"Some odd years ago, as a young researcher and physician, I received
assistance from the Israel Cancer Association fellowships, and I got an
up close look at the significant work that the Association does in
promoting research, prevention, early detection, and improving
treatment modalities for patients". Professor Aharon Ciechanover,
Noble Prize winner, used these warm words to describe the contribution
of the ICA to the fight against cancer and the organization's support
of his work as a young researcher.
In Israel, the Israel Cancer
Association (ICA) spearheads the fight against cancer on all fronts.
Professor Ciechanover is one of hundreds of researchers to have
received grants from the ICA. Great resources are dedicated every year
by the ICA to research scientists from 38 research institutes and
treatment centers throughout Israel. The Research Committee comprised
of the top scientists and physicians, selects outstanding research
proposals. The cost of investing in research is relatively low in
Israel and produces results that have a global impact. Every advance
in scientific knowledge, like a piece in a vast puzzle, brings us one
step closer to completing the picture. Today's research is tomorrow's
treatment and investment in research knows no territorial boundaries,
as the resulting treatments and cures benefit humanity.
Israel Cancer Association (ICA) was founded in 1952. More than 50 years
of involvement and a proud record of achievement have earned the ICA
widespread recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a prime
leader in the fight against cancer. According to Miri Ziv, Director
General of the Israel Cancer Association, the ICA set its goal to
reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of cancer by waging an
encompassing fight: by promoting research, prevention and early detection, improved methods of treatment and rehabilitation and quality of life.
of life has become more and more important, in view of the increasing
cancer survival rates. The ICA focuses on the possibilities of early
detection of prevalent cancers, such as: breast cancer, colorectal
cancer, skin cancer and cervical cancer that may be prevented or
diagnosed at early stages, thus enabling higher cure rates. As a
result of improved detection rates survival rates have also improved,
and there is a declining trend in the mortality rates of some cancer
diseases (based on the National Cancer Registry Project reports).
ICA is also there for the patients who cope with cancer. Leonid (17)
was only 13 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Since then
he has been confronting the disease: not only by coping with the long
and painful therapy procedures but also by trying to keep up with
school studies "Ariela, (the ICA's social worker- T.D) called and asked
if we want a tutor for this year, if we need help with school, and she
said she could also assign my brother a tutor if he needs one,"
indicates Leonid. His mother adds: "I was with Leonid when he was
hospitalized, for a long time, for many days, and my little son was
alone at home. And the ICA helped me; they assigned a tutor to help him
with his homework. The Association is like a family, like a real
family, since they know what a long, hard, road we've been through, and
they've helped us all the way." Apparently the investment in the
future of a child, provides him and his family the strength to cope.
Leonid's story is only one example of many. In addition to the "Hope for Life"
program in which the ICA provides children suffering from cancer and
their families with a tutor to keep up with school studies, and also
purchases computers that enable these children to keep in touch with
their schools and enjoy games and activities, even when confined to a
bed. There are various programs, which are tailored especially for
children, such as: the "Family Vacation Camp"
project with a range of activities and experiences that offer the child
and all his family a welcome break from tense medical routines; "Give Kids the World"
program takes kids with advanced cancer and their families to the
special Orlando Children Village in the USA for what is often their
last happy time together as a whole family; The "Embarking on Life"
project is aimed at patients in their early 20s- too old for children
programs but still too young for adult programs, These young adults
start their independent life at a very problematic starting point.
Embarking on Life offers recreational trips and dedicated support
groups, while training these young adults for future work with other
young cancer patients.
Not too many people know, but Israel is
a goldmine for studying cancer genetics. A consortium of Israeli
geneticists sponsored by the ICA focuses on BRCA 1/2 mutations relevant
to breast and ovarian cancer. This effort, for example, resulted in a
report published in the prestigious American National Academy of
The ICA has been investing many resources in the fight against breast cancer
and conducts numerous activities to heighten woman's awareness of the
importance of early detection of breast cancer. Israel has the highest
screening mammography rates in comparison to European countries (based
on World Health Organization data). The ICA has initiated the purchase
of a mobile mammography unit 'Michal',
and subsidizes its activity and special logistics. As a result of this
project, the compliance rates among women residing in remote towns
(e.g. in the periphery) have increased, as well as among women from
diverse population sectors (e.g. Arab women, new immigrants, and women
of a low socio-economic status.)
Furthermore, the ICA constantly seeks ways to improve cancer treatment and medical care.
The ICA funds professional posts in medical centers and communities
throughout Israel and delivers professional training for
multidisciplinary staff : oncology nurses and social workers and
psychologists for adults and children; coordinators (nurses and social
workers) for breast cancer care who provide counseling, instruction and
support, and help women make critical decisions; colostomy specialist
nurses for post-operative colostomy patients; speech therapists for
patients following laryngectomy; dieticians, psychologists and more.
Due to the ICA's endless efforts hospital wards have been renovated and state-of-the-art medical equipment is continuously purchased.
In addition, ICA supports cancer patients throughout their ordeal and strives to ensure their rights. The ICA's rehabilitation and welfare programs
are provided to patients and their families, in order to improve
patients' quality of life and to offer a wide range of special
activities. The ICA's wide range of rehabilitation and welfare programs
include supportive home care by trained medical teams, and financial
assistance for the families of needy cancer patients. The ICA
initiated the establishment of the very first hospice and assists in
running home hospices throughout Israel. Welfare and support centers
have also been established for survivors, and the list goes on and on….
The ICA, like the country itself, owes its success entirely to the efforts of dedicated volunteers,
both in Israel and abroad, who devote themselves to their work with a
determined single-mindedness of purpose. As a matter of fact, the ICA
was awarded the Presidential Award for Outstanding Volunteer
Organization during Israel's Jubilee celebrations.
ICA is Israel's largest, most prestigious and reliable national
volunteer organization, reaching every sector of the population -
Jewish and Arab, children and adults, women and men. The ICA activities
are funded solely by private contributions making each donation even
more crucial. The ICA works in collaboration with the health
authorities but is financially independent. This independence enables
the ICA to operate according to strictly professional criteria, while
maintaining a global and national perspective and vision. The ICA is
proud of the fact that its administrative expenses constitute less than
9% of the ICA budget.
Your donation can save lives in Israel – and all over the world!
contribution you make to ICA promotes the fight against cancer. All
donations, earmarked for research, buildings, equipment etc., are
transferred in full with no overhead costs.
Donation link: http://cancer.org.il/english/default.asp?textSearch=&maincat=26&catid=607
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