'Stop Cancer 'A Spark of Life for the Young
Who are we?
Launched by the Tal Center in 2016, ‘Stop-Cancer’ is the only initiative in Israel tailored speciﬁcally to the needs of young-adult cancer patients and survivors, aged 18-44. With the aim of ensuring no cancer patient is left to cope alone with the battle, ‘Stop-Cancer’ attends to all aspects of the patients’ life, through the activities of a supporting community, both in the digital world, and out side it. Our vision – Changing the Culture of Cancer Care We believe in the power of this multiple channel platform to set a new agenda according to its needs, and aspire to achieve change in this ﬁeld, both locally and internationally. By building a dialogue both within the community and with government bodies, we will create an approach to medical treatment, together with multi-system support, that is tailored to young-adults.
What problem do we address? Cancer aﬀects young adults diﬀerently.
Every day, around 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 44 are newly diagnosed with cancer. The Israeli healthcare system classiﬁes cancer patients into one of two categories – children or adults – and care is provided accordingly. Due to their in-between status of being neither children nor advanced in years, young-adult patients can fall between the cracks, not receiving the medical support or care suited to their speciﬁc needs.
In addition to the physical and emotional obstacles that result from cancer at a young stage in life, this age group faces further unique challenges. Because of the stage of life that they are at, they are aﬀected by issues concerning young parenthood, fertility, sexuality, identity and self-conﬁdence, as well as ﬁnancial implications, such as damage to their career, economic independence, legal status, mortgage and life insurance rights and more. What’s more, due to a lack of awareness, young adults tend to be diagnosed at a late stage, so the survival rate of this group is therefore lower than in children.
Having identiﬁed that the healthcare system fails to recognize and adequately provide for the speciﬁc needs of these cancer patients, ‘Stop-Cancer’ set out to improve their quality of life and advocate for the recognition of this age group as a separate, unique category.
What are we currently doing?
‘Stop-Cancer’ operates through several channels to promote a comprehensive response to the challenges faced by young-adult cancer patients and survivors:
- ‘Onco-Young’ – Pilot treatment program geared towards young adults: A coordinated outpatient care dedicated to young patients, a psycho-social support system, fertility and sexuality treatments, and clinical trials, combined with digital content relevant to youngsters.
- Digital social network: For information and support – www.stop-cancer.co.il is a digital social initiative that has become a critical supportive community for tens of thousands of young-adult cancer patients in Israel. For Knowledge and research: ‘stop-cancer’ digital platform, it the ﬁrst and only of its kind which enables doctors and researchers to access tens of thousands of potential research subjects in one virtual place.
- Initiatives by Leading Cancer Survivors: ‘Stop-Cancer’ enables survivors to develop and promote recovery initiatives derived from their personal struggle and experience with cancer, for the beneﬁt of other patients: ReWork – back to employment Human Nature – Therapy workshop in the dessert Cancer Graduates as Mentors Couples Support Groups etc.
- Legislative initiatives: ‘Stop-Cancer’ promotes legislative initiatives to achieve recognition and a change in the status of young-adult patients, in three main areas – health, equal rights and employment.
- Integrative Oncological Medicine: Another channel of treatment adapted for young-adults is The Tal Center Integrative Oncology unit at the Sheba Medical Center. The Center provides a range of complementary treatments to enable the body's natural healing mechanisms to strengthen the patient while ﬁghting the disease. The integrative unit model is currently being implemented in other hospitals in Israel.
Our vision – Changing the Culture of Cancer Care
We believe in the power of this multiple channel platform to set a new agenda according to its needs, and aspire to achieve change in this ﬁeld, both locally and internationally. By building a dialogue both within the community and with government bodies, we will create an approach to medical treatment, together with multi-system support, that is tailored to young-adults.