Survivorship: Family Counseling Helps the Healing Process

Transitioning from a cancer patient to a cancer survivor signifies that you have physically healed from cancer. It does not mean you’ve physically healed from the effects of chemo. You’re probably still experiencing side effects. Survivorship also doesn’t mean that you have healed emotionally. Emotional wellbeing is much harder to measure. And right now, during yet another life transition, you and your family could be experiencing a lot of different feelings.

Read More

Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Family

Tips for Telling Your Co-Workers About Your Cancer Diagnosis

Let’s be clear about one important fact: Your medical history and health concerns are entirely your business. When you were diagnosed with cancer, you may have decided not to share that news with your co-workers. Now that you’re a cancer survivor planning your return to work, you need to decide how you will address the subject of your cancer in a way you’re comfortable with.

Keeping your cancer diagnosis a secret from co-workers after you return to work usually isn’t practical. More than likely, you’ll look different when you return to work than you did when you left. You may be wearing a wig or your hair may be growing back. You may have lost a substantial amount of weight. Some symptoms of cancer treatment can’t be hidden. If you don’t provide an explanation for your physical changes, your co-workers will probably worry about your overall health. When you do tell them, they’ll probably have plenty of questions - mostly out of concern for you! 

Read More

Categories: Survivorship & Work

To Wig or Not to Wig During Cancer Treatment

Many cancer patients face hair loss, also known as alopecia, as a result of undergoing treatment. While this is a common side effect of cancer treatment, losing one’s hair can still be a significant emotional challenge.

The good news is that this change in appearance usually doesn’t last forever. Most cancer patients see hair growth begin shortly after they are finished with their treatments, but until that time many people turn to head coverings such as wigs, turbans, and scarves to help them feel more comfortable during this stage.

Read More

Categories: Cancer Management

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: 

Read More

Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Side Effects

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. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

Categories: Cancer Management

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.

Read More

Categories: Cancer Risk, Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Health

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.

Read More

Categories: Genetic Testing

HPV and Cervical Cancer: What’s the Connection?

When it comes to cervical cancer, nearly all cases are caused by exposure to the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Thankfully, cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Understanding more about HPV and cervical health in general can greatly help in the prevention of this kind of cancer. Here’s some important information every woman should know.

Read More

Categories: Gynecologic Cancers