Breast Cancer Survivor Learns That every Day Matters

Insider Louisville LogoIt’s one of those statistics that is hard to imagine — 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Most Americans know someone whose life has been affected by the disease, and the support they’ve shown is encouraging — from the thousands of local fundraisers held this month to the prevalence of pink on everything from ribbons to NFL uniforms.

While breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of death among women, survival rates have increased, thanks to early detection and treatment improvements. Today, in America, 3 million women count themselves as breast cancer survivors. One of them is Sarah Gorman of Louisville, who was diagnosed seven years ago and has emerged from her cancer journey with her positive outlook intact.

“I’m doing everything I can, I’m living life,” she says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “I often said at the end of that whole experience that I could have written a book titled ‘How cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.’ People came out of the woodwork with cards and flowers and I had no idea all those people even cared. I get goose bumps now even talking about it.”

For more information, please click here.


Passport hosts Cancer Prevention and Care forum on Saturday in West Louisville

Passport Health Plan is hosting a Cancer Prevention and Care forum on Saturday, September 23, at St. Stephen Church in West Louisville.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will include information about the importance of having a strong relationship with your doctor and information on smoking, as well as a number of free services:

  • Blood pressure readings
  • Kidney screenings
  • Vision screenings
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Flu shots
  • And more!

The forum will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the St. Stephen Church Family Life Center, 1508 West Kentucky Street, Louisville, KY 40210. For more information, please click here.


Skin cancer is among the most common cancers, but it’s also the most preventable

Insider Louisville LogoPrevention of skin cancer may seem like a simple thing to do: Stay out of the sun, use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, don’t go to tanning beds, avoid sunburn at all costs.

It’s the same advice your Mom gave you when you went outside to play when you were a kid. And now, it’s the advice given by the national Skin Cancer Foundation to all adults enjoying summer activities outdoors, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

With summer approaching, it’s a good time to be reminded that skin cancer is among the most common, and preventable, of cancers. One in five Americans are affected by skin cancer, and 3.3 million people are treated for it every year.

Despite all the information available about the cancer risk associated with exposure to the sun, a 2004 survey from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that 27 percent of Caucasian adults in Kentucky had at least one sunburn in the last year.

For more information, please click here.


FDA expands “Real Cost” campaign about smokeless tobacco to focus on rural white male teenagers

real talk graphicThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new campaign on the dangers of smokeless tobacco among rural teens, expanding its “The Real Cost” campaign “to educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use.”

The FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that 31.84 percent of rural, white males ages 12 to 17 — about 629,000 total youths — either experiment with smokeless tobacco or are at-risk.

The central message in “The Real Cost” Smokeless Tobacco Prevention Campaign is “smokeless doesn’t mean harmless,” which aims to motivate these teenagers to reconsider what they think they know about smokeless tobacco use.

“For the first time, messages on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use — including nicotine addiction, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancer — are being highlighted through the placement of advertisements in 35 U.S. markets specifically selected to reach the campaign’s target audience,” according to a news release from the FDA.

“The Real Cost” campaign launched nationally in February 2014 across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home sites. It currently airs in 35 markets, including Lexington and Paducah in Kentucky.


Task Force report lists ‘high priority’ areas for research on women’s health

women healthThe U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released its “Fifth Annual Report to Congress on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services,” focusing on five “high priority” women’s health areas for evidence-based research.

The Task Force says that research in five areas “would generate much-needed evidence for important new recommendations to improve the health and health care of women in the United States.” Those five areas are:

  1. Screening for Intimate Partner Violence, Illicit Drug Use, and Mental Health Conditions
  2. Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction
  3. Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Fractures, and Screening for Osteoporosis
  4. Screening for Cancer
  5. Implementing Clinical Preventive Services

“While women have traditionally enjoyed longer life expectancy and better health compared with men, this may be changing for the worse,” according to the report. “Between 1992 and 2006, 42.8 percent of U.S. counties had increased mortality rates among women compared with only 3.2 percent among men. These increases were more common among non-Hispanic white women with less education living in the South and West.”

According to its website (, USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services and health promotion. The Task Force comprehensively assesses evidence and makes recommendations about the effectiveness of screening tests, counseling about healthful behaviors, and preventive medications for infants, children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and pregnant women.

For more information about the report, please click here.


Annual Great American Smokeout planned for this week to help encourage smokers to ‘Quit Like a Champion’

Great American Smokeout GraphicThe Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to quit for the day and make a plan to quit for good, is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19. This remains especially important in Kentucky, which has the highest rates of lung cancer and deaths from it, and where more than one in four adults smoke, the second highest rate in the nation.

The American Cancer Society has coordinated the Smokeout on every third Thursday in November since 1976. It is estimated that this annual event has helped change Americans’ attitudes about smoking, and probably saved millions of lives.

According to the Cancer Society, “about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. As of 2013, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and over 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.”

For more information about the Great American Smokeout, including a guide to quitting smoking, please click here.


Cancer remains No. 1 cause of death among U.S. Hispanics, new study shows

American Cancer Society logoCancer is the No. 1 cause of mortality among Hispanics in the U.S., even though the group has lower mortality and incidence of all types of cancer combined, according to new study.

According to a report published in “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians,” Hispanic people are more likely to be diagnosed with stomach, liver and cervical cancer.

Researchers predict 67,000 new cancers among Hispanic women and 58,400 among men this year, with an estimated 19,900 cancer-related deaths among men and 17,900 among women.

“Death rates are declining for both heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. overall, and cancer, the second leading cause,” lead report author Rebecca Siegel, a researcher at the American Cancer Society, said in a Reuters article. “Cancer has already surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in Hispanics because of their young age structure.”

More than 55 million Hispanics live in the U.S., making up the country’s largest racial and ethnic minority group and accounting for about 17 percent of the total population. About 82 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. are under age 50, compared with only 60 percent of white people.

To read the full report, please click here.