Guided imagery and other stress reducers

guided imageryThe holiday season is upon us, so much to do, so little time! Do you find yourself wishing for a way to slow down and relax that doesn’t cost anything and that you can do anytime, anywhere, without anyone knowing what you are doing? Well, there is a way, and that way is called guided imagery. Guided imagery has been around for centuries, and is both a spiritual, emotional and chemical reaction or an event that will occur naturally in our body – if we know and practice certain specific techniques.

Every day we are bombarded with so much Continue reading

Coping with cancer at the holidays

holidays and cancerThe holiday season brings joy and cheer to many, but what if you are dealing with cancer or recently lost a loved one? This time can also bring on pain and sadness.

It can sometimes feel wrong to be down when everyone around is sharing stories of happiness and pleasure. Expect to have some emotional pain. When the feelings come, let them. Talk about your feelings and let people know if you are having a tough day. This will allow others to support you better. Accept a few invitations to be close with family or friends. Choose the ones that sound most appealing to you at Continue reading

Fatigue busters for cancer-related fatigue

cancer-related fatigueWe all experience fatigue, but cancer-related fatigue can be particularly distressing as it oftentimes is not relieved with sleep and rest. Approximately 80% – 100% of patients with cancer experience fatigue, and it’s the most common side effect experienced by cancer patients.

With the holidays upon us, it’s the season for socializing and spending time with family and friends. With it can come a flurry of activity that can wear out the most energetic of individuals. Finding a balance is especially important for those with a diagnosis of cancer. Continue reading

Nutrition therapy for myelodysplastic syndrome and aplastic anemia

aplastic anemia myelodysplastic syndrome While diet has been associated with some cancers as a potential trigger, this is not the case with myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, and aplastic anemia. However, a balanced diet is important to maintaining health and well-being and this is especially vital during treatment. By giving your body the fuel it needs, you can help to minimize treatment side-effects and fatigue.

Follow the steps outlined below to maximize your health before, during and after treatment.

Try to eat enough food to maintain your weight during treatment and don’t be surprised if the amount of food you need is increased. If nausea or diarrhea hit you during treatment, eating smaller, more frequent meals that are lower in fiber to ease digestion. Discuss taking a general multivitamin with minerals with your oncologist or dietitian, to ensure you are meeting all your nutrient needs. If you are not having any side effects, eat a variety of minimally processed foods that focus on non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Try to include non-meat alternatives on occasion such as beans and nuts. Limit sugary beverages and focus on water for hydration instead. Continue reading

Is your course of radiation treatment longer than it needs to be?

patient and doctor in an exam room

Radiation oncologist Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., consults with a patient

Mounting evidence finds that delivering higher doses of radiation per treatment is as effective in some breast cancer patients as a traditional course where smaller doses are given over a longer time period. The new method, called hypofractionation, involves about 3-4 weeks of daily radiation treatments, instead of the usual 5-week or longer course.

But several newly published studies have found that hypofractionated radiation is not widely used.

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan, led two of these studies. Looking at a national database of patients, she and her colleagues found that hypofractionation was used in only 13.6% of Medicare patients with breast cancer. In Michigan, Jagsi’s other study found, fewer than one-third of patients who fit the criteria for offering this approach got the shorter course of treatment. Continue reading

Searching on hopeful quotes cancer

hopeful quotes cancerThey are inspirational, uplifting, hopeful and sometimes they’re even funny. They are the heartening collection of quotes and sayings found on our cancer center’s website. And, if you’ve ever Googled the phrase ‘hopeful quotes cancer’ then you’ve probably noticed that our page comes out at the top of the list, ahead of 410,000 other results! It is the most popular page on our website, scoring more than a million hits in the last few years. Continue reading