February 2023 – COA Patient Advocacy Network News Bulletin

Advocacy Chats – Educational Conversations on Cancer Advocacy and Policy Issues

Save the Date: Evidence-Based Nutrition for Cancer Patients and Survivors
Nutrition is critical for cancer patients and survivors. Join Rose Gerber, MS, COA Director of Patient Advocacy and Education, and Jennifer Lafferty, MS, RD, CSO, Clinical Oncology Nutritionist Supervisor at the American Oncology Network, to learn about the importance of evidence-based nutrition at all stages of the cancer care continuum on March 8, 2023, at 12:00pm ET. Register today.

ICYMI: COA’s Crystal Ball for 2023
With a new year and a new Congress, what developments in cancer policy can advocates expect? COA’s Rose Gerber; COA Managing Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications Nick Ferreyros; and COA Executive Director Ted Okon, MBA, discussed what 2023 could mean for cancer care. Stream it on @OncologyCOA’s YouTube channel today.

Advocacy Spotlight: Miriam Atkins, MD, FACP
President, COA; former Medical Co-Chair, CPAN; Owner & Partner, AO Multispecialty Clinic

Dr. Miriam Atkins, COA President, owner & partner of AO Multispecialty Clinic, is a strong advocate for community oncology. Drawn to community oncology by its collaborative nature, Dr. Atkins joined the practice following her service in the military where she learned the value of timely, efficient care—qualities that can only be found in independent clinics. At her community oncology practice, Dr. Atkins cultivates a strong and supportive care team who understand the importance of oncology access and intently work to improve it for the patients they serve. Dr. Atkins believes that working in a community oncology setting allows her to see more patients, provide more efficient care, and improve patient experiences.

Dr. Atkins values the mission of COA’s Patient Advocacy Network to educate patients on the value of cancer care provided in a community oncology setting. Through her chapter, launched in 2015, she works to educate members on important issues of patients’ rights, regulatory pressures facing cancer care, and strategies to influence broader cancer policy. Dr. Atkins believes advocacy can demonstrate to key health care and political leaders the importance of independent oncology providers and the need to protect locally delivered cancer care.

Cancer News You Can Use

Cancer Vaccines Are Already A Reality—But Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About Them Unless You Ask – Fortune 02/04
Clinical trials have long been underway using traditional vaccine technologies and a handful of vaccines have already received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But, if this is news to you, you’re not alone. Doctors don’t always offer cancer-preventing or cancer-treating vaccines to patients—due to lack of knowledge, or bias against certain racial, gender, or age groups.

Gallbladder & Bile Duct Cancers: Rare, Silent, And Deadly. Know The Signs – HealthDay 02/01
Both bile duct and gallbladder cancers tend to begin in glandular cells in tissue that lines the biliary tract, through which bile released by the liver travels to the small intestine. Because they develop in organs deep inside the body, bile duct and gallbladder cancers can be difficult to detect—but knowing the signs of these rare cancers may help with earlier detection.

Many Women Underestimate Breast Density As A Risk Factor For Breast Cancer, Study Shows – CNN 01/23
Dense breast tissue has been associated with up to a four times higher risk of breast cancer. However, a new study suggests few women view breast density as a significant risk factor: while most women correctly noted that breast density could mask tumors on mammograms, few women felt that breast density could be a risk factor for breast cancer.

COMMUNITY ONCOLOGY 101 – What is “Value” in Health Care?

The definition of “value” differs from person to person and patient to physician. In this Cancer Policy Minute discussion, Ted Okon explores what value in health care means to different groups and why each person’s voice is important.

Resources for Chapters

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Time to Screen, an initiative of the Community Oncology Alliance, provides free resources to help you spread the word about the importance of cancer screening in your community. Download the Time to Screen Advocacy Toolkit and get started today!

February 2023 CPAN News Bulletin

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