Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Archive for October 2019

The Flu Shot - What You Need To Know

by Jane Ashley

There seems to be an anti-vaccination movement afoot in our country. We’ve seen the results with a severe outbreak of measles this year.
Rumors, myths and untruths run rampant every fall about the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine. The CDC takes disease prevention seriously — preventing major flu outbreaks is a high priority. What are some of the myths

One Little Stick

Can the flu shot give you the flu? No. Flu shots do not contain live flu viruses.

It’s better to get the flu than get the flu...

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Secrets to Living A Meaningful Life After Cancer

by Jane Ashley

The diagnosis of cancer is traumatic and life-altering, but we work through our fears and begin treatment. Some treatment periods are only three or four months while others may require a year or more. And once we’ve completed our treatment, we face five years of surveillance to detect a recurrence at its earliest stage.

No One Should Feel Guilty

Every cancer survivor will admit that it is a daunting challenge to learn how to live again after treatment ends. We remember our cancer treatment because of its lingering...

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Surviving Stage IV Tonsil Cancer - 7 Years and Counting

by Debbie Pepin

Editor's note: Our Guest Blog Post today is from Debbie Pepin, a 7 year survivor of head and neck cancer. (tonsil) She shares her story from going to an annual health exam to being a cancer patient fighting for her life. 

Debbie Pepin3

Healthy, happy and busy, at an annual exam my GP suggested I show my enlarged right tonsil to an ENT in February 2011. I hadn’t known that we have 3 sets of tonsils – the palatine are what people usually refer to that are on both sides of the back of our throat. The...

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Survivor's Guilt - It's Real and How You Can Cope

by Jane Ashley

Survivor’s guilt happens to many people — survivors of an airplane crash where other passengers died, September 11th survivors of the Twin Towers, survivors of mass shootings. Most cancer survivors have never thought about survivor’s guilt . When we are diagnosed, we are focused on our treatment and hoping that we’ll survive. The thought that we’ll feel guilty about surviving never enters our minds.

Every Person Is Different

But then, someone who was in treatment at the same time succumbs to their disease or they...

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Things You Should Know About Brain Tumors

by Jane Ashley

A brain tumor is a growth of abnormal cells within our brain. Some are non-cancerous, i.e., benign. Other tumors in the brain are cancerous. 

Men Are More Likely To Develop Brain Cancer

These cancerous tumors are one of two types:

• Primary – this is a tumor that begins in our brain.
• Secondary/Metastatic – this is where cancer begins to grow somewhere else in our body and spreads to our brain.

Almost 24,000 adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with primary brain tumors annually. More men have brain tumors than women — about 57...

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Robotic Surgery - What It Is, How It Works

by Jane Ashley

When we hear about robotic surgery, some of us envision a robot standing above the operating table. Our immediate response is, “No way am I going to let a robot operate on me!”

Da Vinci System Si Seated Surgeon Nurse At Cart 400x235

But robotic surgery is nothing like those science-fiction images. The robot doesn’t do the surgery; your surgeon does the surgery, guiding the surgical instruments through the master console.

What is robotically-assisted surgery?

The da Vinci surgical system is the only robotic system approved in the United States....

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Healthy Lung Month - Tips to Keep Them Healthy

by GregP_WN

How to Care for Your Lungs During Healthy Lung Month

October Is Healthy Lung Month

Your lungs are a set of indispensable organs that allow you to breathe properly; just as your heart, liver, and brain work to support your body and mind, your lungs are a vital part of this system. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish normal day-to-day activities. Since October is Healthy Lung Month, there is an abundance of ways you can avoid specific lung cancers and diseases. While some of these may not be entirely...

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Image Guided Biopsies - The Why, What, and When

by Jane Ashley

Solid tumors discovered with mammography or CT scans may or may not be cancer. If benign tumors are small and not pressing on nerves, blood vessels, or an organ, it might be best for a patient to leave the tumor alone and not perform surgery (where there is always a risk for complications).

Biopsy

But how do our doctors tell the difference between a cancerous tumor and a benign tumor? They use a biopsy — a procedure where the cells of a tumor are examined under a microscope. If the cells are...

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Stem Cell Transplants - What They Are and What They Do

by Jane Ashley

A stem cell transplant is a treatment for blood cancers. It’s used to treat certain types of leukemia, some kinds of lymphoma and to treat multiple myeloma.

Northside Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Unit

It used to be referred to as a bone marrow transplant because the stem cells were extracted from the bone marrow. Now, stem cells are harvested from the blood so they are referred to as stem cell transplants. But they are the same medical procedure, regardless of which terminology is used.

Who needs a stem cell transplant?

Stem cell...

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Genetic Testing Vs. Genomic Testing - Differences and Benefits

by Jane Ashley

Once we are diagnosed with cancer, we begin to hear words that we haven’t heard before. Often, we don’t understand their meanings — but it’s important to learn as much as we can about the disease we have.

Approved By Medicare

We may have heard about genetic testing and genomic testing on television. Some famous people, including Angelina Jolie and Kelly Osbourne, have been responsible for many of us hearing the words — “genetic testing” — for the first time. Both of these women tested positive for the BRCA1...

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