What are The Long-term Side Effects of Chemo?

Chemotherapy plays an important role in most cancer patients’ treatment regimens – because it’s very effective at killing fast-growing cancer cells throughout the body. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills fast-growing healthy cells. As a result, many cancer patients experience both short- and long-term side effects of chemotherapy.

Most people are familiar with the short-term side effects of chemo, which often include: 

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Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Side Effects

7 Surprising Signs of Lung Cancer

Because lung cancer develops in the lungs, as you’d probably expect, its most common symptoms involve the lungs. Persistent coughing, coughing up blood or excess mucus, shortness of breath, and chest pain are all common signs of lung cancer. The presence of these symptoms doesn’t definitively mean you have lung cancer, though, as they can also be caused by other conditions. That’s why it’s important to be evaluated by your doctor sooner rather than later.  

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Categories: Lung Cancer

Lymph Nodes: An Early Warning Sign of Cancer

Lymph nodes (also called lymph glands) are part of your immune system, and they let you know when your body is fighting an infection by becoming enlarged or sensitive to the touch. They also function as an early warning system for some types of cancer, including lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer.

What are Lymph Nodes?

Lymph is a clear fluid that circulates throughout your body, bringing nutrients to cells and carrying away bacteria and waste products. This fluid flows through a special system of tiny vessels in your body, passing through small bean-shaped filtering organs called lymph nodes. Some nodes are as large as an inch across, while others are as small as a pinhead. 

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Categories: Cancer Screening, Lymphomas

3 Ways to Connect With Loved Ones When You Can’t Be There in Person

When you have cancer, even the most joyous of holidays can leave you feeling sad. On top of all the physical stresses, the thought of missing out on get-togethers and family meals can make it hard to get into the holiday spirit.

Of course, you should first talk to your oncology team before the holidays to determine what would be reasonable for you. Sometimes travel isn’t recommended. But for others, it can be done as long as you have a plan for what to do if you experience new pain or side effects while away from home. 

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Categories: Cancer Management

6 Ways to Manage the Holidays with Cancer

Even people in perfect health often feel exhausted and overwhelmed during the holiday season; that feeling is often magnified when you’re battling cancer. You may not have the stamina to battle Black Friday crowds, deck the halls and entertain as lavishly as you have in years past, and that’s OK. If you’re a cancer patient try not to overexert yourself, but don’t isolate yourself either. Here are six ways cancer patients can manage and even enjoy the holidays.

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Categories: Cancer Management

What Should I Expect at My First Mammogram?

The mammogram is an important breast cancer screening and diagnostic tool for women. This highly effective, non-invasive, and inexpensive procedure detects breast cancer and saves lives. The American Cancer Society recommends women start breast cancer screening at age 45. However, research has found mammograms are most beneficial for women age 50 and older. Regular mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 14% among 50- to 60-year-olds and 33% among 60- to 69-year-olds.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

Social Workers: Helping Throughout Cancer Treatment & Beyond

The ripple effect of cancer touches every aspect of a life, emotional, psychological, social and financial. At Compass Oncology we know we achieve the best care for our patients when we give them support in every way. Compass Oncology has a team of oncology social workers that are all about providing support for patients and their caregivers outside of their actual cancer treatment plan.

What makes our oncology social workers unique is that they are active members of your cancer care team who are always ready to assist. The support they provide takes many forms from the practical to the emotional to the spiritual. Their focus is on the issues that are so important to quality of life during and after cancer treatment. We encourage our patients to take advantage of this resource.

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Categories: Cancer Management, Cancer Survivor Support, Supportive Care

Tobacco Use After Cancer

You probably know tobacco use is bad for your health. In fact, over-the-counter tobacco products are legally required to include one of the following warning labels reminding the public of tobacco’s dangers, especially the dangers of cancer.

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Categories: Cancer Risk, Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Health

10 Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness in Portland!

October is breast cancer awareness month. This annual international campaign organized by major breast health charities aims to raise awareness of the disease and the value of screening and early detection and to raise money for research into breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cures. Whether you are a breast cancer patient or survivor, or an individual who has been indirectly touched by this disease, there are many ways you can show your support for this important cause. Here are 10 ways you can support breast cancer awareness if you are in the Portland-Vancouver area.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

At Home DNA Tests: Are They a Reliable Method for Cancer Screening?

Up until recently, genetic testing for cancer had to be performed by a medical professional – but that’s not the case anymore. Today, people concerned about their genetic health risks can have their DNA analyzed for health reasons, in the comfort of their own home.

23andMe, the company known for its spit-and-mail ancestry test, now offers FDA-approved genetic tests for cancer, which can be mailed directly to consumers. While there are other at-home genetic tests available, 23andMe is the first company that can offer this kind of testing without a doctor’s order.

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Categories: Genetic Testing