From Senator Amy Klobuchar’s breast cancer experience to a 14-year-old survivor’s charity work for other children with cancer, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, 61, discussed her breast cancer journey on GMA this week, revealing she had been diagnosed with breast cancer seven months ago after her doctors at the Mayo Clinic discovered calcifications during a routine mammogram. A biopsy then revealed she had stage 1a breast cancer.
Klobuchar has now been declared cancer-free following a lumpectomy and radiation.
“Of course, this has been scary at times, since cancer is the word all of us fear, but at this point my doctors believe that my chances of developing cancer again are no greater than the average person,” she wrote in a statement.
The senator also urged people to continue getting screened and to not put off routine examinations.
“So, that's my first practical advice. Get those screenings. Go in, get a mammogram. Get whatever health checkup that you should normally be getting ... and the second is, just be grateful for the people around you."
After a seven-year break, The Wanted returned to music this week announcing a greatest hits album, a new single and a live charity performance for Stand Up To Cancer.
The five-member boy band initially spoke about reuniting in 2020 but were halted after bandmember Tom Parker was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Parker has said he is responding well to treatment and that the tumor has shrunk significantly.
"It's been a very sad eight months, so it's been nice to smile again, for me,” he said in a press conference.
The performance will take place on Sept. 20, and the greatest hits collection will be available to the public on Nov. 12.
"We have been talking off and on for a few years now about getting back together... but have all been working on other projects at different times so it didn't happen," said bandmember Jay McGuiness in a statement.
Ryan Alarcon, 14, is a three-time cancer survivor who understands the pressure of rushing to the emergency room in a dire situation and needing to grab a bag full of necessities as fast as possible. This idea is what inspired him to start creating hospital “go-bags” with his mother, Christy, for other families.
The two launched “Got Your Back-Pack” together to raise money for creating the hospital bags.
“We started to figure out that if you have a go-bag that is just like a pair of clothes, some towels, a charger, all the basic stuff, just have that ready if you get admitted, it makes it easier," Alarcon told 11Alive. "I would always have my own pillowcase. I would have blankets that were mine. I would always have sheets that were mine; everything was mine. It made me feel more comfortable than I would have."
To have all of these toiletries and basic necessities with them was vital when leaving in a rush, his mother explained. Alarcon, who was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at age three, has relapsed twice. Due to his illness, he and his mother have had to take many emergency trips to the hospital.
“You really only had time to grab your bag and keys; you couldn't even think about anything else,” she said.
The pair has raised over $9,000 on GoFundMe thus far.
“It makes me feel really happy like I'm actually helping people, instead of everyone always helping me," Alarcon said." It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something.”
Actor, author and director Stanley Tucci recently shared that a tumor was found at the base of his tongue roughly three years ago. As a result, he underwent several months of radiation and chemotherapy to treat his cancer, as the tumor was too big to operate on. He subsequently had a feeding tube for six months.
“I’d vowed I’d never do anything like that, because my first wife died of cancer, and to watch her go through those treatments for years was horrible,” Tucci told Vera magazine.
He shared his concern over how it would affect his children, explaining that it was hard for them but that they were supportive.
“(Cancer) makes you more afraid and less afraid at the same time. I feel much older than I did before I was sick. But you still want to get ahead and get things done,” he said.
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