Amgen, a biotech based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., has launched Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts, an awareness campaign for cancer patients and their caregivers featuring Emmy-nominated actress and breast cancer survivor Maura Tierney.
The campaign aims to debunk common misconceptions associated with chemotherapy and encourages patients and caregivers to take charge of their cancer journey by speaking openly with their doctors.
In 2009, Tierney was diagnosed with and treated for an aggressive form of breast cancer. Almost three years after successfully completing treatment, she now reflects on her cancer journey and its impact on her life with the hope of helping others.
"When I was going through my cancer treatment, I learned that you can never ask a stupid question. I asked every single question that came to my mind, and I believe that helped to calm my own anxiety," said Tierney. "The Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts campaign encourages patients and caregivers to ask a lot of questions, arming themselves with as much information as possible to take charge of their journey."
With approximately 650,000 patients undergoing chemotherapy in the U.S. each year, many people may think they already know how the disease and treatment will impact them or their loved one. However, chemotherapy can affect each patient's body differently, so it is important for patients to speak openly with their doctor to fully understand their treatment and what to expect.
"One common myth is that all patients receiving chemotherapy should avoid spending time with friends and family during their treatment," said Patrick Cobb, M.D., oncologist, Frontier Cancer Center, Billings, Mont. "This is largely untrue. While most people receiving chemotherapy should be careful about visiting others who are sick and avoid large crowds, having a support system in place to help keep a positive outlook is critical to a patient's emotional well-being during this time."
As part of the campaign, a video booth will travel across the country to collect personal stories of patients and caregivers to capture myths or facts they may have uncovered during their experience. More information on the booth, including what cities it will visit, and the campaign can be found at the campaign's website.