official DoD Count of Troops Killed in Iraq: 3,830
Troops Killed in Afghanistan: 445
Wounded in Action: 30,035

The US Military is composed of on all volunteer force that is stationed on remote federal reservations across the country. Less than 1 ½% of the US population is affected by military deployments. These patriots are subjected to poor pay, long deployments and a general lack of support. It is time we stand up for the people willing to serve this country.

The sacrifices made by these men and women are best articulated by Ben Stein.

First, The Healing Project wishes to extend its support and recognize the extraordinary effort made by forward field medical teams deployed by the US Army, US Navy and especially the US Air Force. The doctors, nurses and medics as well as the medical evacuation teams have pushed the survival rate of injured service members to a level unprecedented in military medical history. It represents the culmination of nearly 70 years research and clinical development that demonstrates when resources and will are combined with leadership and initiative the United States can deliver a level of medical treatment unparalleled anywhere in the world. A recent The Navy Times article illustrates the type of heroic efforts made by military medical personell make on behalf of the wounded.

Nonetheless, both the DoD and Veterans Administration have failed those who have returned. Both the executive branch and the legislative branches of the US government have failed to provide the material assistance, human resources and most importantly the dynamic leadership to ensure the proper treatment of the returning wounded. No less than 9 commissions were empanelled by various organs of the US government and yet nothing has been done to address the needs of those that have been wounded. A story in the Charlotte Observer highlights only some of the problems.

Let’s be clear, the reported casualty figures reflect the number of traditional physical injuries. It is not an accurate reflection of the true number of casualties suffered by our service members. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, family violence and various severe mental disorders are triggered by the conditions experienced with repeated extended combat tours thousands of miles from their families. Inexplicably, both the VA and DoD failed to prepare for the enormous number of service members requiring treatment. The experience of returning veterans of the Vietnam War coupled with reports as early as 2005 would have led any epidemiologist to predict a large increase in demand for medical services. The claim that the neither the DoD nor the VA can provide treatment due to a lack of trained personnel is nonsense. This country has more than enough trained personnel in the civilian medical sector to be pressed into service to treat these men and women immediately.

Even more incredible has been the lack of treatment afforded to service members that have suffered combat traumatic brain injury (C-TBI). C-TBI injury has been called the signature injury of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Advances in body armor coupled with tactics and weapons employed by our adversaries led to an extraordinary number of injuries that have not been experienced in earlier conflicts. While technologies have existed since before the conflicts to screen and track these injuries, the DoD actively avoided its use. Research dollars have been allocated to projects that will neither benefit the treatment of veterans nor lead to a greater understanding of the injury.

The willful and wanton neglect of our wounded service members by the DoD borders on criminal. The attempt to paint this C-TBI as some sort of mirage is insulting both to those suffering the injury and also those who have spent years trying to characterize it and define its treatment. Pentagon research strongly argues that many service members impacted by combat traumatic brain injury in the next 20 years will develop Parkinson’s-like syndromes and dementia. Of course, much like many of the medical discharges that have been made since the beginning of Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, compensation will be denied based upon a pre-existing condition.

The DoD seems to be attempting to delay the understanding and cataloging of this injury as it did with Gulf War Syndrome to avoid the costs of disability payments. Regrettably, the service members who develop long-term neurological illnesses will be reduced to penury because bureaucrats in Washington refuse to accept the responsibility for injuries suffered defending our democracy.

It is unacceptable.

The Healing Project hopes you will take action.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has created a petition to address the most basic medical issues for our wounded warriors.

IAVA Petition/IAVA Action Commercial

From IAVAAction's Site:

As a recent report from the Government Accountability Office reveals, seven months have passed since the Walter Reed crisis and serious problems in veterans' care remain.

As of October 1, the veterans' budget is late. Until it is approved, the VA will be forced to ration care.

Now, it's up to the President and Congress to approve the budget. Add your name to the statement, and demand they take action.

Please sign and let your friends and Representatives know that our wounded warriors demand the best treatment that can be afforded.

Regardless of how one feels about the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, our service members and verterans deserve and demand your respect and it is time to stand with them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Women and Lung Cancer - Free Seminar

Woman and Lung Cancer

The Gender Specific Facts

Lung Cancer is Not Just for Smokers
It is the #1 cancer killer of women

November 13th, 2007
7: OO P.M. – 9:15 P.M.

Hyatt Hotel, 2 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ


Jill M. Siegfried, PhD
Co-Director Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Mika Sovak, MD
Cancer Institute of New Jersey

FREE and Open to the Public
Parking on Premises ~ Door Prizes~ Refreshments

By phone 732-363-4426 or e-mail
Please provide your full name, email address and telephone nos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing Celebrate the Release of the Voices of Breast Cancer

The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing came together on Tuesday, October 16th at the St. Vincents Comprehensive Cancer Center to celebrate the publication of Voices of Breast Cancer .

The evening began with a cocktail reception for the authors, friends, family and supporters of The Healing Project and LaChance Publishing. More than 100 people were in attendance.

The evening's speakers were led off by Debra LaChance, the founder of The Healing Project and President of LaChance Publishing. Following Ms. LaChance, Dr. Stephanie Bernick, The Healing Project's Oncology Advisor, spoke about the cancer patient experience. Remarks were concluded by the Oncology pioneer and President of Receptor Biologix, Dr. H. Michael Shepard. Dr. Shepard was the team leader in the discovery of the ground-breaking pharmaceutical, Herceptin. He is currently developing a new generation of biologic therapies to battle various forms of cancer.

The Healing Project wishes to thank all the authors, attendees and LaChance Publishing for creating such a special evening. We would also like to thank St. Vincents Comprehensive Cancer Center for graciously hosting the event.

Voices of Breast Cancer may be purchased at Amazon.

The Healing Project is also pleased to annouce that Voices of Breast Cancer is now in its second printing.

Upcoming releases include Voices of Alcoholism and Voices of Autism. 100% of the profits will be donated to The Healing Project.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 19th is National Mammography Day

The Healing Project wants every women over 40 years old to have an annual mammography. Earlier diagnosis is the key to successful treatment and a long life.

If you think you can't afford a mammography, free and low-cost breast cancer screenings (cervical cancer as well) are available throughout the United States. To find a location near you, click here.

For more information contact:
National Mammography Day
American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(800) ACS-2345

Monday, October 15, 2007

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

The Healing Project wishes to remind our community that proper dental hygiene has profound implications on one's individual general health. Take care of your teeth and gums.

Sponsored annually by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) is a month-long observance of the importance of proper oral hygiene. Observed in October, with a specific theme chosen by ADHA, participating communities are given the chance to recognize the contributions of dental hygienists towards community outreach efforts. The 2007 topic is a continuation of the four-year theme “A Healthy Smile Lasts a Lifetime.” The focus for this year will be on Adolescent and Teenage Oral Health.

For additional information contact:

American Dental Hygienists' Association
444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60611-3980
(800) 243-ADHA (2342)
(312) 440-8900
(312) 467-1806 Fax

Friday, October 12, 2007

October is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month

The Healing Project wants to remind all women of child bearing to make sure they make sure to have a diet rich in Niacin. Niacin is an essential vitamin that reduces the likelihood of having child afflicted with Spina Bifida.

Spina Bifida Association of America
4590 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20007-4226
(800) 621-3141
(202) 944-3285
(202) 944-3295 Fax

Friday, October 5, 2007

National Depression Screening Day is October 11th

National Depression Screening Day® (NDSD) began seventeen years ago as the first nationwide, community-based mental health screening program. Today it is the largest provider of mental health screening services in the country through its partnership with thousands of community-based, college and primary care screening sites. NDSD offers both in-person and online screening for four of the most common and frequently co-occurring mental disorders: depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you would like more information about NDSD, call 781.239.0071 or email us at

A Listing of NDSD 2006 and Year Round Screening Sites can be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Healing Project (THP) started as a project to raise consciousness about Breast Cancer and build a community of family members, caregivers and survivors. Our founder Debra LaChance is one of the 2,4 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Breast Cancer occupies a special place in our minds to which we give special emphasis.

First, The Healing Project wants every women over 40 years old to have an annual mammography. Earlier diagnosis is the key to successful treatment and a long life.

If you think you can't afford a mammography, free and low-cost breast cancer screenings (cervical cancer as well) are available throughout the United States. To find a location near you, click here.

Second, THP is pleased to announce our third book Voices of Breast Cancer: The Healing Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort and Strength (Voices Of series) (Paperback). It can be purchased at Amazon by following this link.

Further, Lori Benson, Academy Award Nominated Documentarian, will be giving a screening of Dear Talula followed by a Question and Answer session at Morrisania WIC in the Bronx, New York.

Finally, Dear Talula is running throughout the month on Cinemax ReelLife. Premieres Tuesday, October 9 at 7:30pm on CINEMAX.

For more information regarding National Breast Cancer Awareness Month contact:
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Board of Sponsors
1800 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19850-5437

Monday, October 1, 2007

October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month

For infomation and materials related to the Awareness Month, click here.

Or Contact:

Celiac Sprue Association
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131-0700
(877) 272-4272
(402) 643-4108 Fax