Radon Awareness and the Vermont Cancer Plan

January is National Radon Action Month.  Radon is an environmental hazard known to increase the risk of cancer.  It is a radioactive gas caused by the breakdown of soil and rocks that can seep up through the ground under homes and buildings.  It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after tobacco.

Radon has no smell, taste, or color, which means that the only way of knowing if it is present is to test for it.  Free testing kits are available from the Department of Health Radon Program by calling (800) 439-8550 (toll-free in VT) or by e-mailing radon@vermont.gov.

Learn more about radon here

Radon in Your Home, Vermont Department of Health

Explore Vermont Data, Environmental Public Health Tracking.  Select Radon, Smoking, Lung Cancer from the dropdown

Radon, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Radon and Cancer, National Cancer Institute

Read below for information on the Vermont Cancer Plan goal and strategies specific to reducing radon exposure in Vermont


Do You Know Where Your County Stands When it Comes to Radon, Smoking and Lung Cancer?

Use this tool to raise awareness and talk about the risk of lung cancer

Environmental Public Health Tracking at the Vermont Department of Health has a handy tool that can help support your local and statewide data needs on lung cancer.  Many regions are still reporting significantly high radon tests.  Many counties still have areas where over 20% of the population smokes.  Both contribute to the risk of lung cancer, but can be improved.   Click below to learn more:

Vermont Radon, Smoking, and Lung Cancer Data Explorer

Vermont Cancer Plan Goals to highlight when raising awareness about lung cancer this month:






This Month at VTAAC

November 7, 2016: A subgroup of the VTAAC Lung Cancer Screening Task Force meets to discuss the development of a survey to assess the status of screening statewide.

Here are some resources to help you learn more

American College of Radiology, Lung Cancer Screening Resources

UVM Medical Center Blog, Nov 2014,  Lung Cancer: New Screening Test Now Available

North Country Hospital, Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening.

American College of Radiology, Lung Cancer Screening Coverage FAQ

American Lung Association, Lung Cancer Screening

Goal 10

November 11, 2016: The Quality of Life Workgroup meets to discuss many topics, but most timely for us right now, Survivorship Care Plans.  We are developing a training to aid providers and patients statewide with the use and implementation of these plans. 


November 14, 2016 – The VTAAC Evaluation Committee will meet to review the results of the PARTNER Tool Survey that was completed by 15 of our partners.  Many thanks again to all who took the time help us with this survey!  The Committee will also be discussing the Lung Cancer Screening Survey in development, as well as other member projects.

November 18, 2016 – The VTAAC Steering Committee will meet to discuss projects noted above, as well as other efforts that are ongoing among statewide partners and VTAAC workgroups, task forces, and committees. 

To learn more about how you can take part in any of these meetings or the work of Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer, please contact Jessica French, VTAAC Coordinator, at Jessica.French@cancer.org or by phone at 802-338-2433.



George Washington Releases Important Resource on Cancer Survivorship

The George Washington University has developed a new resource to support comprehensive cancer control (CCC) efforts in CCC groups nationwide. The report is titled Supporting Cancer Survivors through Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs and provides an introduction to survivorship needs and engagement opportunities. While the guide is meant to be brief, it also serves to support groups developing their state cancer plan and includes recommended national benchmarks outlined in A National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies (CDC 2004). The report is also intended to serve as a resource for those interested in learning more about identifying opportunities for systems-level work across all spheres of cancer survivorship including surveillance and applied research, education, policy, and access to quality care.

You can read the full report online here: http://bit.ly/2016SurvivorshipReport

VTAAC members will be discussing the report as part of the next Quality of Life Workgroup meeting in November. If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact VTAAC Coordinator, Jessica French, at Jessica.French@cancer.org

Daniel Fram Replaces Scott Perrapato as Co-Chair of VTAAC

Daniel Fram

We are excited to announce that Dr. Daniel Fram, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director at the National Life Cancer Treatment Center, will be joining Ed DeMott as Co-Chair of VTAAC.  Dan has been involved in the coalition for over five years and joins our leadership following the extended term of Dr. Scott Perrapato.

Scott, we want to thank you for your enthusiasm and efforts as part of the VTAAC leadership, and look forward to your continued participation in both the Executive and Steering Committees, as well as the Men’s Health Taskforces and other initiatives.

VTAAC Members Leading Discussions At Women’s Cancer Conference

Join us this Friday, October 7th, for the 19th Annual Women’s Health & Cancer Conference.  The theme this year is YOUR HEALTH: Putting Knowledge Into Action and participants are encouraged to use the knowledge gained to inform and empower their health decision-making.  VTAAC will be sharing resources all day in the Exhibit Hall, and many of our members will be speaking throughout the conference sessions.  See the list below for collaborator topics.  The conference offers those interested in women’s health the chance to engage leaders in the field of cancer, as well as provides physicians, nurses, physical therapists, radiology technologists, and social workers the opportunity to earn educational credits.

9:00 – 9:50am, Immunotherapies: The Impact of Clinical Trials, Claire Verschraegen, MD

10:00 – 10:50am Touch, Caring, and Cancer: Safe Integrative Techniques for Cancer Treatment, Catherine Cerulli, M Ed and Janet Kahn, Phd, LMT

10:00 – 10:50am Exploring Mindfulness: Practices, Benefits and Scientific Evidence, Roz Grossman, MA and Yujing Sun, PhD

11:00 – 11:50am Spirituality and the Healing Journey, Patricia Fontaine, MACP and Roz Grossman, MA

1:15 – 2:05pm – What’s Density Got to Do With It? Breast Density and Screening, Sally Herschorn, MD

1:15 – 2:05pm – Learn to Zentangle for Relaxation and Creativity, Lynne Balman, EdD

1:15 – 2:05pm – Caring for the Caregiver, Kathy McBeth, MA

2:15 – 3:05pm – Lung Cancer: Not Just a Smoker’s Disease, Garth Garrison, MD

2:15 – 3:05pm – Coffee Chat: Mindfulness and the Cancer Journey, Roz Grossman, MA

2:15 – 3:05pm – Young Survivors: Experiences and Empowerment, Kathy McBeth, MA

Exhibiting VTAAC Partner Organizations

American Cancer Society  |  Cancer Patient Support Foundation Central Vermont Medical Center  |  Dragonheart Vermont/Survivorship NOW  |  Eleanor B. Daniels Fund at the UVM Cancer Center  |  Kindred Connections  |  Ladies First Vermont Department of Health  |  Norris Cotton Cancer Center  |  Steps to Wellness (Oncology Rehabilitation Program)  |  VT-NH Susan G. Komen  |  UVM Cancer Center  |  UVM Medical Center  |  Vermont Cancer Survivor Network

See the full list of sessions, speakers, and exhibitors here:

UVM Women’s Health & Cancer Conference Agenda

Friday, October 7, 2016

8:00am – 4:30pm

Sheraton Burlington

Hotel & Conference Center

Burlington, Vermont

WHAT TO READ: Study finds that patients with long drive times experience delays in breast cancer treatment

Access to Care Taskforce publishes important article on treatment barriers for breast cancer patients in Vermont

We are excited to announce the publication of an article collaboratively written by members of the VTAAC, UVM, VDH, UVM Medical Center, and UVM Cancer Center community.  Released in August of 2016 in the Journal of Oncology Practice, the article investigates what can delay the time from diagnosis to first systemic treatment for women in Vermont with breast cancer.  Please take a moment to read about their research and findings here via PubMed.  Full access to the article can be obtained from the journal under the “full text links” option in the top right corner of the PubMed page.

Congratulations and thank you to all who contributed!

Johnson, A., Shulman, L., Kachajian, J., Sprague, B.L., Khan, F., James, T., Cranmer, D., Young, P., & Heimann, R. (2016).  Access to Care in Vermont: Factors Linked With Time to Chemotherapy for Women with Breast Cancer – A Retrospective Cohort Study.  Journal of Oncology Practice. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2016.013409