Cancer patient holding covid vaccine information card

COVID vaccine and cancer: What patients need to know

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It seems like new information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is coming out every day. Most recently, the development and availability of vaccines have stirred up many questions, as well as some confusion. The influx of COVID vaccine information (and misinformation) can be even more daunting for cancer patients and survivors.

To help cancer patients better understand the vaccines, Provision CARES Proton Therapy hosted a special chat session with our Proton Ambassadors. Dr. James Gray, Medical Director and board-certified Radiation Oncologist at our Nashville center, gave a great presentation on “COVID-19 Vaccine and Cancer: Facts vs. Fiction.”

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The importance of nutrition for cancer prevention, management, and survivorship

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March is National Nutrition Month – an opportune time to raise awareness about the important role of nutrition for cancer prevention, cancer management, and survivorship.

Nutrition is an often overlooked, but essential, piece of the puzzle when considering a cancer patient’s overall health. That’s why we’ve invited our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Jennifer Wilson, to be this month’s guest blogger.

In this article, Jennifer outlines a few keys to nutritional success that can help lower your risk of cancer. She also discusses how cancer patients can help manage their nutrition during treatment, along with some tips to continue living a healthy life after treatment.

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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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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.

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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exercise for seniors during coronavirus pandemic

Exercise for seniors: 5 tips for staying active without leaving home

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Exercise for seniors is an important part of healthy aging, but as you age, you may find yourself getting out of the house less often. That can make it more difficult to stick to your typical exercise routine, like going to a gym or your community center. And the fact that you’re staying at home more often means there’s a good chance you’re moving less.

The National Council on Aging says daily movement can help improve many aspects of your overall health, including blood pressure, weight management, back pain and even your emotional health. So how much exercise should seniors get? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend healthy older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Older adults with chronic health conditions who may not be able to meet that guideline should still do their best to maintain regular physical activity.

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Fight Cancer with Your Fork

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Content and information provided by Casey Coffey, MS, RD, LDN at Provision CARES Proton Therapy.

A nutritionally balanced diet is very important anytime, especially during and after cancer treatment. Consider planning your meals using a balanced plate approach. Eating meals with a balanced plate is a valuable tool to control your portion intake of the different food groups. While each section of a balanced plate is important, your body needs more of some and less of others.

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Breast Cancer Fighting Nutrients and Where to Find Them

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Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, one in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. However, with today’s knowledge and resources, cancer diagnoses are gradually becoming fewer and fewer.

While cancer is not preventable, today’s nutritional science shows that a strategic diet can be one of the biggest factors in minimizing the risk of breast cancer. That’s right — research has repeatedly shown that certain foods can act as preventative medicines. In fact, changing what you eat and how you exercise can prevent up to 30% of breast cancer diagnoses.

No food item can prohibit cancerous cells from developing, but there are a few that can significantly lower the risks of developing cancer. Foods high in fiber, like beans, nuts, and whole wheat bread can help lower amounts of estrogen, reducing the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, foods like salmon, walnuts, and oysters can help produce Omega-3s, essential fatty acids that aren’t produced naturally in the body. These fatty acids help with inflammation, which can easily damage healthy tissue. Sulforaphane, found in arugula, cabbage, and broccoli, and carotenoids, found in carrots, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, have both been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in increased levels.

While no one cancer case is the same, those who have increased intakes of these types of foods and nutrients have been shown to have an overall lower risk of developing breast cancer. A well-balanced diet and exercise routine is important for a lot of things: physical strength, heart and organ health, and mental health.

This goes to show that the food you choose to eat and how you treat your body has more of an impact than people may originally think. Continue reading to learn more about what specific foods and nutrients can help thwart a breast cancer diagnosis.

breast cancer fighting nutrients

National “Eat Your Veggies” Day – June 17th

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Content and information provided by Casey Coffey, MS, RD, LDN at Provision CARES Proton Therapy.

With National “Eat Your Veggies” Day just around the corner, we wanted to give some advice when trying to incorporate more vegetables into your meals!

Most people do not realize that they’re not including nearly enough vegetables in their diet. On top of including vegetables in your diet, it’s important to realize that all vegetables aren’t created equal.

We like to encourage everyone to fill ½ of their plate with nutrient rich non-starchy vegetables in a range of color. Non-starchy vegetables contain very little naturally occurring sugar and are rich in fiber making them slow to digest. These nutrient dense colorful delights are packed with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for growth, restoration/repair, metabolic processes that occur at the cellular level. They also have magnificent cancer fighting properties! Some of our favorite non-starchy vegetables are below: (more…)

Healthy Memorial Day Weekend Recipe: Layered Chicken Taco Salad

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Looking for a healthy dish to take to your Memorial Day cookout? Look no further than Casey’s Layered Chicken Taco Salad!

Recipe provided by Casey Coffey MS, RD, LDN Registered Dietician for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville.

Layered Chicken Taco Salad

Prep time:  20 minutes       Total time:  20 minutes

Serves:  8-10 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup riced cauliflower
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can Mexican corn, drained
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 ½ cups prepared pico de gallo (or diced tomato)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 4 cups shredded meat) – can use canned chicken if preferred
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey jack and cheddar chceese
  • 1 (14 ounce) bottle cilantro avocado yogurt dressing (about 1.75 cups dressing) (Bolthouse brand is good) – could also use ranch dressing of choice and add ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package tortilla strips (about 1 ½ cups) – tri-color is a great option for Memorial Day

Instructions:

  1. Layer half of each ingredient into a large salad bowl in the order listed above. Repeat layers with remaining half of the ingredients.
  2. Serve immediately or cover with plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Leftovers can be stored in refrigerator for 2-3 days.