Health

Feb 25, 2013 4:45 PM by Jennifer Horbelt and Eugene Daniels

Livin' With It Part 1: Local Impact of Cancer

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer. Statistics like that are why awareness and knowledge are keys in the fight to beat this disease.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. News 5 is taking a closer look at how our state is affected by this disease in this special Your Healthy Family series, 'Livin' With It'. From the impact cancer has on patients, to innovative cancer treatments right here in our area, to resources for dealing with the physical and emotional scars cancer leaves on patients and their loved ones.

"He said, you want the good news, or the bad news. And I said, I want both!" Mary Moore said of the conversation she had with her doctor in the winter of 2010.

"My sister and I said, let's skip our mammogram this year. We're just gonna' go every two years. Something told me don't," Cindy Rose told us of her decision to go ahead and not skip her yearly mammogram in the spring of 2011.

Two women with one thing in common: cancer.

Cindy's decision was a wise one. The mammogram uncovered a lump.

"I couldn't feel it. It was only visible through the mammogram," Cindy said of her breast cancer diagnosis.

Mary dealt with multiple cancer losses, including her mother and sister, before she was diagnosed.

"When I was diagnosed with cancer, it all just hit," Mary said.

She's still undergoing treatment for non-small cell lung cancer at Penrose Cancer Center  in Colorado Springs. Medical Director Dr. James Young says cancer treatment has changed significantly in the last five years. He cites multiple reasons, including technology.

"Increasingly there are technological developments for the treatment of cancer, including special targeted radiation therapy techniques that are unique to Penrose Cancer Center on the southern portion of the front range," Dr. Young said.

Dr. Young also says multi-disciplinary care and personalized molecular medicine are helping target and personalize treatments for patients like Cindy and Mary.

"Where, instead of every breast cancer being treated the same, we tailor therapy based on the molecular level characteristics of the tumor," Dr. Young said.

Still, the impact of a cancer diagnosis is scary for patients.

"I think I focused more on the physical part to try and stay strong," Cindy said of her attempt to not let her emotions get the best of her during treatment.

Friends, caregivers and family members also feel the effects of the diagnosis of a loved one.

"That was the hardest part for me, not knowing whether she was gonna' make it," Cindy's stepdaughter Jackie said.

Despite that, Cindy and Mary were driven to face cancer head on, and fight back.

"I want you to treat this as aggressively as possible," Mary told her doctors. "I have family members that are counting on me getting through this."

Our next two stories for this Your Healthy Family series 'Livin' With It' will take a closer look at an innovative cancer treatment, and resources to help patients and family members cope with what comes after their cancer fight.

Below are a list of links to help you learn more about cancer and the resources available in Southern Colorado:

1.) To view clinical trials taking place at Penrose Cancer Center, click here.

2.) To view patient and family support at Penrose Cancer Center, click here.

3.) To view the cancer center website through Centura, click here.

4.) To view more on the St. Mary-Corwin Dorcy Cancer Center in Pueblo, click here.

5.) To view the Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, click here.

6.) To view the National Cancer Institute, click here.

7.) To view the American Cancer Society, click here.

8.) To view Relay for Life, click here.

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