Firstline: What's Making An Impact In The Cancer Landscape

February 19, 2020
Beth Fand Incollingo

CURE, Winter 2020, Volume 19, Issue 1

From Neil Peart’s passing following a battle with brain cancer to a new online support group for men with testicular cancer, here’s the news making an impact in the cancer landscape.

Neil Peart, Legendary Drummer for Rock Band Rush, Dies of the Brain Cancer Glioblastoma

Neil Peart, the legendary drummer for the progressive rock band Rush, has died following a battle with brain cancer, according to a spokesperson. The 67-year-old passed away in California on Jan. 7.

Peart was famous for his state-of-the-art drum kits, precise and technically adept playing and onstage showmanship. In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 4 on its list of 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.

Peart was also known for his lyrics that took an individualist perspective, delving into areas such as science fiction, philosophy and magic, The New York Times reported in an obituary. He wrote memoirs and books about his travels.

Peart started taking drumming lessons as a 13-year-old in Canada and found it to be “pure pleasure,” according to the Times. As a young adult, he played with local bands until he auditioned for Rush, joining singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in 1974 at age 22.

In 2015, Peart retired from performing with the band that recorded more than a dozen platinum albums. According to Rush’s spokesman, that was 3 1/2 years after he had received a diagnosis of glioblastoma.

Peart is survived by his wife, Carrie Nuttall, and daughter, Olivia.

Short, Free Video Aims for a Twofer: Hairstyling With a Bonus Cancer Check

When Melanoma occurs on the scalp, it’s less likely that patients or their doctors will find it, especially when the skin cancer is in an early stage.

But what if people who spent all day looking at people’s scalps, heads and necks were trained to identify melanomas? That’s the goal of a free, 20-minute video that teaches hairdressers to identify the cancer and encourages them to warn clients who have suspicious lesions.

The video was created by Eyes on Cancer, an educational program developed by telemedicine company SkyMD. Several organizations came together to make sure that the video is viewable for free and reaches as many hairdressers as possible. Those who complete the training can display a certificate in their salons, demonstrating that they care about their clients.

Advent Health Daytona Beach, along with the Oncology Nursing Society’s East Central Florida chapter, are partnering on a Hairstylist Melanoma Challenge that encourages people to use social media to increase views of the video. In 2019, the effort added 150 people to the 10,000

who had already taken the training. In 2020, organizers want to engage another 20,000 participants.

“There are currently 39,000 Oncology Nursing Society nurses. If each one encouraged his or her own hairdresser to participate in the challenge, the numbers would be staggering. With approximately 39,000 hairdressers seeing potentially six to 12 clients per day, we could affect positive change in hundreds of thousands of people daily,” wrote registered nurse Sandy Allen, an Advent Health employee who started the challenge.

Patients are invited to view the video and share it with their hairdressers and nurses. It can be seen at eyesoncancer.org; click on “courses” and then “certification.”

Online Support Group Is For Caregivers of Men With Testicular Cancer

Patient advocacy group CancerCare is hosting an online support group for caregivers of patients with testicular cancer.

The organization is presenting the free, 15-week series of virtual meetings in collaboration with the Testicular Cancer Foundation. Although the support groups began Feb. 3, participants are welcome to join mid-series.

Facilitated by oncology social worker William Goeren, director of clinical programs at CancerCare, the support group offers a safe, confidential space in which caregivers can discuss the challenges of supporting a loved one with testicular cancer.

The meetings will allow participants to give and receive support, information and guidance. Because no medical professionals will be leading the group, no medical advice or information will be given.

To join, visit cancercare.org/support_ groups/173 and complete the registration process. Members of the password-protected group can read and post messages 24/7.

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