Pause and take a deep breath

For many the initial reaction of hearing “It’s cancer” is shock followed by “I need to get this out.” Michael Sabel, M.D., chief of surgical oncology at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, shares why it’s OK to take a deep breath, and consider all your options before starting treatment.

 

 

Take the next step:

  • Read one patient’s decision on pausing before deciding on her course of treatment
  • Find out why it’s OK to seek a second opinion

 

The 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.

The sixth vital sign: Patient distress

Detecting distress is the first step to helping patients recover.distress June15

When going to see a health care provider for an office visit, we expect to be asked about our physical health and have a physical exam that measures our vital signs. Emotional health, sometimes called the sixth vital sign, is harder to figure out. In fact, emotional or psychosocial problems can persist for years without a provider being aware that their patient is in distress.

This has changed for cancer patients, many of whom do experience high levels of distress. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network describes distress as “an unpleasant emotional experience of a psychosocial, social, and/or spiritual nature that may interfere with the ability to cope effectively with cancer, its physical symptoms, and its treatment.” So what is being done to address this? Continue reading

Testicular cancer: Early detection is key

As I was writing something recently on clinical updates, I came across one type of cancer that is not CAL_testicularcancer2015brought up very often, testicular cancer. I remembered the story a friend of mine shared about her husband, age 30-ish that had been complaining of pain in his testicular region ever since his young daughter jumped on him…OUCH!!

He went for a checkup and sure enough, he had testicular cancer. He underwent surgery, and did not need chemotherapy or other treatment as his cancer was contained in one testicle. This was many, many years ago, and he continues to enjoy his life and functions just fine without any complaints from his wife. We are in our 50s now, thank goodness that he went to get checked out. Continue reading

Fellowship breakfast series serves up health information for men

fellowship breakfastCalling all men! Where can you go to learn about health topics of special importance to men, and do it in a relaxed, casual environment over a healthful breakfast? If you answered the Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, this is your chance to move to the head of the class.

The Fellowship Breakfast series is sponsored by the Cancer Center’s Community Outreach Program, a trusted source for health information about cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis.

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and the next Men’s Fellowship Breakfast takes place on Saturday, June 13, from 8:30 – 11 a.m. Continue reading

Why taking your prescription medication as prescribed is so important

prescription medicationDo you take your medication exactly as prescribed by your health care provider? If you do, congratulations! You are medication compliant or adherent.

However, non-adherence can occur very easily and most likely happens to everyone from time to time. Whether it is on purpose or by accident, missing doses can lead to your medication not working as well as it could.

Some common reasons for non-adherence:

  • Simply missing a dose
  • Side effects from the medication
  • Concerns about possible side effects
  • Concerns about long term effects
  • Don’t think you need the medication anymore
  • Don’t think the medication is working
  • Difficulty managing all the medicines you take
  • Missed doses because of a busy schedule
  • Tendency to forget things in your daily life
  • Financial concerns about medication costs
  • Pharmacy was out of the medication

Continue reading