Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. today announced partnerships with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) and Cancer Care® to bring top-of-the-line hearing aids and audiology services to cancer patients across the country as part of The Baton Pass™, a grassroots fundraising campaign for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Siemens will donate hearing aids valued at $1M, to be distributed via PBTF and Cancer Care’s network of hospitals to benefit patients with permanent hearing loss due to the side-effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation, surgery or other cancer treatment regimens. The hearing aid donation complements “The Baton Pass™” campaign launched last week, through which Siemens pledged to donate up to $1M in research funds to Stand Up To Cancer for accelerated cancer research.
“Hearing loss significantly affects quality of life—but in many cases can be remedied. We are donating our most advanced micon™ hearing aids, including the tiny Pure® receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), waterproof Aquaris™, the comfortable Motion®, and superpower Nitro® behind-the-ear (BTE) to patients who have lost their hearing as a consequence of cancer treatment,” said Scott Davis, CEO, Siemens Hearing Instruments. “Children and adults undergoing treatment have enough to worry about. By partnering with these two recognized organizations and their network of leading cancer institutions, we’re able to provide the gift of hearing to as many patients as possible.”
The donation also aims to raise awareness about the phenomenon of ototoxicity among platinum-based chemotherapy medications, radiation therapy and other regimens used to treat brain, lung, ovarian, and other types of cancers. Although widely successful in treating cancer, these treatments may also damage healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear—often resulting in irreversible hearing loss.
“Cancer treatment side effects can drastically alter a person’s life and present tremendous physical, emotional and practical challenges,” said Cancer Care Chief Program and Communications Officer Brian Tomlinson, MPA, BSW. “Our clients will now be better able to cope with one of the most devastating treatment side-effects—hearing loss—thanks to the generosity of Siemens and the commitment of MD Anderson Cancer Center. We commend Siemens for their pledge to provide a higher quality of care for people living with cancer and for raising ototoxicity awareness.”The effects of ototoxicity and hearing loss are well documented. Left untreated, hearing loss has been associated with a variety of conditions in both adults and children. Adult hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. In children, untreated hearing loss may result in poor cognitive and psychosocial development and delayed or compromised speech and language skills.