Wednesday December 12, 2018

Cancer Patients Turn Incredible Photographers

Camera develops confidence in cancer patients

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Cancer Patients Turns Incredible Photographers
Cancer Patients Turns Incredible Photographers. Pixabay
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Student photographer and one of a cancer patients Madeline Morales takes her camera everywhere she goes. She is always looking for something interesting to shoot.

“I try to look at things with a lot of light; a lot of what draws me is positivity – something that means love or happiness,” said Morales.

At 15 years of age, she has lived through experiences most teens have not had to deal with. She has faced cancer, chemotherapy and radiation, but she stays optimistic and tries to find beauty through her camera lens. Today, she will see something most people will never see in their lifetime.

“It makes me feel excited, a little bit nervous,” said Morales, whose photos were on display at a gallery show in Los Angeles.

“I think with photography and having that faith in God has really helped me a lot to staying positive and being motivated to want to keep fighting this disease,” she said.

Cancer patient
Breast Cancer patient

 

Morales was one of 23 students who shared their experiences with cancer through photos at the Pablove Foundation’s gallery show of its advanced photography class. The foundation aims to improve the lives of children living with the disease through its Shutterbugs photography program. The Pablove Foundation also provides money for underfunded pediatric cancer research. Proceeds from the students’ prints will go toward pediatric cancer research grants.

The Pablove Shutterbugs program offers photography classes in eight cities across the United States.

“Being in these classes with other people that completely understand their experience and can be a community with them has been really impactful and has really made them feel a lot more comfortable in what they’ve been through and where they’re going with it,” said Ashley Blakeney, program manager of Pablove Shutterbugs.

She said the photography classes give students living with cancer a sense of community at a time when they often feel isolated in their experience. Photography also helps build confidence, said Blakeney.

“Pavlove Shutterbugs serve as a distraction for these students while they’re going through their treatment because it literally is an out of hospital experience first and foremost,” she said, adding, “Because they are able to build this skill set and to be the really great photographers that they are. They’re incredible. It gives them something to brag about in a sense that they can now say “I am an artist. I am a photographer. I have this voice, and I have this story to tell” and they’re able to do that through their images.”
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Another student photographer featured in the gallery show is Bayu Lukman.

Photographer developing confidence in cancer patients
Photographer developing confidence in cancer patients

 

“Most of my photos’ themes focused on hope,” said Lukman

Lukman was diagnosed with cancer after graduating from elementary school. He described the devastating emotional side of living through cancer and its treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.

“You kind of get really depressed and you don’t want to live anymore.” Lukman continued, “You need to stay optimistic and push yourself through.”

With photography, many young students see the world through the lens of optimism, where their identity is not dictated by cancer.

“There’s more to us than just having cancer, that we have more of a story to tell besides cancer. We want people to see what we see even if it’s through the lens,” said Morales.

Also read:Toothpaste ingredient promote colon cancer

“Pablove helped me understand more about the struggles of cancer and has given me a small chance to actually assist in the world a bit with photography, I’d say, to express my story and allow it to hopefully to reach other kids so they understand how to deal with it hopefully,” said Lukman. (VOA)

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Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

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Breast Cancer
Chemists develop unique disease-fighting 'nano-grenades'. VOA

After a diagnosis of breast cancer, many women have surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. But a new study shows that if the cancer is caught early enough, women might be able to avoid the chemotherapy.

Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last April, Amy Adam values family time even more.

“It made us aware that when it comes down to it, family is what matters,” she said.

Adam was lucky — a mammogram caught her cancer early… when the tumor was just three by four millimeters, smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. Her treatment — a lumpectomy… followed by radiation.

“No chemo, did not have chemo,” she said.

Dr. Emily Albright is a surgical oncologist at the University of Missouri Health Care. She says more women with early-stage breast cancer may be able to skip chemotherapy. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that genetic testing can determine the likelihood of the cancer returning.

The study found women with a low risk of the cancer recurring didn’t benefit from chemotherapy. Women with a high risk of recurrence do better with chemotherapy. But Albright says doctors didn’t know how to advise women in the mid-range.

“The recent results have clarified that for women at intermediate risk of recurrence, the majority of those do not benefit from chemotherapy,” she said.

breast cancer
FILE – A patient receives chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice, July 26, 2012. VOA

With genetic testing, doctors can determine the likelihood of a woman’s cancer returning. Most people know that nausea, hair loss and fatigue result from chemotherapy, but chemotherapy can also cause heart and nerve damage.

Albright says the results of this study will help many patients whose breast cancer is caught early.

“As we learn more about the biology, weʼre able to tailor treatments to the specific type of tumor that a patient has, so there are some small tumors that may be more aggressive and there may be some larger tumors that are less aggressive,” she said.

Also Read: Common Chemotherapy Drug May Lead To Heart Failure: Study

Screening was key in catching Amy Adam’s cancer early. Mammograms can detect a lump two years before a woman can even feel it.

Adam said it was a huge relief not to have to undergo chemotherapy. Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy. (VOA)