A Resolution to Beat Cancer

JANUARY 01, 2018
Mike Hennessy, Sr., Chairman and CEO

Many pharmacists and other health care professionals are starting 2018 in pursuit of a crucial goal: the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Whether we have watched a loved one battle cancer or have fought it ourselves, far too many of us have been personally affected by the disease. Data from the National Cancer Institute indicate that about 38.5% of the US population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes.1 Additionally, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer remains the second-leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by heart disease.2

Fortunately, ACS data also show a 25% decrease in cancer mortality rates between 1991 and 2014.2 One possible explanation for this trend is the development of novel cancer therapies, including oral oncology medication. Because these medications are often self-administered, pharmacists can make a great impact on patient outcomes by educating these individuals about their treatment and ensuring medication adherence.

Pharmacists can also take advantage of the season and work toward preventing cancer by helping patients with their New Year’s resolutions. For example, patients who consult with their pharmacists about trying to get in shape could be educated about the link between cancer and excess body weight,2 while those who are looking to kick the cigarette habit could be motivated by learning that a former smoker’s risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a current smoker’s risk 10 years after quitting.3

To begin the new year, we are pleased to present the Oncology issue of Pharmacy Times®, which contains practical information on immunotherapy in cancer, the relationship between cancer and diabetes, and other cancer-related topics. A new year brings with it new opportunities to improve patient health and treat diseases such as cancer, and we are proud to recognize pharmacists for their essential role in making those resolutions a reality.

Thanks for reading!

References
  1. National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: cancer of any site. National Cancer Institute website. seer. cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html. Accessed December 15, 2017.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2017. ACS website. cancer.org/content/dam/ cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and- figures-2017.pdf. Accessed December 15, 2017.
  3. American Cancer Society. Benefits of quitting smoking over time. ACS website. cancer.org/healthy/ stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html. Updated September 9, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017.


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