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"Native American Cancer Survivors'
Support Circles" Participant Handouts:
Native American Cancer Research (NACR) conducted cancer support circles in different settings. The files called "introduction to handouts" includes examples of materials and worksheets that NACR uses in its Circles. It includes an acknowledgement to the many people who worked on the Circle Materials, evaluated them and revised them, as well as the organizations that funded the work that resulted in these Circle resources. It also provides an introduction and description about the components with the Circle, explains the "ground rules" that each Circle revises to be appropriate for their local setting.
Worksheets are also include in the "introductory" files. These include pages for the patient or family member to use as a written or pictoral journal of their experience and healing. It also has worksheets on a personal contract that the patients update each week and may or may not choose to have a sealed copy retained by the Circle facilitator (sometimes with a date for when the facilitator should give the sealed envelope back to the participant). NACR's Circles also include topic discussions that may be based on its videos with other Native survivors, the Circle Topic handouts, or just as oral discussions among the group members. A survey of topics is provided with the worksheets to allow the participants to rank any topics that may be of interest to them. Other worksheets include a personal inventory list of items your loved ones may need to find to help you if you are unable to help yourself, an example of an opening prayer that some Circles create for their own use, and a worksheet about emotional purging to help cope with the challenges of cancer in a good and balanced way.
Circle Topic Handouts
Several of the Circle participants wanted topics and background information. Links to the Circle Topic Handouts are below. You are welcomed to review these either online or to print them out for you or others to read at their leisure. Several of the handouts include other Native Cancer survivors' experiences in their own words. All of the Natives who share their stories gave their permission to use their names, tribal affiliations, and information about the type of cancer and when they were diagnosed. Some of these people have passed on. But that does not mean that they died from their cancer. For example, a few died in their 90s of heart conditions. Theses excerpts of their stories are provided to help others who are going through a cancer experience.
Circle Topic: Cancer 100
Cancer 100 begins with a general description of cancer and answers common questions like: what is cancer (CAN-sir); what types of cancer are having success with treatment; what are "risk factors"; what are examples of common behavioral risk factors; what are "hereditary" types of cancer; what are examples of behaviors that help to protect your health; what are common cancer terms [e.g., biopsy (bye-OP-see), "diagnosis" (die-egg-NOH-sis), metastasis (ma-TAS-sta-sis), types of tumors (TOO-mer)]; what is cancer treatment, and how are most cancers treated.
Then it descries some common myths of providers about cancer in American Indians and Alaska Natives as well as some common myths of American Indians and Alaska Natives about cancer. The section ends with a brief description of the increasing problem of cancer among Native people.
Circle Topic: Breast Cancer 100
Breast Cancer 100 provides an overview of breast cancer in Native Americans; explains why "early diagnosis" so important for breast cancer, describes different types of breast cancer, "hereditary" forms of breast cancer and "Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer 100
Circle Topic: Radiation
This section includes an overview of radiation with some background information, a description of side effects, as well as descriptions of things your family can do to help you before, during, and following your radiation treatments. Several Native American cancer patients share their experiences with radiation treatments.
Circle Topic: Chemotherapy
This section provides a brief background of how chemotherapy began to be used. It provides ideas of ways loved ones can help you (the cancer patient before, during and following the chemotherapy. It also includes some general guidelines about supportive care throughout chemo. Several Native American cancer patients share their experiences with chemotherapy. The section ends with an excerpt from the Morra and Potts book, Choices, that describes common side effects to chemo drugs.