Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Why Does Chemo Take So Long?

by Jane Ashley

Chemotherapy is one of the most feared aspects of cancer treatment. We’re are afraid of the side effects — we are afraid that it may not work — and we don’t understand the process that occurs on “chemo day.”

Chemo Center Wait

After our first infusion, we have a new question, “Why does it take so long to get our chemotherapy?”

Many people work together to ensure that your chemotherapy session is as safe as possible. Once we understand the process, it may be easier for us to understand why our chemo may require...

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Your Sense of Taste While on Chemo

by Jane Ashley

One of the big complaints among many cancer patients on chemotherapy or having radiation therapy is that food doesn’t taste the same. Some say that food tastes “funny.” Others complain that their favorite “comfort foods” don’t taste the same. 

Brush Your Teeth

Our sense of taste recognizes sweet, sour, bitter and sweet, but cancer treatment can affect our sense of taste. Common taste changes include:

• Your favorite foods taste bland.
• Sweet, salty or bitter foods taste different.
• Everything tastes...

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Coping With Pain During and After Cancer

by Jane Ashley

All of us look forward to our treatments ending. We think that that we will have an uneventful return to normal life. But for some cancer patients, they suffer from pain after treatment as a late side-effect of their cancer treatment.

Pain

The causes of chronic pain are as varied as are the diagnoses. These are the leading causes of pain in cancer survivors.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
Pain after head and neck cancers
Post-mastectomy pain

Oncologists estimate that about one-third of...

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Why Cancer Patients Become Anemic

by Jane Ashley

What causes anemia in cancer patients? How can we fix it? Nothing is more frustrating than being told that we can’t have chemo or learn that our surgery has been postponed we are anemia.

Anemia

What is anemia? 

Anemia is a common blood disorder. It occurs when we don’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are produced in our bone marrow, and they transport hemoglobin. The hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs and delivers it throughout our body.

If our iron levels fall or if...

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Do You Hate Losing Your Hair To Cancer?

by Jane Ashley

Hair loss – it’s the side effect most commonly associated with cancer.

Chemo At10am

Why? It is the single most visible sign that the person has cancer. This side effect has a far greater emotional impact on women than men. If we see a man with a bald head, we don’t automatically assume that they have cancer – we may just think that they are “making a statement” or “being hot.” Hollywood stars rock when they shave their heads. Many women even gravitate toward a man who shaves his head.

So why is being...

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The Consequences of Dry Mouth

by GregP_WN

Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of conditions, including prescription drugs, chemotherapy and radiation, and other disorders and syndromes. These conditions can inhibit the production of saliva and result in a sticky or even burning sensation in the mouth. Dry mouth is more than a nuisance to those who experience it because they often struggle with day to day activities like speaking, eating, and even sleeping. 

Dry Mouth

Long-term consequences of dry mouth include the decay of teeth due to...

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The Difference Between Neoadjuvant Therapy and Adjuvant Therapy

by Jane Ashley

When we think of cancer treatment, chemotherapy is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Chemo makes the news almost every day, in part because of its sometimes brutal side effects including hair loss, nausea/vomiting, fatigue and weight loss/weight gain. There are just over 250 chemotherapy drugs that are utilized in the treatment of all different types of cancer. 

Neo Adjuvant

We may think, “Well, chemo is chemo.”

That’s true, but chemotherapy is used in different ways for different...

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Hair Loss May Become Rare....In the Meantime, Here are Tips to Cope

by Jane Ashley

Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant and targeted therapy or locally from radiation therapy. Looking back at my first oncology appointment, I remember my husband asking her, “Is my wife going to lose her hair?” He was asking because he knew losing my hair would probably be distressing to me. 

Bald Is Beautiful Shave Your Head For Chemo

Hair Loss from Chemotherapy May Become a Rare Side Effect for Certain Cancer Patients

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of...

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Oral Chemo - Advantages and Disadvantages

by Jane Ashley

The first oral chemotherapy dates back to 1992 when Xeloda (capecitabine) was patented. It was first approved for the treatment of breast cancer in 1998 and approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in 2001. In 2018, oral chemotherapy drugs are commonly prescribed for many types of cancer. It’s estimated that about over 25 percent of the new cancer drugs now in the pipeline will be oral. Is Oral Chemotherapy Covered by Insurance?

Oral Chemotherapy Advantages And Disadvantages

Cancer patients may be surprised to learn...

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What is Neutropenia and Why I Should Follow a Neutropenic Diet

by Jane Ashley

If you were like me, you’ve never heard of neutropenia (pronounced noo-troe-PEE-nee-uh). When I went in for my fourth chemotherapy infusion, my oncologist came in after receiving my lab results. She was always upbeat and had a smile on her face. She said, “No chemo for you today!”

What Is Nutropenia And Why I Should Follow A Neutropenic Diet

I thought to myself, “No chemo? I want/need to have my chemo.” That which I first feared had become my friend. Already, I understood that chemo was an integral part of my treatment.

She explained, “Your neutrophil...

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