Cancer and the crystal ball: How long do I have to live?

how long do I have to liveThis is perhaps the hardest question we are asked at the Cancer AnswerLine: “How long do I have to live?” This is not the most pleasant of conversations we encounter, but the nurses at the Cancer AnswerLine don’t dodge this question. Simply, we don’t always have an accurate answer to this important question and cannot provide callers with an exact time frame for life expectancy. Your physician may not be able to answer this question, either – sometimes there is no concrete answer.

When asked this question, we consider the following:

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Cancer prehabilitation

Steps you can take to prep for cancer treatment

cancer prehabilitationCancer prehabilitation, or prehab, is the process of improving a patient’s emotional and physical health in anticipation of upcoming treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It occurs between the time of a cancer diagnosis and the beginning of treatment.

Although not a new concept to medicine, it’s becoming an emerging component in cancer care. Preparing for the physical and emotional aspects of cancer treatment can improve outcomes and minimize side effects associated with cancer treatment. Continue reading

Fertility options for women with cancer

women fertilityAs many as 15% of all couples have difficulty becoming pregnant or meet the definition for infertility, but for those undergoing treatment for cancer the number can be even higher. This post discusses fertility options for women with cancer. Men, you haven’t been left out, my September blog discussed your fertility options, so you haven’t been left out.

For women who are undergoing cancer treatments, experts recommend they wait at least one year after treatment ends to have a fertility evaluation. This time is needed to allow the body to recover and readjust to Continue reading

Is the flu bug out to get you?

fluThe FLU virus is thought to be spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu viruses may also spread when people touch something with the flu virus on it, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Patients with cancer and immune-compromised patients are NOT at an increased risk for getting the flu, but they are at an increased risk for complications from the flu. But there are steps you can take to stop the flu bug from getting to you.

According to FLU.gov, a website managed Continue reading

Fertility options for men with cancer

fertility optionsWhile the focus of this blog is on fertility for men with cancer, I have not forgotten about women. Female fertility options will be addressed next month, so ladies please stay tuned.

Infertility, or not being able to conceive or bear children, affects about 10% of the population. While that seems like a small percentage, infertility can disproportionally affect both men and women undergoing cancer treatments. Many of our standard therapies for treating cancer such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy can damage the Continue reading

U-M Radiation Oncology’s partnerships bring radiation therapy closer to home

radiation therapyRadiation therapy is often a treatment option for those diagnosed with cancer. Traveling to receive radiation treatment five times a week for six to eight weeks is not always easy or feasible for some patients. Luckily, the University of Michigan’s Radiation Oncology Department has collaborated with community hospitals to help provide this type of treatment closer to home.

The Radiation Oncology Network is a group of seven centers in Michigan that partner with the U-M Radiation Oncology Department to create a network of facilities Continue reading