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    When to Buy Organic: 2017 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

    Many people believe that the pesticides used to grow conventional or non-organic produce may have played a role in their cancer and that removing pesticides from our food may help re-build and strengthen their bodies.  Although there is no definitive research proving either belief, should we avoid buying some or all fruits or vegetables that are conventionally grown?   To help answer this question, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, created the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  This guide, which is updated each year, highlights the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables. The EWG recommends that if a conventionally grown food tests high for pesticides, buy the organic version instead whenever possible. The 12 most pesticide-laden foods are known as “The Dirty Dozen”. When choosing fruits & veggies included in the Dirty Dozen, the EWG suggests buying these foods as ORGANIC. The 15 least pesticide-laden foods are known as “The Clean 15″. If the fruit or veggie is listed on the Clean 15, it’s ok to buy it as non-organic or conventional.

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    6 Signs It May Be Time to Fire Your Oncologist

    In case you missed my article for Huffington Post, I am reposting it here on CancerHawk…  After reading it, let us know if you’ve ever “fired” a doctor… What was YOUR reason?   We all know there is no such thing as a perfect doctor. We also know that no doctor always says the right thing, no doctor knows all the answers, and no doctor can always be there for us whenever we want them to be. With that said, there are instances when you may need to find a doctor that is better suited for you. So how do you know when it’s time to make a switch? 1. Your oncologist doesn’t think you should get a second opinion. Second opinions are extremely important. They will either confirm what you’ve already been told or present different options to weigh. Although most doctors welcome another physician’s input, there are some that do not. Those doctors may even get frustrated or angry when you suggest talking to another professional. If your oncologist doesn’t support your getting a second opinion, thenSWITCH doctors. Remember, getting additional opinions may be required at different points in your care — not just at the initial diagnosis. 2. You don’t feel comfortable talking to your oncologist. Being best friends with your oncologist is not required. You don’t even have to like your doctor. But you do have to feel comfortable talking to them about anything related to your health. If you are too embarrassed to tell your doctor something, get […]

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    21 Tips for The Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patient

        Discovering you have cancer can trigger many emotions, including fear and confusion.  As you begin to navigate the complexities of cancer, connecting with other people in the same situation can be extremely helpful.  WhatNext.com is a great resource to met other people in your exact shoes.  I love the advice they gathered in their blog post “21 Tips for the Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patient- from Survivors” which I’ve re-posted below. Once you or a loved one are faced with a cancer diagnosis, you have so many questions, fears and concerns. How am I going to get through this? Where do I begin? It’s scary and not easy. We’ve turned to our WhatNexters (people who have joined the What Next community) and asked them what advice they would give to someone who is newly diagnosed with cancer and needs support. They’ve been through it, hopefully their words of wisdom can help. 1. Assemble your team. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a team to beat cancer. Once you accept you have cancer and have a journey in front of you, it’s time to assemble your team. The team isn’t just doctors and nurses, but also family and friends, and even strangers. There are so many aspects of the journey ahead that you can never prepare for. Accepting help and gathering a support system is critical. It also helps to know you are not alone in the journey. — CarolLHRN 2. Know who you […]

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    Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

    Remember the first time you saw a commercial for Chia Pets, those funny looking planters that come in different animal shapes?  My favorite though is the one of a man’s head… one minute he’s bald and the next minute, he’s got a head full of chia. Well, those same chia seeds used to grow “hair” (which is really just chia sprouts) on your Chia Pet actually have amazing health benefits.   *** BTW, the chia seeds you get in a Chia Pet have not been approved as food from the FDA so get yours from a legit health-food store or online from a reputable distributor.   Can You Eat Chia Seeds? Chia is an edible seed that has been around since 3500BC.  These seeds are mild tasting and sort of have a nutty flavor. In fact, chia was a staple in the diet of the ancient Aztec & Mayan people.  In addition, the Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain & sore skin. Chia seeds are considered a “superfood” because they are super nutritious. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids as well as tons of vitamins & minerals and they are an excellent source of fiber.  They are packed with antioxidants and are full of protein.  In fact, chia seeds contain 5 times more calcium than milk, 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 3 times more iron than spinach, twice the potassium content of banana and 8 times more omega-3 than salmon!  To read more about […]

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    Should People with Cancer Get a Flu Shot?

    This year, September 22 marks the official start of Fall.  Along with cooler temperatures, changing leaves, football games and warm apple cider can come the flu. Each year, millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from the flu. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months (who have no contraindications) get vaccinated for the flu.  In fact, doctor’s offices around the country are vaccinating their patients for the upcoming 2017-2018 flu season NOW.  But should people with cancer get vaccinated? Below is important information that every cancer patient & survivor should know about the 2017-2018 flu: People who have had cancer or who currently have a diagnosis of cancer- as well as their families and close contacts- should get vaccinated for the flu before the end of October. Having or surviving cancer does NOT put you at an increased risk for getting the flu per se. It does, however, put you at an increased risk of complications from the flu virus. Complications can include pneumonia, hospitalization and even death. Because people with cancer are at an increased risk of pneumonia, talk to your health care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine when you discuss the flu shot. The flu shot is a seasonal vaccine. Every year it gets updated to protect against the strains of flu virus expected to cause illness in the upcoming flu season. Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against […]

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    Hurricane Safety: 10 Tips to Get Prepared

      Hurricane season just beginning and yet another monster storm is nearing the U.S. Forecasters say Irma could be the most powerful hurricane to strike the Atlantic coast in more than a decade. Studies have shown that if disaster strikes, about half of adults in the U.S. do not have the resources and plans in place for a possible emergency.  Add a cancer diagnosis into the mix, especially if you are in active treatment, and one of these storms could wreak tremendous havoc on your health. Here are 10 tips to help cancer patients be prepared in the event of a hurricane: Stock up on at least a 3-day supply of food and water. Set aside at least one gallon of bottled water per person, per day. If the person with cancer is taking medication that makes them extra thirsty, plan on having even more water. Stock up on foods that are easy to make and don’t need refrigeration Try canned soup, dry pasta, energy bars, peanut butter, crackers and canned fruit. And don’t forget that you’ll need a manual (non-electric) can opener. Talk with your doctor about any vitamin, mineral, or protein supplement to help you get the nutrition you need. If you have pets make sure you have enough food and water for them too, as well as any meds they need for aliments. Make sure your meds supply is up-to-date and you have all you need for a few days or longer.   Keep all medicines with you in […]