Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Archive for April 2020

PD-L1 And What It Means In Cancer Treatment

by Jane Ashley

We’ve heard of PD-L1 — both in the news and in television ads — but most of us don’t understand what PD-L1 is or why it’s important. Let’s learn more.

T Cell

What is PD-L1?

Our immune system contains T cells that can kill cancer cells. However, our bodies regulate these cells to ensure that they don’t attack our healthy cells (called an autoimmune reaction that could be potentially fatal).

Unfortunately, cancer cells have evolved, over the thousands of years, and learned how to prevent our T cells...

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What Are - Out of Network Surprise Billings?

by Jane Ashley

You may have heard some stories about out-of-network billings performed at in-network hospitals — sometimes, these are called “SURPRISE” billings because you weren’t expecting to get a bill that wouldn’t be covered, or only partially-covered, because you had your surgery, procedure, or test performed at an in-network facility.

Understand Your Insurance

What is an out-of-network billing?

According to HealthInsurance.org, an out-of-network bill is from a physician, hospital, or another facility (like an imaging...

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In Honor of My Patient

by Gumpus 61

In Honor of My Patient

Ann Surprised

I have said that Cancer affords us the experience of seeing the very best of Human Nature. It is also true that most of us haven’t any understanding of this until Cancer touches someone we Love. Even then, Cancer patients keep their worst moments private. Pride and a sense of “not troubling others” has many patients doing a marvelous job of keeping Cancer away from the rest of us.

My Patient was like that. A Uniformly Fatal Cancer struck her in the prime of life and...

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Dear Family and Friends, I'm Sorry I Gave You Cancer......4 Times

by GregP_WN

You have probably heard that old saying "it takes a village to....(insert your situation)". With cancer, it's also true. We cancer patients can't do it on our own. 

Dear Family And Friends, I'm Sorry I Gave You Cancer Four Times

We will need your help, these are some of the things that my cancer might require you to do.

  • Sometimes to get to treatments because we're too weak to be driving. 
  • To stay with us in the hospital, because it gets lonely there by yourself.
  • To go pick up our scripts at the pharmacy, if we're to sick to be driving we are...
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New Ways To Beat Anxiety

by Jane Ashley

Anxious? As if it wasn’t enough for us to anxious over our cancer diagnosis, now we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, no one knows exactly how this will play out. But we, as cancer patients and cancer survivors, must practice social distancing for quite a while to protect ourselves and our surrounding family.

Whats Next

The “not knowing” part of the COVID-19 pandemic contributes to our anxiety. The every-day news briefings from the White House, governors, and local officials...

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Head And Neck Cancer Awareness

by GregP_WN

April is head and neck cancer awareness month, along with testicular cancer and esophageal cancer. This piece will focus on head and neck cancer since there is so much to cover for this group of cancers. I have been unfortunate enough to have three diagnoses in this category. Tonsil, hypopharyngeal, and thyroid cancer.

Head And Neck Cancer Awareness Month Wn Logo

Head and neck cancer is a group of several types of cancer that originate in the head and neck area. Tongue, tonsil, eye, salivary gland, larynx, throat, lips, nose, and more,...

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April Cancer Awareness

by Jane Ashley

Most likely, these cancer awareness programs will, unfortunately, be lost amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, as cancer patients and survivors, it’s good for us to take a moment and reflect when the pandemic is over, and a COVID-19 vaccine is available that the diagnosis of cancer will still be made every day of every month for the foreseeable future.

April Cancer Awareness

What’s happening in April?

National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Month. We’ll be having a full feature on oral, head, and neck cancer, written by...

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Tomotherapy and Halcyon - 2 Types of Radiation

by Jane Ashley

When most people think of cancer treatment, they think of chemotherapy as the treatment. Many people don’t even realize that radiation is one of the “three legs of the stool” when it comes to treating cancer. 

Tomo Therpay With Patient

The three legs are:
• Chemotherapy and other medications
• Radiation
• Surgery

At least half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as their primary treatment or radiation as part of their treatment. Radiation may be part of a cure or can be used as a palliative treatment to...

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Blood Transfusions And Cancer Patients

by Jane Ashley

We, as cancer patients and survivors, learn something new almost every day. Many of us don’t realize that cancer patients may need blood transfusions during treatment. You may be wondering, “Why?”

Red Cross Logo

Why do cancer patients need blood transfusions?

There are several reasons that patients with cancer may need one or more blood transfusions.

• Anemia. Anemia can be a symptom of blood cancer. Blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma may crowd out healthy blood-producing cells. Cancer in the...

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How To Spot A Fake Cancer Cure

by Jane Ashley

Rumors, misinformation, distorted information, “plain ole quackery,” and shysters can make our lives as cancer patients and survivors more difficult. Fake cures, false hope, and misinformation are dangerous for us because that “fake cure” might dissuade us from choosing treatments that have been proven through clinical trials.

Sounds Too Good

How can we spot “fake cures?”

There are several clues to spotting a “fake cure.” Most fake cures pray on the newly-diagnosed or on patients whose cancer has spread —...

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