Breakaway From Cancer

More than 1.6 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Cancer survivor Joan Lunden and CEO of Cancer Support Community Kim Thiboldeaux discuss the importance of early detection and building a strong support community.

"We know that if you find cancer early enough, you have a very good chance with all the incredible treatments that are available today that you'll have a good prognosis and be able to survive it.

It's really important that everyone understand their family medical history. When did a relative get it? This could well determine when you should start all of your annual screenings. Don't be afraid of the answer you might hear. Make sure you get those tests all the time on schedule because it sometimes makes the difference really between life and death."

Kim, what's your advice on building a strong support system?

"It's critical that folks build a support team around them. We want folks to get the right diagnosis, get good medical information, a good treatment plan, but there's a whole other side to the coin and that's the social, emotional, practical, financial implications of a cancer diagnosis.

We are part of a great campaign called breakawayfromcancer.com and folks can visit that website to learn about the amazing free resources that are available to them including resources through my organization the Cancer Support Community and we have a great center in Philadelphia that we encourage folks to visit us there."

Joan, how have you tried to inspire and motivate others affected by cancer?

"I think it's kind of a natural instinct. If you survive something like this you kind of want to put your hand out and help the next person through, but I don't think I've ever understood really the impact with social media today of actually being able to empower, educate and motivate others to get the screenings that they need and to help them understand where they can get all the resources that are available.

I constantly hear about their needs and their frustrations and the barriers that they see and a lot of times they just don't realize that there are resources that could help them out. I'm kind of the connector these days to all those resources and that's why I joined Breakaway From Cancer because now I've got them at my fingertips.