From peer pressure to peer support

Easing the burden of hereditary colorectal cancer

colorectal cancer

Members of the Myers family share a hereditary high risk for colorectal cancer.

Learning to fit in and conform with other children is a rite of passage for most of us, but when someone is living with a genetic disorder and the life-long threat of cancer, those formative years can be fairly tough. Just ask Kevin Myers. He has an inherited genetic disorder that results in a very high risk for colorectal cancer. It is called familial adenomatous polyposis, or FAP.

“I was seven or eight years old when I became aware that my dad’s mom and brother had died from this cancer, and my dad was frequently having pre-cancerous polyps scraped out of his Continue reading

Radiation Oncology takes a patient and family centered approach

patients and families

Child life specialist Kristan Freitag strives to improve the patient experience during radiation therapy.

Patients who receive radiation therapy understand that the process often comes with anxiety. In order to best appreciate the wants and needs of patients and families, the Department of Radiation Oncology formed a Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) committee. The goal of the group, which consists of former radiation patients, family members and radiation therapy caregivers, is to offer patients and families the opportunity to reflect on their treatment and recommend potential ways to improve the experience for others. Continue reading

Picture perfect – imaging and cancer diagnostics

imaging and cancer diagnosticsRecently I accompanied a family member, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, for a lymphatic mapping appointment in nuclear medicine. Lymphatic mapping is an important tool for imaging and cancer diagnostics; it helps identify the sentinel node before a patient has a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Her mother was at the appointment too.

As we traveled through the halls on B1 at the University of Michigan, she read all the different areas for patient appointments. Interventional radiology, PET Scan, CT Scan, and MRI were among the signs she pointed out to me. She couldn’t believe Continue reading

Nutrition for cancer fatigue

For someone with fatigue as a side effect of cancer treatment, it isn’t just about feeling sleepy and wanting to go to bed a little earlier, says Danielle Karsies, a cancer nutritionist at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is a bone-weary lack of energy that robs you of the ability to do the things you typically want to do. The following video gives tips on what patients can do to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels.

Take the next step:

  • Learn more from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center about fatigue as a side effect of cancer.
  • Check out this Thrive story on one patient’s experience with cancer-related fatigue.

U-M CCC dietitians NEWRegistered dietitians who are specially trained in the field of oncology nutrition provide cancer nutrition services at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. They focus on assessing the individual dietary and nutrition needs of each patient and providing practical, scientifically sound assistance.

 

 

Cancer-center-informal-vertical-sig-150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.

Understanding liver cancer and liver metastases

Former President Jimmy Carter recently was diagnosed with advanced cancer after having liver surgery.

Theodore Welling III, M.D., Neehar Parikh, M.D., and Tracy Licari, PA-C, discuss a patient in the U-M Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic.

Theodore Welling III, M.D., Neehar Parikh, M.D., and Tracy Licari, PA-C, discuss a patient in the U-M Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic.

While we don’t know the origin or extent of his cancer, it’s possible that the cancer had spread to his liver from another part of the body. We sat down with the directors of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Liver Tumor Program, Neehar Parikh, M.D., medical director, and Theodore Welling III, M.D., surgical director, to learn more about liver cancer and liver metastases.

What does it mean when cancer is found in the liver but it’s not liver cancer? What’s the difference?
It means that the cancer is a secondary (not primary) liver cancer which is the result of spread from Continue reading

Advance Directives: documents that can speak for you, when you are unable to

advance directivesIf you have been to a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office in the last few years, chances are you’ve been asked if you have an advance directive or durable power of attorney for health care.

You may even have made a mental note to get that taken care of. You might even have completed an advanced directive in the past but have not reviewed it in years and may want to revise.

An advance directive is a thoughtful – as well as legal – document explaining your wishes in case you can’t speak for yourself about medical treatment you may receive in the future. It’s understandable that people put off thinking about Continue reading