The Caring Ambassadors supports individuals in gaining control of their health care, regardless of the illness they face.

We provide information, tools, and resources to help those with any chronic health condition not only manage their health care after a diagnosis, but improve their quality of life and capacity for healing. As an advocacy organization, we both fight for patient rights and work to build a new generation of patient and health care champions. Our disease specific programs for Hepatitis C and Lung Cancer have been helping people obtain the support, assistance, and information they need for over 20 years.

Caring Ambassadors is asking for volunteers!

Join us for wonderful music while helping us empower the public to be ambassadors for their own health at Waterfront Blues Fest in Portland OR.

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Hepatitis C News
Week Ending June 10, 2019

Early contact with needle-exchange program reduces hepatitis C infection
“People who inject drugs and who are female, homeless or amphetamine users often share needles and syringes, and consequently run a higher risk of infection hepatitis C virus infection that affect the liver.”

Improving Hepatitis C Care Cascade In IV Drug Users
“Many people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) remain undiagnosed and untreated. Although those born between 1946 and 1964 represent most of the population with chronic HCV infection, persons who inject drugs (PWID) now make up the largest population of new cases of the disease. Up to 90% of all new HCV infections worldwide and at least 75% of those in the United States are attributed to use of injected drugs”

Viral Polymorphisms May Impair the Response to Sofosbuvir in Chronic HCV
“Unusual viral polymorphisms may impair the response to sofosbuvir in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, according to a study published in Gastroenterology. Sofosbuvir is a pan-genotype inhibitor of HCV polymerase that eliminates most chronic HCV infections, and resistance-associated substitutions in the polymerase are rare. However, studies have shown that HCV genotype 3 is less sensitive to sofosbuvir than other HCV genotypes and prior therapy with interferon has an impact on response.”

Hepatitis C more stigmatising than HIV: gay men’s attitudes towards hepatitis C reinfection
“Qualitative research with HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in Australia who had been cured of hepatitis C infection revealed that having hepatitis C was more stigmatising than HIV infection. While being a member of certain social and sexual networks increased the chances of reinfection with hepatitis C, leaving these networks and abstinence from drug use could lead to social isolation.”

It’s time we got serious about hepatitis C in Tennessee
“Approximately 70,000 of our fellow Tennesseans are infected with the hepatitis C virus. Tragically, nearly half don’t even know they’re infected. Between 2006 and 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there was an astonishing 364% jump in hepatitis C infections throughout central Appalachia, including Tennessee. Until recently, hepatitis C disproportionately affected baby boomers, but due to the nation’s opioid crisis, emerging health threats like hepatitis C have extended their reach to a broader population.”

7 Ways to Lose Weight if You Have Hepatitis
“For people with hepatitis, losing weight is not just about fitting into those jeans. It’s about making hepatitis treatment more effective and lowering health risks. Hepatitis not only damages the liver — it also increases the likelihood of problems such as heart disease and diabetes.”

Scientists discover how hepatitis C ‘ghosts’ our immune system
“Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered how the highly infectious and sometimes deadly Hepatitis C virus (HCV) “ghosts” our immune system and remains undiagnosed in many people. They report their findings today [Wednesday June 5th] in the international FASEB journal.”

Lung Cancer News
Week Ending June 10, 2019

Brigatinib Elicits Responses in ALK+ NSCLC Following Next-Generation TKIs
Brigatinib (Alunbrig) demonstrated promising response rates in patients with ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have progressed on treatment with another next-generation ALK TKI, according to preliminary phase II results presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.1

A cancer stigma killing thousands
The nation’s biggest meeting of cancer specialists unveiled several breakthroughs on Saturday. The horrible news is what’s not improving. Only a minuscule 4% of men and women at high risk of getting lung cancer from smoking go for a CT scan to detect it while it’s curable. That 4% figure has barely budged in a decade. Lung cancer detected before there’s coughing or other symptoms is at least 80% to 90% curable. People who wait until they feel sick have as little as a 10% chance of surviving.

Cancer: New compound boosts chemo, prevents treatment resistance
Researchers may have found a way to stop cancer cells from defending themselves against chemotherapy. In a new mouse study, blocking a DNA repair pathway prevented cancer cells from surviving or becoming resistant to treatment.

Chemo Regimen Boosts Gefitinib in EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer, But at What Cost?
Addition of a pemetrexed-carboplatin chemotherapy regimen to gefitinib led to a survival benefit in patients with EGFR-mutant advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a phase III study (abstract 9001) presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held in Chicago. EGFR-directed oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors are the first-line therapy for this population, but resistance occurs within 8 to 12 months, leading to efforts to develop strategies to delay onset of resistance.

Promising Early Results for Preoperative Atezolizumab in Resectable NSCLC
Interim efficacy results of a large, multicenter study of patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with the anti-programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody, atezolizumab, in the neoadjuvant setting showed that nearly 30% of those with PD-L1–positive disease achieved a major pathologic response.

Ways to Improve Care Access for Underserved Lung Cancer Patients
In the U.S. and around the globe, lung cancer is the leading cancer-related cause of death. Across the board, the disease contributes most to new cancer diagnoses, including 12.4 percent of total new cancer cases (Clin Chest Med 2011;32(4):605-644).

Hope for defeating a ‘politically incorrect’ cancer
The nation’s biggest meeting of cancer specialists unveiled several breakthroughs on Saturday. The horrible news is what’s not improving. Only a minuscule 4% of men and women at high risk of getting lung cancer from smoking go for a CT scan to detect it while it’s curable.

New Therapy on Horizon for Rare Lung Cancer Subtype
The highly selective and potent MET inhibitor capmatinib (INC280) showed intriguing signs of clinical efficacy in a rare subtype of patients with non­–small cell lung cancer identified by a MET exon 14 (METex14) skipping mutation, according to findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2019 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

Amgen drug shows high response rate in small lung and colon cancer trial
An experimental Amgen drug that targets a specific genetic mutation significantly reduced tumor size in half of evaluated patients with advanced lung cancer in a small, early-stage trial, researchers said on Monday.

Lurbinectedin induces response in small cell lung cancer
CHICAGO — Lurbinectedin improved overall response rate and survival outcomes for patients with small cell lung cancer, according to findings from the phase 2 BASKET trial presented at ASCO Annual Meeting.

VIDEOS:
Diving Deeper Into the Relationship Between Inflammation and Depression in Lung Cancer
Cancer Network spoke with Daniel C. McFarland, DO, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting about the relationship between inflammation and depression in lung cancer patients and the potential efficacy of dopamine in treating depression.

Dr. Cascone on Combination Checkpoint Blockade for Early-Stage Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Cancer Network spoke with Tina Cascone, MD, an oncologist and assistant professor of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, about the combination checkpoint blockade effective in the pre-surgical setting for early-stage non–small-cell lung cancer. The results of the study (abstract 8504) were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Integrative Health & Medicine News
Week Ending June 10, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Functional Medicine and Why It May Elevate Your Health to a Whole New Level 
“Functional medicine focuses on the idea that healing should be individualized and holistic. It uses a deep-dive approach to get to know patients and uncover the root causes of an illness—all while empowering them to reach their ideal level of health.”

Namaste! Yoga Therapy can help people be involved in their own healing
“When you think of yoga, you might envision a hot, packed room full of sweaty yogis striking gravity-defying poses. But – depending on what ails you – the practice can also be modified to help you heal.”

Welcome to the New Nutrition.gov Website!
“For more than 15 years, Nutrition.gov has provided consumers with easy access to reliable information on food, healthy eating, food safety and physical activity. The Nutrition.gov team is pleased to announce the launch of a newly designed and enhanced website.”

Is Burnout Real?
“The World Health Organization says so. But it’s in danger of medicalizing everyday stress.”

There’s no such thing as ‘bad food.’ Four terms that make dietitians cringe.
“The words we use matter. Our choice of language not only mirrors our current way of thinking, it also has the power to shape our attitudes and behaviors over time. That’s why so many food and nutrition professionals cringe at much of the conversation around food and health today.”

The Trials (and Tribulations) of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Oncology
“Two decades following the creation of the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Cancer Institute, the status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research within oncology remains opaque.”