Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has joined with actress Edie Falco to appear in a new Stand Up To Cancer PSA designed to educate cancer patients and their loved ones about the increased risk of infection during cancer treatment and the importance of learning how to manage one’s risk.

Often patients are overwhelmed with medical information once they have been diagnosed with cancer. Many do not fully understand the risk of infection during chemotherapy and the potential impact it has on one’s overall treatment success. The campaign’s goal is to encourage cancer patients and their caregivers to actively work with their physicians to learn what can be done to lower the risk of infection before starting chemotherapy.

“Learning you have cancer comes as a complete shock and, at first, makes you feel powerless,” says Falco, SU2C ambassador and cancer survivor. “You really need to take control early. It is important to work with your team of physicians at the outset to understand how to minimize your risk of infection and stay strong throughout your treatment plan.”

“Being told that you have cancer is devastating,” adds Nixon, SU2C ambassador and cancer survivor. “But you need to stay empowered. Through this Stand Up To Cancer campaign, we hope to encourage cancer patients and their loved ones to get all the facts, including how you can minimize the risk of infection during treatment.”

The public service campaign, “Manage Your Treatment,” includes both print and broadcast announcements, and was created by Stand Up to Cancer with support from Amgen. Starting this fall, the 30- and 60-second broadcast spots will begin airing and the print version of the PSA will appear in major women and lifestyle magazines. The PSA directs people to www.manageyourtreatment.com for more information.

Cancer patients are at higher risk for infection due to a compromised immune system caused by both the cancer itself and, often, by chemotherapy treatment. Neutropenia, a low white blood cell count, is a common and potentially dangerous side effect of chemotherapy. It can lead to a heightened risk of infection that can require hospitalization and be life-threatening. Each year, 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. Neutropenia also can disrupt chemotherapy treatment, including both dose delays and dose reductions, which — for certain types of cancer — may impede a patient’s ability to achieve the best long-term results.

To view the PSA, click here.

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