Existing cancer awareness campaigns can be a very useful tool when trying to raise proton therapy awareness. They give you an opportunity to highlight possible treatments for those cancers and the potential benefits of proton therapy. April is both Head, Neck & Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. So, here are a few facts about each to help you spread the word using your social media feeds or just good old-fashioned conversation!
On August 25, 2020, Jason W. eagerly rang the victory bell to mark the completion of his tonsil cancer treatment. In doing so, he became the 500th patient to complete treatment at Nashville’s only proton therapy center, reminding us all that cancer and cancer treatment do not delay during a global pandemic.
X-ray (also called photon) therapy has long been known to cause the development of potentially deadly new cancers in patients who undergo radiation therapy to treat their cancer. However, research shows that patients who choose proton therapy for cancer treatment have a significantly lower risk of developing a second cancer later in life.
In a comprehensive study published in Cancer, the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, researchers at Stanford University found that patients who were treated with x-ray therapy developed more than three times as many new cancers as patients treated with proton therapy.1
In the largest side-by-side comparison study of its kind, proton therapy for cancer treatment was found to have fewer side effects while maintaining similar survival rates when compared to traditional x-ray radiation therapy. CONTINUE READING
Content and information provided by Casey Coffey MS, RD, LDN Registered Dietician for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville
As we raise awareness of head & neck cancers during the month of April, it is important to be aware of the unique challenges that are at risk when diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Studies for patients who choose proton therapy treatment for head and neck cancers have shown less side effects during first 3 months after treatment and quicker return to normal function. The potential side effects for head and neck cancer patients make swallowing food and fluids difficult and sometimes painful. Malnutrition affects an estimated 40 – 80% of cancer patients – particularly those with gastrointestinal or head and neck cancers.
The four main nutritional goals for cancer patients include:
- Strive to maintain a healthy weight
- Consume foods and beverages for managing cancer and treatment-related side effects
- Select and eat healthy foods that supply the body with fuel and nutrients for repair and healing
- Reduce risk of cancer recurrence and the development of a second malignancy
Many patients do not realize the importance of nutrition while under treatment. Primary goals of nutrition therapy are to prevent or reverse nutrient deficiencies, preserve lean body mass, support the immune system, and minimize and manage the impact of nutrition related symptoms and side effects to maximize quality of life. Adequate nutrition is more than just maintaining body weight. The foods we eat contain nutrients necessary to support healing and restoration but also to support our healthy cells as well. Adequate nutrition has been shown to improve outcomes in cancer patients, improve strength and energy, avoid dose reduction or treatment breaks.
Make Every Bite Count.
Initially, it is recommended patients eat what they can tolerate while focusing on protein with each meal and including whole foods (minimizing the processed nature of foods). Why? Well, quality counts. High quality foods, which are those that are less processed, are more nutritious due to their higher nutritional value. As treatment progresses and possible side effects begin, the ability to swallow can become difficult. If difficulty to swallow becomes a problem for head and neck cancers, here are three ideas on how to maintain nutritional value through your diet:
- Graze throughout the day on nutrient dense foods: Nutrient dense foods that have been fortified with protein and additional calories without adding volume and lots of sugar or highly processed foods. Some examples are olive oil, butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, peanut butter, heavy cream, half & half, or any nut butter.
- Alter texture of foods to improve tolerance: focus on soft or smooth foods such as, bananas, watermelon, canned fruits, peach, pear, and apricot nectars, pureed or mashed vegetables, oatmeal, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt, milkshakes, custards, puddings, gelatin, macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, and ground meats.
- Avoid irritating foods, such as, citrus fruits or juices, spicy or salty foods, pickled or vinegary foods, tomato-based foods (salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pizza), rough or dry foods, hot spices (pepper, chili powder, nutmeg, cloves, and curry).
For more information about how to overcome nutritional challenges when diagnosed with head & neck cancers or to learn about proton therapy, contact our CARE Team at 865-229-4689.
Thousands of cancer patients have and could benefit from proton therapy, and children definitely top the list.
This week, exciting news has emerged from the renowned Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia confirming that proton therapy effectively treats pediatric cancers of the head and neck and reduces the side effects often experience with conventional radiation treatment.
It’s one more step toward growing and full recognition of proton therapy in the medical community as a state-of-the-art treatment option for cancer. (more…)
They have come from as close as down the road and as far away as China. Their cases have ranged from highly curable to palliative care. They light up lobby with laugher and courage. And they most clearly show cancer for the monstrosity it is.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. (more…)
For the past three and a half years, patients have been coming to Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center seeking the best treatment and care for the cancer diagnosis. Many of them have shared their stories with us. Today, we celebrate these survivors by checking in with some of the Provision alumni whose stories we have featured in the past. Click the links to find out more about them on our website, protonstories.com (more…)
For those with cancer who have already an initial course of radiation therapy, a recurrence of their disease can be an understandable cause for concern.
With conventional (X-ray) based radiation, we generally can only safely give one round of treatment to the primary site of disease. But with proton therapy, because of its ability to zero in on the cancer and spare healthy surrounding tissue, a second course of treatment could offer hope to patients with recurrent tumors. (more…)
This is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Click here to learn more about these types of cancer.
Before her cancer diagnosis, Holly Caster worked in hospitality at Beaumont Hospital in her Michigan hometown, coming up with creative ways to make patients’ stays more comfortable.
There was the flash mob she planned for a high school senior who’d been hospitalized and couldn’t go to prom. The laptop, CDs and company-keeping for a young pregnant woman confined to bed rest whose family lived 50 miles away. She gave cancer patients afghans in their favorite color. She planned in-hospital celebrations for weddings and anniversaries and new babies, all to help people cope as best they could when life dished up the unexpected.
Then the unexpected happened to her. (more…)