Make your voice heard by joining Cancer Center’s Patient & Family Advisory Board

The University of Michigan ComprehensiveCancer Center is seeking people to serve on its new Cancer Patient & FamilyAdvisory Board and related committees. Leaders from the Cancer Center and the cancer inpatient units of University Hospital have joined with several U-M patients and family members to develop this new exciting initiative.

The board will be designed to give patients, families and other members of the community a stronger voice in programming and planning throughout the Cancer Centerand University Hospital. To learn more about the board and how to apply, visit mCancer.org/volunteer.



Taming the flame for Memorial Day weekend

Each year University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center dietitians field questions from patients about whether it’s safe to grill, given the evidence that grilled meats may contain cancer-causing agents. But new guidelines from the American Institute for Cancer Research suggest that the type of food you grill may be more important than how you prepare it.

Hot dogs and hamburgers — the all-American summer standards — may be among the worst culprits in causing colorectal cancer. Research has shown a convincing link between diets high in processed meat and red meat — which includes beef, pork and lamb. Every 3.5 ounces of processed meat — about two hot dogs — increases the risk for colorectal cancer by 42 percent.

Given the data, we recommend that our patients follow AICR guidelines. Limit the amount of red meat you eat. Think of it as an occasional indulgence. Make processed meats including hot dogs a treat for a special occasion — like an annual outing at the ballpark. Use these guidelines year round to lower your risk.

And this summer, continue to use caution when grilling. All animal meats produce cancer-causing chemicals when they are seared at high temperatures-whether on a grill or on a conventional stove. It’s still unclear whether eating these chemicals will increase your cancer risk. But while researchers continue to learn more about whether there’s a link between grilling and cancer, you can protect yourself and still enjoy a backyard barbecue. Read on to learn strategies to limit your exposure. Continue reading


Fight cancer-related fatigue with food and exercise

Up to 96% of people treated for cancer report fatigue. But how you eat, drink and spend your day can reduce your fatigue and may even boost your energy levels. University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center dietitians offer their tips for fighting fatigue in the latest issue of Thrive, the Cancer Center’s patient publication.

Among their tips:

  • Eat small, frequent meals and include a protein-rich food with each meal or snack.
  • Stock your pantry with extra staples to avoid frequent, energy draining grocery shopping trips.
  • Keep high-calorie, high-protein nutrition supplements on hand for easy nutrition on the run, such as Boost Plus, Ensure Plus, Carnation Instant Breakfast or nutrition bars.
  • Try batch cooking. Ask family or friends to double a favorite recipe or do so yourself on high-energy days. Freeze individual portions for quick, healthy meals.
  • Keep healthy foods on hand that require little preparation, including pre-packaged pudding and yogurt cups, peanut butter, tuna fish, cottage cheese, eggs, string cheese and soup. (Select cream-based soups for added calories and protein.)

Visit Thrive to read the full story and get more tips on living better with cancer. Or, to schedule an appointment with a Cancer Center dietitian, call 1-877-907-0859.



Steps of hope: Join a cancer awareness walk

It’s the time of year when people begin training for cancer awareness walks. We put together the top three reasons our patients have chosen to direct their passion toward participating in these good causes. No matter which charity you choose to support, you’re likely to gain.

Check out the full story or a list of links to register for local walks.


Not the easy way out

By James D. Geiger, MD

Childhood obesity is such a serious issue that First Lady Michelle Obama launched her Let’s Move campaign. While the campaign is doing a great job of drawing attention to the issue and encouraging children and teenagers to be more active, for many severely obese adolescents, getting up and moving is not the only answer. But, is weight-loss surgery the right answer?

Here at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center, we’ve always taken a comprehensive approach to treating childhood obesity. Our MPOWER (Michigan Pediatric Outpatient Weight Evaluation & Reduction) program brings together a team of healthcare providers (physicians, dietitian, psychologist, social worker, exercise physiologist and physician assistant) to evaluate and treat obese adolescents.

For some patients, treatment includes weight-loss surgery, but that’s not the easy way out. Continue reading


Giving a voice to patients and families

Penni Newport, Nancy Cutler and Scott Newport surround Scott and Penni's son Evan.

I really embrace the philosophy of patent and family centered care here at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  Back in 2002, I experienced the reality of exceptional medicine first hand before it even had an official name. My son spent the first ten months of his life in the hospital. That is when I learned medicine is not an exact science.  It also revolves around positive relationships with a dash of emotion.

I’ll never forget when an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse allowed me to push a silence/reset button for the first time to extinguish the beeping. Evan was having difficulty breathing and the ventilator alarm kept going off.  Finally, not only did I feel like I had some worth as a father but I also felt like I passed my first semester in medical school. You see, the day before a cardiac fellow showed me how the heart worked by drawing a diagram on hospital stationary, an unfolded, paper towel. Continue reading