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'AnCan' - Answer Cancer Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health, Specifically Named Diseases, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: AnCan provides Peer-to-Peer Support, Patient Navigation & Advocacy for those living with chronic diseases and their caregivers. We started with cancer but are now extending our reach to other chronic conditions like MS and sarcoidosis. We serve many, including those compromised by geographical, physical and social disabilities. AnCan presently offers approximately 25 monthly Virtual Support Groups/video chats for 9 different conditions and life situations. In addtion we offer educational webinars. We are comprised entirely of volunteer men, women, and caregivers ; all our groups are peer-led. While we do not provide medical advice, we do empower patients to manage their own care. Please help us to help others seeking answers for their situation.

Results: Since 2016, AnCan has grown to +/-25 monthly support groups, with approximately 5 new groups currently in development for cancer and other chronic conditions. We have 2 groups in development in the UK/EU time zone. We also offer educational webinars.

Target demographics: Patients and Caregivers

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1000 men and women living with cancer, MS & rare diseases

Geographic areas served: N. America. UK/EU and across the globe

Programs: Virtual Support Group Sessions, Peer-To-Peer Support, Navigation and Advocacy

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AnCan (Answer Cancer) is extremely valuable for me and for both regular and occasional visitors. As I navigate my advanced cancer, there are so may options and considerations that it takes a team to address them. And , as an AnCan regular for over 4 years, I have gained the ability to be the manager of my disease. I can discuss all the options with a certain degree of confidence and have learned to get the best oncologists and talk to them about complex options and decisions that we (my oncologist and myself) make. I highly recommend AnCan to anyone facing cancer and preparing for the long haul - trying to get to a durable remission, if not a cure. I am alive and want to stay that way if possible. AnCan helps me. I am sure it will help others who have not yet experienced that great value of a solid group of members who readily share their experiences, knowledge, opinions,. and what they believe are the forefront best practices available and how to get them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I find the AnCan organization to be very informative about the various medications, treatments and doctors available to deal with prostate cancer. Rick, Len & Peter offer a wealth of information with the goal of helping patients and their families make good decisions about treatment options. I am very impressed by the passion and caring these gentlemen demonstrate when conducting their weekly calls. I highly recommend AnCan to anyone who may be seeking advice and counsel regarding treatment of their disease. It does not matter what stage of disease you may be - AnCan is where to go to seek the best path of action for you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been communicating with Rick and others involved with AnCan since the failure of my prostatectomy in 2013-14 and I will never be able to thank them enough! Rick is the backbone of AnCan and has made it the great nonprofit that it is. Kudos!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

AnCan is a tremendous foundation. I strongly recommend AnCan to anyone looking for experienced experts who can help guide you through the many decisions following a cancer diagnosis. After my cancer diagnosis several years ago, I found it difficult to find others with a similar diagnosis and stage of treatment. Then I was introduced to AnCan and found others in my situation and others who have been treated with medications/treatments I am considering. Everyone participating on the phone calls is extremely caring, helpful and can make introductions to doctors and clinics that could support your treatment. A first-class foundation with wonderful members.

Sylvester M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have become a habitual participant in the AnCan "Virtual peer-to-peer groups."
I was diagnosed and had a prostatectomy in 1999. In 2006 I received external beam radiation.
I attended several US Too sessions in San Francisco, the Bay Area, and several PCRI conferences in Los Angeles. I gained superb information regarding my condition. At one of the PCRI I met Rich Davis, who introduced me to Answer Cancer Foundation (AnCan).
My urologist and radiologist are excellent physicians and answered plenty of my questions. However, from time to time, I would have questions and not have the immediately attentions of my physicians (they have a hectic schedule). That's when AnCan came to my rescue!
AnCan's peer to peer sessions filled many of the gaps in my knowledge. Being so grateful to AnCan , I'm now urging family and friends (those with or without cancer) to join some of these excellent sessions.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've known Rick and the AnCan group for a while in my professional role, and when prostate cancer entered into my family recently, I knew who to reach out to first. They have helped my father-in-law with compassion, dedication, and a great deal of knowledge and experience. Navigating the cancer world following a diagnosis can be tricky; it's hard to know where to even start. If you turn to AnCan, they will be by your side, and help you onto a path that will be right for you.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AnCan was a lifeline for my Dad when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He used the information he obtained on the virtual peer-to-peer support group to do his own research and ask better, more informed questions at his medical appointments. It did so much for his mental health, as well. Sadly, the cancer spread and ultimately took his life so it's his daughter who writes this review in his stead. I just know he'd want to say glowing things if he was able to.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AnCan is a great resource for the MS community. It truly helps people to connect with others nationwide who are living with the same condition. It makes the world a lot smaller and you feel like you’re not facing this disease alone.

Peggy Eddy M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank God For AnCan they work with our Men from the Male Breast Cancer Coalition to help give more Men With Breast Cancer a Voice! #TogetherWeWillChangetheWORLD that
#MenHaveBreastsToo

An AMAZING friend in the Cancer arena for MEN!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The high risk prostate cancer AnCan is the best source that I know of for overall patient information. Your own doctor may be the best to direct your treatments and answer some specific questions which is needed but sometimes one needs to know the best place for a second opinion or hear opinions from the perspective of other patients. Each patient needs to be his own best advocate and AnCan help you to achieve that.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. Provides tons of support and excellent advice. I look forward to participating in their virtual support group meetings.

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

I became aware of this organization by stopping by their table at the PCRI annual conference held in LA in September 2018. I have since gotten a tremendous amount of useful info concerning my recently diagnosed prostate cancer disease. I have regularly participated in their ongoing online webinars which are mostly hosted by Rick Davis. I just can't say enough about Rick and the other members of the AnCan team. They are all so helpful, giving and caring individuals. A great organization offering a wealth of info and support.

Comments ( 2 )

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ANCAN 02/07/2019

Thank you for the review. We are glad that you are participating in the group and sincerely hope that we have helped you in some small way.

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ANCAN 02/07/2019

Thank you very much for the kind word and the review. Your compliments are humbly received. We are happy to help everyone who needs it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Outstanding truthful and down to earth discussion of Advanced Prostate Cancer with those who have been through it or are going through it. If you aren't up for the tele-conference interaction all the time like me, you can listen to the recordings and see the dialogue at your own convenience. Can't think of a doctor, clinic or site where I have learned more about my own condition, possible tests and treatments for discusssion with my doctors, or support from the highly personal questions to the latest in clinical study results. I highly recommend AnCan for their innovative virtual support groups.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered Prostate Cancer (PCa) in Jan of 2017 at age 56. The diagnosis was not good with a PSA of 517 in Jan and then 726 in March. After the biopsy in Feb my Gleason score came back at 9 my cancer was advanced and without question my need to get the best advise possible was evident. 'AnCan' was found early on and in the beginning I wasn't sure how this group of guys meeting once per week in a virtual chat group could help me. But from the very beginning the guidance I received with decisions from finding the best hospitals and doctors to understanding the latest treatment options came from this group of guys. At this time 31 months later my PCa has me from time to time mental but on this journey I find comfort in the fact that this group of guys can guide me. I would strongly encourage any guy with PCa to search out the guidance of a strong advocate and AnCan has been just that!

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Aloha,,, Frustrated with care on Maui, Oahu,,, no answers, Need kokua (help), BPH, Prostate enlarged # 10,,, diagnosed obstruction of Prostate,,, taking antibiotics for an infection, til June, then Dr. wants an MRI, BIoposy, Uro-lift,,,,so many ???? I don't want any Uro-lift, TURP,,,etc.. I looking for the opportunity to experienxce, 3 D, MRI-Fusion, treatment, before, during and after,,,IMUA, peace and aloha in all waves, Lopaka

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 05/15/2019

Rawaloha, I seems you are looking for help with prostate issues. ANCAN sponsors prostate cancer virtual support groups that you may join and discuss your issues with other men in similar situations. In partnership with Pacific Cancer Foundation we sponsor a Maui Men's Group that discusses not only prostate cancer but any other cancer issues that men on Maui may be experiencing. Please go to our website at ancan.org to find further information on upcoming prostate cancer support calls and for further information on the Maui Men's Group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met Rick in 2013 a year after my diagnosis with prostate cancer. He became my mentor, and guided me through the next several years of medical appointments and treatments. Two of a number of things that were very important to him was to be prepared with questions for each visit with my oncologist, and to exercise. The questions would make my visits more productive and help me to get a stronger understanding of my disease, treatments options, and research and medication trends. He was right! And right again he was with exercise. I received hormone deprivation therapy and lost all of my muscle mass. Thanks to Rick and his one word on what I needed to do: Exercise, i located a fitness program that specialized in fitness for people with cancer. Along with my oncologist, Rick and exercise saved my life. I'm stronger today than I was before my diagnosis. I'm still in treatment...I'm stage 4.

But then Rick invited me to join his national conference call where I was able to hear from men and their caregivers across the country about their medicational conditions and treatments. It has been an extraordinary learning experience! Nothing is the same in the treatment of this disease, and every man handles it differently. And that is the learning.

It's a great call. Every person who wants to speak has the chance to speak. Or one can just listen. Rick and a couple others moderate the call, and they are able to offer suggestions but not medical advice. For example, what questions you should be asking your doctor. And because it is a national call, Rick and the others have learned a lot about different MD's and programs they can refer people to. And if another guy has a parallel experience, sometimes that guy will share his experience, which is really helpful. You're not alone. We're not alone.

I do not think I would be mentally, emotionally and physically handling my medical situation as well as I am if it weren't for Rick and the others on the call.

It's special group open to everyone. All you have to do is call. It's that simple! I have not found any other organization like this.

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/18/2019

RFNYC, Thank you. You bring up two very important aspects of dealing with cancer that are definitely stressed at our meetings; be prepared to talk to your doc with pertinent questions, and exercise. As we know, there is much more involved for those of us dealing with these types of upheavals in our lives but applying those two things can make a huge difference. It is always a pleasure to interact with our committed members and remember, your input is just as valuable to others. Again, thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AnCan.org is a fundamental resource in my fight against prostate cancer. Soon after I was diagnosed in 2017, Rick Davis, Peter Kafka and other great contributors in this organization helped me find the right centers of excellence, oncologists, radiologists, dieticians, exercise programs and tests to lead my battle. The intelligence, personal support & camaraderie which this organization provides is truly outstanding. I have great comfort in knowing that whatever comes next in my battle against cancer I do not fear it because I have a great bunch of guys will help me work through it ! I value AnCan.org's support on par with that provided by my doctors !

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/17/2019

HawaiiJohn, Thank you for your review and continued support and participation in the ANCAN family. As you state, finding the right doctors for oncology and radiology as well as those to help you with diet and exercise are all key takeaways from many of the meetings. We are glad that we were of service to you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rick Davis and AnCan have provided me with exceptionally accurate information and support on a number of issues related to my prostate cancer. The collective knowledge of the group and Rick in particular are invaluable to men with prostate cancer. Rick's extensive networking over the years with the very best prostate cancer specialists around the country is truly impressive. He knows the ins and outs of accessing the very best doctors in major medical centers and elsewhere. How lucky are we to have AnCan and Rick Davis!

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/17/2019

HHertz, We echo your sentiment and are also happy, (and lucky) to have Rick Davis steering the ship. Thank you very much for the review and your kind regards for Rick.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found AnCan just as my radiation treatment was ending. I needed information, I needed someone to talk to and I needed someone to listen to me. AnCan provided this and more. The level of knowledge, the empathy, the sense of belonging were things I had been seeking and didn't know where to turn to for them. I have attended the High Risk/Advanced group and also the AS/Low Risk group and have learned something every time. Everyone in the group is a patient and can bring their experiences to bear on any problem or issue that arises. I would estimate that, combined, there are well over 100 years of experience available for anyone that is willing to join and ask a question. I have moved from a Client Served to a Volunteer and also a Donor. I know that my time is not going to be wasted, my donation is not going to be wasted and I am going to receive much more than I give. I cannot recommend this group highly enough. AnCan also has other support groups that I am sure are as helpful as the Prostate Cancer group has been to me. The organization was founded to help and it does.

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/17/2019

No5ole, Thanks for the review and for your continued support as a participant, volunteer, and donor. Your efforts emphasize our structure as a group of patients (as you note, we have other support groups besides prostate cancer) that advocate for ourselves/others and strive to educate as much as possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I originally started going to a local advanced prostate cancer support group in Silicon Valley, after my diagnosis but prior to starting treatment, and that opened my eyes to mistakes I was about to make in my treatment and the importance of getting multiple opinions. That local group is quite excellent for a source of information, but is obviously not an option for people outside the local area.

This online group, moderated by Rick, is an excellent resource that is of course available anywhere. This particular group is focused on high-risk and advanced prostate cancer, so is a higher-level resource beyond the more common basic prostate cancer groups. It is very hard-nosed technical and keeps up with new therapies and studies. I check in perhaps once a month and there is always one or two tidbits that I pick up. Prostate cancer is a complicated beast and treatment must be very individualized and must adapt over time. The value of this group is that it sensitizes the patient to treatment options that can then be discussed with your doctor. The group also keeps track of the best practitioners and the thought leaders in the country who can provide second opinions, and has relationships with many of these leaders which can facilitate introductions. Also this group is aware of clinical trials which can give access to drugs or therapies that are not yet FDA approved. Finally, an implied benefit of this group is the recognition that advanced prostate cancer can be managed over time, especially by the informed patient.

New visitors are encouraged to present their story for 10 minutes or so, including as much technical detail as they have available about their diagnosis, test results, procedures and outcomes, and to present what questions or concerns that they may have. Then Rick will comment and go around the group to see what other comments people may have about your situation. These comments usually include suggestions for things to discuss with your doctor or other opinions to solicit.

One concern I have is with privacy of the on-line recordings. It is just a bit weird to have names published and audio available to anyone or any machine. The recordings themselves are great, and give you a good way to check out the group at your convenience. And they are very nicely annotated and the transcriptions are decent but not perfect (probably automated) and there is even a keyword search feature. But I don’t like that it is all freely available to any online robot that is scooping up information. I would suggest that having a simple password to gain access would be much better; not perfect but better. Rick could provide that password to anyone interested, or maybe a registration process could give access.

In summary, I think such support groups are tremendous resources and this online group gives that access to anyone, anywhere. It is particularly valuable because it focuses on advanced prostate cancer where many local groups may not. That is why I voted with my wallet and gave them a donation to support such work.

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/17/2019

Plingane, Thank you for the review. We are glad that we helped you and that you continue to check in with us when possible. Both the old and new members provide valuable insight to each and every one of us. As for our meetings being recorded and available on the web, we feel that this is a good way to conveniently reach our current audience when they cannot attend in person and to reach out to a wider audience in situations where an individual might not be willing to talk to strangers just yet. We will continue this policy for their benefit. We let all those attending know that we are recording the calls. Of course anyone listening can hear the names of those attending and what they have to say about their condition. The only personal information is the name they sign into the meeting with and that which they choose to share with the group. It is at its core a public forum and will remain so. Again, thank you for your continued support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an absolutely outstanding service for those recently diagnosed with cancer. I have participated in their twice-monthly calls for men with low and intermediate-risk prostate cancer. The people who run the call have referred me to experts and cancer centers I would never have learned about otherwise. It is truly a wonderful service.

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/11/2019

Thank you for the stellar review. We strive to keep well informed on current and established facilities and treatments that can help those of use going through this challenge. We are glad we helped you and want to remind you that you're not alone in this journey.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don’t remember exactly when I first learned about AnCan’s online calls but I think it was in 2015. I first listened in to John Teisberg’s “Inner Conversations” and, shortly thereafter, to Rick Davis’s ”High Risk, Recurrent and Advanced” online calls. I didn’t always like their recommendations, especially at first, but I soon learned to appreciate what they do. They don’t give medical advice – they’re just well-informed laymen and patients – but their suggestions are usually spot on. I always felt welcome and could tell that everyone on the calls really cares.

I’m always amazed at how much Rick Davis and Peter Kafka, the moderator of the “Low Risk” support group, know about their participants. Rick and Peter take copious notes on each caller but they also have impressive memories! I can’t even remember what I ate for supper last night!

The moderators, each and every one of them, are amazing. They usually give the lion’s share of attention to new callers but try to find time for each caller, old or new, allowing him or her the opportunity to discuss the latest issues and updates. I also know that each time one of our participants passes away, he takes a piece of our hearts with him.

I’ve never met any of the moderators in person but I’ve come to think of them as friends and brothers (and sisters). I believe so strongly in AnCan’s mission – all volunteer and unpaid – that I’ve gladly taken on the duties of managing the AnCan Facebook page and YouTube channel. I also ty to help out with administrative tasks on the High Risk calls when I can. And, of course, I try to donate when I can and I’ve nominated Answer Cancer Foundation as my charity of choice on AmazonSmile.

I hope you’ll check us out!

Jake Hannam

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/07/2019

Jake, Thanks for your review. I think one thing that makes our organization strong is the volunteers that help out. It's always a pleasure to see you on the calls. We are grateful for all you do for us. We can't thank you enough.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently joined an AnCan virtual support group (i.e., regular conference calls several times a month). The members of the group, and it moderators, have been amazingly knowledgeable and supportive. I strongly recommend AnCan to any guy looking for answers and camaraderie.

J. Ward

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 02/07/2019

J. Ward, Thank you for the recommendation and thank you for the kind words. We strive to help each and every caller and were happy to do so. Your participation in the group is appreciated.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2015, at the age of 51, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Two months after a prostatectomy, I experienced a rapid rise in PSA and was told I would need to go on hormone deprivation therapy and it was also recommended that I be treated with adjuvant radiation therapy. Not only was I devastated that my initial treatment for prostate cancer didn't "work", I was also apprehensive about what my life would be like while undergoing the recommended treatments and therapies. That is when I found the Answer Cancer Foundation and their series of on-line support groups and calls.

My fellow members of this Reluctant Brotherhood, as we somewhat sarcastically refer to ourselves, were supportive, informative, and provided abundant encouragement from day one. After 22 months of androgen deprivation therapy on the drug Lupron and the subsequent radiation treatments, I continued my association with the organization as a source of continued information, camaraderie and friendship.

Today, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Answer Cancer Foundation and donate my time back to the group that helped me so much when I really needed it. It is the least I could, and will continue, to do.

2 R.C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AnCan is a tremendous resource offering real-world experience and actionable data. The caring folks associated with this foundation are selfless in the way they interact with those who seek their help. In my case, AnCan was largely instrumental in my being able to understand the challenges in my cancer diagnosis, affording me remarkable insight into navigating the sea of available treatments and understanding my options. I highly recommend getting in touch with this foundation.

Comments ( 1 )

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ANCAN 01/31/2019

R.C. Thank you for your kind words. We are very pleased that we were able to help you when you needed it. Thank you for your continued support.