Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Cancer And Cold Weather - Tips To Help You Cope

by Jane Ashley

Winter is here and presents unique challenges for cancer patients. Let’s look at some of the potential problems that we, as cancer patients, might face this winter.

Icy Sidewalks

Falls. Chemotherapy affect some patients’ balance, making them more prone to falling. Now add in icy sidewalks, snowy parking lots, and steps, and we have a formula that might lead to a cancer patient being more likely to fall in winter. So how do we avoid falls in winter?
More lighting for outside areas of your house. With...

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Understanding Your Tumor Size

by Jane Ashley

The medical profession utilizes the metric system for measurement of tumor sizes. The system is internationally used and is the primary standard of measurement in the healthcare field. In the United States where we use inches, yards and miles along with ounces and pounds, we as patients are confused when our medical team tells us that our tumor is 5 cm in diameter.

Tumor Sizes In Centimeters

For some kinds of cancer, the size of the tumor determines the stage of the cancer. Staging for breast and lung cancer utilize...

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Close Calls and The Fear Of A Recurrence

by Jane Ashley

At the beginning of our treatments, most of us didn’t realize how the fear of recurrence would impact our lives for many years afterward. We didn’t even know the word “Scanxiety.” Most of didn’t realize how frequently we would return for checkups that include blood work and scans.

Keep Calm

Put all of these things together, and we have scenarios where a tumor marker test or a scan or a new pain or symptom might point towards a recurrence. But, upon further investigation and additional testing, we are...

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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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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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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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Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Remembering, Honoring, and Preventing

by Jane Ashley

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month . This month helps increase awareness of the importance of screenings so that breast is caught in its early stages when it can be cured. It’s a time to remember those lost to breast cancer and to help those currently diagnosed with breast cancer.

October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in women (except for skin cancer). Almost 269,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2019, along with about 69,000 women...

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Straight Talk About HPV

by Jane Ashley

What is HPV? What is the HPV vaccine? Why should we give it to our pre-teen children? Does HPV cause cancer later in life? 

Protects Against6 Kinds Of Cancer

Let’s sit down and have a straight talk about HPV and the cancers that it causes. Perhaps, then we’ll understand why it’s so important that all of our young adolescent children get their HPV vaccines. These adolescents are our children and our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews – protect them against certain kinds of cancer that occur in adulthood.

What is...

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