Run/Walk to Support Pancreatic Cancer
An estimated 53,070 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this calendar year(American Cancer Society: Facts and Figures 2016). In most cases, a diagnosis leads to immediate and intensive treatment, including chemotherapy, radical surgery, or radiation.
The disease and its treatment can be accompanied by distressing physical symptoms, including significant weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, and depressive symptoms. Many patients and their loved ones experience fear and worry in the face of grim statistics that characterize pancreatic cancer as particularly pernicious form of cancer. Patients and their loved ones can also experience relief and benefit from receiving integrative care that includes evidence-based medicine, psychosocial support, education, nutritional counseling, and connection to a understanding and resourceful community of individuals who are committed to reducing the impact and burden of pancreatic cancer.
The Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology has had a long-standing partnership with The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Founded in 1997 by Agi Hirshberg, the foundation is committed to advancing research and providing support to those impacted by pancreatic cancer. To date, the foundation has raised more than $19 million for pancreatic research and education. The Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Disease was established at UCLA with the goal of providing integrative care for patients with pancreatic cancer. At the Center, patients can access some of the nation’s leaders in the treatment of pancreatic disease, including surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and other medical professionals and experts. Simms/Mann Center clinicians also play an important role within the Center by consulting with patients and their loved one to assess their psychosocial needs and provide support and care that complement the excellent medical treatment received.
Support for patients or their loved ones who are impacted by pancreatic cancer may include individual psychosocial support as they move through the process of diagnosis and initiation of treatment. Support may involve connecting patients to support or wellness groups at the Simms/Mann Center or near their homes, or through facilitating a referral to our Integrative Oncology Specialist, Carolyn Katzin, who can aid patients in navigating the challenging issues of unintended weight loss or need for diet modification. Support may involve building a relationship with the Simms/Mann chaplain or participating in a consultation with our psychiatrist to assess whether medication may be useful to addressing concerns related to mood and coping. Support may also include connecting a patient to the many resources available through the Hirshberg Foundation, including financial aid, patient advocate support, clinical trial information, and support for children.
On October 30th, Simms/Mann Center staff joined with the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and UCLA medical staff and families to participate in the 19th annual L.A. Cancer Challenge walk and fun run. The event took place on the UCLA campus and raised more than half a million dollars for pancreatic cancer research and education. In addition to being a fantastic way to support a critical cause while enjoying physical activity outside, the event brought together a community of individuals who are committed to promoting research to treat pancreatic cancer and providing support to those who are facing the disease right now. Simms/Mann Center director, Dr. Anne Coscarelli, and Simms/Mann staff psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Cleary, pictured here, spoke to the ways in which Simms/Mann services are designed to contribute to patients and their loved ones’ well-being and to the Center’s established collaboration with the Hirshberg Foundation. Of note, Dr. Cleary’s daughter, age two, participated in the children’s fun run and other activities and assisted us in our presentation by being on stage. We hope that by the time she is old enough to understand pancreatic cancer, we will have made leaps and bounds in treatment of and support for those with this disease.
The day was a hopeful and energizing one, filled with the promise of more research and funding to promote advances in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Thank you Agi Hirshberg for your longstanding commitment.
For information about the nutritional and integrative assessments please click here: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/index.php/services/complementary-care-services/
For information about services here at the Simms/Mann Center please click here: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/index.php/services/
For information about the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases please click here: http://pancreas.ucla.edu/
For the latest lecture on pancreatic cancer please click here: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/index.php/videos/
For our next lecture on palliative care, please click here: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/index.php/center_events/palliative-care-finding-healing-and-balance-in-the-face-of-serious-illness/
For information on the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, click here: http://pancreatic.org/