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Mary Bea Drummond | 918-594-8223


Sean Kennedy | 918-594-8360

OSU Area Health Education Center at The Center for Rural Health launches cancer survivor program

National Cancer Transitions Program Developed by The Cancer Support Community and LIVESTRONG

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.  - Oklahoma State University Area Health Education Center is offering a new program to help cancer survivors make the transition from active treatment to post-treatment care.  Developed by the Cancer Support Community and LIVESTRONG, the program was created to bridge the gap between cancer treatment and life following cancer. 


This is an important health care gap because according to a 2007 Institute of Medicine report, the 12 million cancer survivors in the United States face a heavy physical and psychological burden as they transition from cancer patient to survivor.  In fact, cancer is increasingly being viewed for many as a chronic illness.  A report issued by the Institute of Medicine in 2008 recognized this paradigm shift of the impact on cancer on the entire family.  The report, entitled Cancer Care for the Whole Patient, states that "Good quality health care must attend to patients' psychosocial problems and provide services to enable them to better manage their illnesses and underlying health." This new program, Cancer Transitions: Moving Beyond TreatmentT, will run March 26 to May 7 to help fill this critical gap.


"This much needed program, which is offered at no cost to participants, will provide Tahlequah cancer survivors with information and tools to make the transition into living a full and productive life as a survivor," said Toni Hart, project manager, Oklahoma Area Health Education Center at OSU Center for Rural Health.   "Specifically, the program addresses exercise, nutrition, emotional health, quality of life and medical management after cancer treatment ends."


The six sessions will be held every Saturday from March 26 to May 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Northeastern State University, University Center, Tahlequah. Expert panelists at the six sessions will include physicians, nutritionists and fitness experts who will discuss various topics. These subjects include:

  • Exercise after treatment
  • Specialized nutrition for people after cancer treatment
  • The need for continued emotional and social support
  • Medical effects of cancer treatment and long-term medical management.


"In order to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer, it is essential to provide effective and appropriate patient care across the cancer continuum," said Andy Miller, vice president of programs and policy for LIVESTRONG. "The Cancer Support Community has been an ideal partner to develop this program.  They have a proven track record of implementing evidenced-based programs that are relevant to the needs of communities and highly beneficial for cancer survivors."    


For press information or to arrange an interview, contact Toni Hart.  For patient information or to register for Cancer Transitions, contact Toni Hart, toni.hart@okstate.edu, (918) 584-4368


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Oklahoma Area Health Education Center

Oklahoma Area Health Education Center (OKAHEC) is part of the Center for Rural Health at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.  OKAHEC is a community-state-federal partnership established in 1984 that coordinates a statewide network of area health education centers that facilitate a regional approach to multidisciplinary and community-based health education, training and recruitment of health professionals. OKAHEC coordinates its program goals with state health agencies, health professional training programs, practitioners, educational institutions, and communities.


Cancer Support Community

Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community offers these services to all people affected by cancer. Likely the largest professionally-led network of cancer support worldwide, the organization delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services. Because no cancer care plan is complete without emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community has a vibrant network of community-based centers and online services run by trained and licensed professionals. For more information, visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org. In July 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community. The combined organization provides high-quality psychological and social support through a network of nearly 50 local affiliates, more than 100 satellite locations and online.



LIVESTRONG was founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. Based in Austin, Texas, LIVESTRONG fights for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG connects individuals to the support they need, leverages funding and resources to spur innovation and engages communities and leaders to drive social change. Known for the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG's mission is to inspire and empower anyone affected by cancer. For more information visit LIVESTRONG.org.