Manchester, VT – Casting for Recovery (CFR) announces an important confirmation of the positive impact of its renowned national quality of life program offered to hundreds of breast cancer survivors around the country each year. “Quality of life” describes total well-being, which includes the emotional, social, physical, and spiritual aspects of life, and has become an important concern in chronic disease management.
With data provided by a 2011 research study using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) Distress Thermometer and Questionnaire, a standardized psychosocial research study that measures difficulties with practical, family, emotional, physical problems, and spiritual/religious concerns for cancer survivors, Casting for Recovery has tangible evidence that its impact on quality of life issues for breast cancer survivors is verifiable and significant.
The top quality-of-life issues identified by the NCCN study included worry, fears, nervousness, fatigue, memory, concentration, sadness, depression, and sleep problems. Other concerns such as additional medical problems, lack of family support, lack of insurance, and inability to access services were additional stressors.
The NCCN study participants were surveyed pre- and post-Casting for Recovery retreat and were residents of California, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. Their average age was 55 years, the average number of years since diagnosis was five, and the Score Range on the NCCN Distress Thermometer was No Distress = 0, Extreme Distress = 10.
The pre-retreat average Distress Score in this study was 4.02. According to the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, a score higher than 4.00 indicates the need for intervention. The results measured by the study of participant surveys two weeks after a retreat experience were significantly lower. The NCCN Distress Thermometer measured a substantial reduction in emotional distress, from 4.02 prior to the retreat to 2.93 post-retreat.
The NCCN data validates Casting for Recovery’s quality-of-life program model and mission which provides the educational and physical opportunity for breast cancer survivors to experience and develop a connection to a peer group and benefit from the numerous psychological and therapeutic advantages of learning a new sport, in this case fly fishing.
In 2012, over 225,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 2.5 million currently live as survivors. The numbers of younger women being diagnosed are increasing, but thanks to education about screening, self-care, and advances in medical science, 80% of these women will be alive ten years post-diagnosis. The encouraging statistics have dramatically increased national interest in understanding how to improve the long-term quality of life for these breast cancer survivors.
For 17 years, Casting for Recovery (CFR) has been the leader in providing opportunities for breast cancer survivors to enhance their quality of life. Its visionary program model, with a focus on survivorship issues, was developed long before other cancer recovery organizations. Casting for Recovery knew, based on personal testimony and participant evaluations, that its 2½ day retreats provided life-changing opportunities to these women.
About Casting for Recovery
Since 1996, CFR has served more than 5,000 breast cancer survivors, with the help of over 1,500 volunteers, in retreats that provide emotional and medical support and teach new skills through catch-and-release fly fishing. In 2012, 44 retreats are scheduled to be held across the United States.
Casting for Recovery retreat programs are offered at no cost to the participants. Casting for Recovery is supported by generous donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Its premier national sponsor is The Hartford and other national sponsors include L.L. Bean, Under Armour®, SmartWool, and Sisters on the Fly. Casting for Recovery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information about the Casting for Recovery program, please call 802-362-9181 or visit the Casting for Recovery website.