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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.

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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

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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

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Over 1000 artists add a personal touch to new hospital

Over a thousand people were involved in decorating the walls of the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. Sure, that team includes professional designers – but it also includes more than a few five-year-olds, moms and dads, and community leaders, too!

Back in 2008, Mott partnered with with Detroit-based Pewabic Pottery to enable patients, family members, employees and donors to paint tiles for the new children’s hospital.

When the installation of tiles is completed, about 1,600 tiles will cover the welcome desks on each level of the new hospital, and in the clinics. Continue reading

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Pack more punch into your diet during treatment

Peanut butter is a good source of protein during treatment.Losing too much weight is a problem for many people with cancer. Side effects of treatment, including loss of appetite, can make it challenging to eat enough food to get the calories your body needs. And yet, if too much weight loss occurs, it may cause delays in treatment.

It’s important to include enough carbohydrates, protein and fat in your meals to maintain weight during treatments. Cancer causes changes in the way your body uses food for energy. Protein is an essential nutrient for healing, tissue maintenance and growth. Your body requires protein to maintain its muscle mass; people who keep their muscle mass generally have fewer side effects during cancer treatment and recover better.

Here are some tips for ways to include healthy protein and fat in your diet. Particularly when side effects are impacting your appetite, it’s important to make every bite count.

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Tax day is looming: Are you eligible for medical deductions?

Tax formsTax day has been extended to April 18 this year, but the deadline is still approaching quickly. If you’re working on your taxes, don’t forget to determine whether you’re eligible to deduct medical expenses. Oftentimes, people with major illnesses like cancer may find it beneficial to consider this option. For more details on what’s involved, read our Q&A from a past issue of Thrive, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s patient publication.