Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Depression and Cancer

by Jane Ashley

Every cancer patient says that the diagnosis was a shock. After the news settles in and we begin to process our new reality, we may begin to feel many different emotions. Feeling distressed, down, anger or weepy is totally normal when we are first diagnosed, but how long should these deep, dark feelings last? Is it normal to feel this way? Or could our feelings be signs of depression?

Lonliness

What are the symptoms of depression?

It’s normal to experience strong reactions to our diagnosis, but if...

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5 Side Effects of Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Treatment You Must Know About

by GregP_WN

Head and neck cancer includes cancer from the throat up, including salivary cancer, tonsil cancer, tongue cancer, thyroid cancer, laryngeal, esophageal cancer, adenoid cancer, including subtypes of each. There are specific types of diagnoses for these also, making for a large group of head and neck cancer diagnoses. 

Head And Neck Cancer Stat

The treatments for each will vary, but often include a variety of chemo regimens, surgery, and radiation. While chemo has it's own set of side effects, and many of them...

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Frustration - A Big Side Effect of Cancer

by Jane Ashley

Nowhere is frustration ever listed as a possible side effect of cancer, but as we all learn soon enough, frustration is a BIG side effect of cancer.
Frustration comes from all angles – from the diagnosis process to the waiting for treatment to begin to the crazy/stupid things people tell you to do to cure your cancer. So let’s look at frustration. My bet is that most of you have already experienced several of these frustrations.

A Hug Will Have To Do

Waiting for the diagnosis.

How long did it take for you to get...

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Low Platelets - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

by Jane Ashley

Nothing is more frustrating to hear on the morning of chemo than, “No chemo for you today. Your platelet count is too low.” The chemo that we once feared has become our friend. We want our chemo because we’re afraid for it to even be delayed for a week. We realize that chemo is our best hope to beat this.

Low Platelets

But now, our oncologist is telling us that we can’t have chemo today. So we’re wondering, “What are platelets? Why are they so important that I can’t have chemo if there are low?”

What are...

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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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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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Coping With Cancer Treatments Through Summer

by Jane Ashley

Welcome summer…we’ve missed you. The official first day of summer is June 21, but hot temperatures are already here for most of us. Hot weather brings some different issues to the forefront for us as cancer patients – how hot weather and strong sunlight affect us as cancer patients and survivors.

Officially Summer

Sun Exposure

Fluorouracil, commonly known as 5FU, may cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun. 5FU is a common chemotherapy drug used to treat breast, colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, ...

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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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Tips to Avoid Weight Loss During Chemo or After Surgery

by Jane Ashley

Loss of appetite (due to nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, difficulty in swallowing or taste changes) leads to unintentional weight loss during chemo. Unless your oncology team has recommended that you lose weight, it’s best to maintain your weight and muscle mass during treatment.

Losing Weight During Chemo Or After Surgery

Be sure to tell your oncologist about these symptoms and their impact on your appetite.

• Nausea/vomiting . Your oncologist team wants to help you avoid nausea, but they can’t help you if you don’t tell them....

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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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