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Call To Action - What You Can Do

Whether you are a cancer patient, cancer survivor, caregiver of a cancer patient, community member, student, employer, health care professional, or policy maker, everyone can play a role in helping with the prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship of cancer in Illinois.

Individuals

Prevention

  • Quit smoking or never start smoking.
  • Avoid/reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy diet by eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Get vaccinated against vaccinepreventable cancers, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Test your home for radon and implement mitigation strategies, such as sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation and modifying house or room pressure and ventilation.
  • Promote increasing air flow in your house by opening windows and using fans and vents to circulate air. Natural ventilation in any type of house is only a temporary strategy to reduce radon.
  • Collect family health history and share with your provider.
  • Reduce exposure to UV radiation and wear sunscreen.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Get your recommended cancer screenings regularly and on time based on age and sex (colorectal, lung, cervical, breast, and prostate cancers).
  • Visit a dental office and have an oral exam.
  • Update family history and share with your provider.
  • Ask about genetic counseling services.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Support cancer survivors through the continuum of survivorship from diagnosis to remission.
  • Get a copy of your cancer treatment plan and instructions on what to do after treatment.
  • Ask your medical provider about services to help with symptoms from cancer or its treatment.
  • Ask about support groups.
  • Explore clinical trials.
  • Complete an advance care plan.
  • Volunteer to help those affected by cancer.
  • Share your knowledge with others in your family.

Community Organizations

Prevention

  • Provide areas for physical activity.
  • Encourage participation in wellness programs.
  • Implement smoke-free policies.
  • Provide healthy foods and drinks at events.
  • Provide information on ways to prevent cancers.
  • Provide at-home radon kits.
  • Assist community members with signing up for insurance.
  • Collaborate to address and to remove barriers to prevention.
  • Provide family health history tools.
  • Establish partnerships with local health care organizations to raise awareness and to educate community members.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Provide screening events.
  • Encourage individuals to receive their recommended screenings.
  • Collaborate to address and remove barriers to screening and early detection.
  • Establish partnerships with local health care organizations to raise awareness, educate, and increase access to screening and early detection services for community members.
  • Disseminate family health history and genetic counseling services information.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Provide or host cancer survivor groups.
  • Provide information for cancer patients and survivors.
  • Collaborate to address and to remove barriers to diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.
  • Provide information about genetic services.

Schools

Prevention

  • Implement healthy lunch programs.
  • Implement smoke-free policies.
  • Provide time for recess each school day.
  • Educate about healthy foods and physical activity.
  • Educate parents and students on the HPV vaccine.
  • Test buildings for radon.
  • Implement HPV vaccination campaign in conjunction with school nurses and other school health staff.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Provide education on the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer and oral cancer screenings.
  • Implement HPV vaccination campaign in conjunction with school nurses and other school health staff.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Educate staff and personnel on cancer treatment and survivorship.
  • Provide counseling services for students and parents going through cancer treatment.

Employers

Prevention

  • Offer employee insurance benefits for wellness programs.
  • Provide breaks to encourage health behaviors.
  • Provide education on cancer prevention.
  • Adopt smoke-free policies.
  • Increase awareness of importance of family history.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Provide benefit time for employees to get their recommended screenings.
  • Provide information on screening and early detection.
  • Establish an incentive program to encourage employees to get recommended screenings.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Support cancer survivors to be able to continue being successful employees.

Health Care Professionals

Prevention

  • Educate patients on recommendations for healthy eating habits and physical activity.
  • Educate on the HPV vaccine.
  • Encourage patients who are smokers to quit smoking by recommending smoking cessation programs.
  • Educate on the risks of binge and chronic drinking.
  • Encourage sun safety behaviors.
  • Collect family health history annually and assess risks; refer to genetic counseling/testing when appropriate.
  • Utilize community/patient navigators to conduct outreach to community members and stakeholders to educate and raise awareness of cancer prevention.
  • Demonstrate ongoing leadership commitment to inclusivity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) patients and families.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Encourage age-appropriate lung cancer screening for patients who are current or former smokers.
  • Recommend age- and sex-appropriate cancer screenings (colonoscopy, Pap test, mammogram, or PSA test).
  • Encourage patients to see a dentist and have an oral exam.
  • Collect and update family health history annually and assess risks; refer to genetic counseling/testing when appropriate.
  • Use electronic medical records and other reminder systems to keep individuals up to date on screenings and vaccinations.
  • Utilize community/patient navigators to conduct outreach to community members and to stakeholders to educate and to raise awareness of screening and early detection services.
  • Monitor organizational efforts to provide more culturally competent and patient- and family-centered care to LGBTQ patients, families, and communities.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Provide appropriate medical care for cancer patients and survivors.
  • Provide referrals to patient navigation services.
  • Encourage patients to participate in clinical trials.
  • Refer patients to tobacco cessation programs if they are current smokers.
  • Refer patients to lifestyle change programs.
  • Be able to refer patients to palliative and hospice care when needed.
  • Be able to refer patients to mental health services.
  • Refer patients for genetic counseling and testing as appropriate.

Health Insurers and Policy Makers

Prevention

  • Support the access and coverage of smoking cessation programs and nutrition programs.
  • Support the implementation of policies for healthier environments.
  • Support collection of family health history, risk assessment, and appropriate genetic counseling/testing services.
  • Include LGBTQ community members in policy planning steps.

Screening and Early Detection

  • Promote the coverage and access of all recommended cancer screenings.
  • Ensure no cost sharing for recommended cancer screenings and immunizations.
  • Support coverage of genetic counseling/testing services.
  • Include LGBTQ community members in policy planning steps.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship

  • Support legislation that funds cancer treatment, including palliative care.
  • Reduce out-of-pockets costs for participating in clinical trials.
  • Support coverage of genetic counseling and genomic testing.