New study shows lung cancer proton therapy may reduce risk of heart disease

New study suggests proton therapy for lung cancer lowers risk of heart disease

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When treating lung cancer with radiation therapy, there is a significant concern that the treatment dose will expose the heart to excess radiation. One way to avoid this unnecessary radiation is by using proton therapy, a more precise form of radiation therapy as compared to traditional radiation therapy (x-rays/photons).

Researchers now say there is a link between lung cancer proton therapy and a reduced risk of certain heart diseases, including mini-strokes and heart attacks.

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Exercise for breast cancer patients improves survival rate and lower risk of recurrence

A little exercise goes a long way for breast cancer patients

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It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial for breast cancer patients. Years of research show a positive correlation between physical activity and cancer survival rates.  A new study is now shedding some light on just how much exercise you need to reap the rewards.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that even a small amount of exercise helps high-risk breast cancer patients live longer and increases their likelihood of remaining cancer-free after treatment.

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Lymphoma patient Jonathan chose proton therapy so he could have more time with his family

Lymphoma patient says proton therapy gave him chance at long, healthy future

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“We’re not promised tomorrow, but I didn’t want to make the conscious decision to take away tomorrow.”

– Jonathan L. on choosing proton therapy over traditional radiation

When Jonathan was just 32 years old, doctors discovered a large mass surrounding his heart. Being an otherwise healthy young adult, a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma definitely came as a surprise. Thankfully though, his prognosis was good. He had confidence in his treatment plan, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. As he progressed through treatment, things were going off without a hitch, until one day – a curveball.

“I went in for my consultation for the radiation,” Jonathan remembers. “The doctor told me if I went through traditional radiation, it would likely kill my heart in 10 years.”

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Study finds PSA test for prostate cancer has long-term benefits

PSA test for prostate cancer offers long-term benefits, study finds

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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it’s common to hear public service announcements reminding men to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Afterall, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and early detection is the best prevention.

However, recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cast doubt on whether the potential risks associated with PSA screening are worth the reward. Now though, new research suggests those risks may be exaggerated.

The long-term benefits of the PSA test for prostate cancer may outweigh any potential harm according to a recent paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). While current guidelines advise patients and physicians to determine the value of routine PSA screening on a case-by-case basis, researchers suggest that perceptions of PSA tests as ineffective are based on overstated harms and point to evidence showing that screenings can reduce death rates and prevent metastatic disease.

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Good self-care is important to overall health and wellness for cancer patients

Wellness for cancer patients: 4 keys to self-care

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Living with cancer comes with a lot of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Whether you’re recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or a survivor, it’s important to practice self-care. By taking steps to address your overall physical and mental health, you’ll be better equipped to cope with the roller coaster of emotions you experience as a cancer patient.

Since August is National Wellness Month, this article will focus on wellness for cancer patients by sharing four components of good self-care.

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress Management
  • Social Support

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Woman showing support for her friend with cancer

5 compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer

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There’s no question it’s tough to hear the news that one of your friends has been diagnosed cancer. Once the initial shock has worn off, many of us have a gut reaction to immediately offer our help and support. However, there are certain “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to helping cancer patients. In this article, we’ll share five compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer.

  1. Check with them first
  2. Include them
  3. Treat them the same
  4. Offer specific ways to help
  5. Talk about other things

Before you reach out to your friend, make sure you’ve taken time to process your own feelings first. Do some research and learn about their diagnosis. Try to think about things from your friend’s perspective. Understanding their situation and coming to terms with your own emotions will help make things more comfortable for both of you.

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Prostate cancer patients can choose watchful waiting or active surveillance if they wish to forgo immediate treatment

Prostate Cancer: Watchful Waiting vs. Active Surveillance

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About one out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer.1 However, due to advances in cancer screening awareness and early detection, most men will not die from prostate cancer. In fact, many men who are diagnosed with an early-stage, low-grade cancer may need little to no immediate medical treatment. Instead, they can choose from two different methods of monitoring their prostate cancer: watchful waiting or active surveillance.

For men with prostate cancer, the goal of cancer management methods like watchful waiting and active surveillance is to avoid the side effects caused by cancer treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.

Both watchful waiting and active surveillance are ways of monitoring the cancer for changes, but the reasons for choosing one method over the other are different:

  • Watchful waiting is better for men who can’t undergo curative treatment. It is meant to manage symptoms by controlling the cancer, but is not intended to cure it.
  • Active surveillance is better for men who would benefit from curative treatment should the cancer become more aggressive.

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