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Healing & Hope Blog (Cancer Care)

Stress Management

Posted 6/24/2016 by UHBlog

Both during and after treatment, it’s normal to have stress over all the life changes you are going through. Anxiety means you have extra worry, can’t relax, and feel tense.

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Health Briefs

Posted 6/13/2016 by UHBlog

University Hospitals will open Ohio’s first proton therapy center in July, providing convenient access for patients and families at the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH Seidman Cancer Center.

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A bright future ahead

Posted 6/13/2016 by NEHA SHETH, MD
Pediatrician, Northeast Pediatrics
Clinical Instructor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Some people say that a mother knows her child better than anyone, picking up on subtle changes that others may not notice. Such was the case for Amy Corbett. She saw a brief glow in the left eye of her then 2-year-old daughter, Myla, that she had not noticed before. Thinking she was seeing things, Amy let it go. But when it happened again, Amy knew she needed to act.

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Coming Out To Your Provider

Posted 6/9/2016 by UHBlog

For LGBT people with cancer, coming out to your health care provider can be an important step on the cancer journey. When LGBT people don’t have a health care provider that they can trust, they are less likely to make or keep appointments. They may not feel safe sharing info that a provider needs to give complete care. Finding an LGBT-positive provider allows you to use all of the support that is offered. It means that you can focus on coping with your cancer and treatment instead of worrying about keeping who you are, and the meaningful people in your life, a secret.

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Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer

Posted 5/27/2016 by UHBlog

It’s that time of year again – warm weather, sun and being outside more often than we are inside. It’s also a good time to remind ourselves that anyone can get skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. but many types of skin cancer can be prevented.

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May is Cancer Research Month

Posted 5/17/2016 by UHBlog

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Clinical Trials App

Cancer research includes clinical trials which are research studies used to find new cancer treatments, improve current cancer treatments and learn more about cancer. New treatments found through clinical trials can help improve cancer patient’s quality of life.

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May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Posted 5/1/2016 by UHBlog

Every day, more than 100 adults in the U.S. find out that they have a brain tumor. Having a brain tumor is a shock that leads to many questions and feelings. The gray ribbon represents brain tumor awareness because healthy brain matter is often referred to as gray matter. What is a brain tumor? A brain tumor forms when cells in the brain begin to grow out of control. These cells form a mass of tissue or tumor. Sometimes a brain tumor is also called a brain lesion. Lesion is a word used to descr...

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Hospice Can Help

Posted 4/22/2016 by UHBlog

When we hear hospice, we may think all hope is lost and the end is near. But what many people say after they have hospice care is, ‘why didn’t we start hospice sooner?’ Sometimes cancer treatment to cure may no longer be an option. Treatment might not help, or it may make the person with cancer more uncomfortable. This is when hospice can help. The focus of hospice is on caring, not curing. Hospice care doesn’t treat the illness but it does relieve suffering. Each of us h...

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Distress and Cancer

Posted 4/11/2016 by UHBlog

Distress is when a person feels that they cannot manage or cope with cancer. It can leave you feeling helpless, sad or afraid. Often, people find it hard to cope and adjust when: Finding out about the cancer and before a treatment plan is in place The cancer has spread or come back Treatment is finished Most people with cancer will have distress from time to time at any point in their cancer journey. Having a plan can help. Doing things that ease stress can help you cope. Examples...

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Being Aware of Food Supplements

Posted 3/14/2016 by UHBlog

A recent study found that 20-90 percent of cancer patients use some type of food supplement1. Supplements include vitamins, minerals and herbs. They can be used to help appetite, nutrition and wound healing; but there are other things about using supplements that people with cancer need to know. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t check supplement content. This makes it hard to know what really is in certain products. Some supplements may have no active ingredients at all, whil...

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Posted 3/10/2016 by UHBlog

Colorectal cancer in the third most common type of cancer in the U.S. This type of cancer starts in the colon or rectum, which are parts of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth, called a polyp, in the inner wall of the colon or rectum; sometimes polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can save lives and prevent colorectal cancer. People 50 years or older should be screened for colorectal cancer. To learn more about colon cancer and screening: T...

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Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

Posted 2/22/2016 by UHBlog

Even though they are scientifically wrong, certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads might seem to make sense. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions. This page provides the latest science-based information about some common cancer myths and misconceptions. Is cancer a death sentence? In the U.S., the likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some canc...

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Immunotherapy: Teaching the Body to Fight Cancer

Posted 2/15/2016 by UHBlog

The immune system helps protect us from germs and other health problems by keeping track of all substances found in the body. When an unknown substance appears, the immune system sees it as something strange and attacks it. Cancer cells are able to hide from the immune system. Experts don’t know exactly why this happens. Immunotherapy is a new treatment that is changing cancer care by using a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. It teaches the body to kill cancer cells in two ...

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Chemo Brain

Posted 1/11/2016 by UHBlog

“Chemo brain” is a term used to describe problems with thinking that may happen before, during or after cancer treatment. Many people say having chemo brain feels like their mind is in a fog. Even though it’s called chemo brain, these problems can happen with chemo or radiation treatments. Chemo brain can make it hard to pay attention, learn new things, and call to mind things like names, dates and common words. The cause of chemo brain is not known. People who have chemo or r...

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Cookbook Look: Recipes for Before, During and After Cancer Treatment

Posted 12/28/2015 by UHBlog

During cancer treatment, you may feel there are few things you can control. One of them is what you eat. Making new food choices and cooking new recipes may be overwhelming at first. But there are several cookbooks dedicated to people with cancer. Below is only a sample of what is available. Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes by Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno Ms. Carr is the author of “Crazy Sexy Cancer.” She carries on her goal to empower those with cancer to change th...

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Health Benefits of Quitting Tobacco Use

Posted 12/23/2015 by UHBlog

Many types of cancers are caused from using tobacco. People who use smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) have a higher risk of cancers of the mouth. There is no safe level of tobacco use. People who use any type of tobacco product are strongly urged to quit. People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, can improve their life expectancy compared with those who still smoke. Also, quitting smoking at the time of a cancer diagnosis lowers the risk of death. Good things happen as soon as...

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Becoming a Parent after Cancer Treatment

Posted 12/3/2015 by UHBlog

More than ever, people with cancer need to think about life after treatment and having children. Over the last 20 years, the way cancer is found and treated has improved. People are being diagnosed younger and living longer. Certain types of surgery, chemo and radiation can make it hard or impossible to have a child later on. Studies suggest that about 75 percent of younger people with cancer would like to have children after treatment ends [1]. Yet, only about 30 percent talk to their cancer ...

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Talking with Children about Cancer

Posted 11/16/2015 by UHBlog

Things to think about before you talk Like adults, children are affected by changes and major life events. When an adult they care about has cancer, it is important to know how children are feeling and allow them to express these feelings when they need to. Children benefit when adults give them honest facts that are best suited to their age. Adults can help them talk about their feelings and be on hand when questions or concerns arise. Parents and other caregivers are often the best people to h...

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Cancer Patient Deals with the Fear by Focusing on the Future

Posted 11/2/2015 by UHBlog

Sue Bowman, a wife, mother and grandmother, talks about the fear she felt when she was originally diagnosed with throat cancer: her fear of not surviving, of enduring treatments that would make her even sicker, and the fear of the unknown. Understanding that her fears were normal for any cancer patient, Sue was able to deal with the fear by focusing on the future, and looking forward to the day when she would be cancer-free. To learn more about how UH Seidman Cancer Center can help patients a...

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A Caregiver’s Perspective on the Cancer Journey

Posted 11/2/2015 by UHBlog

When Bill Everett’s wife, Julie, was diagnosed with breast cancer, both of their lives changed in an instant. Bill talks about the journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival from the perspective of a husband and caregiver, and how it is equally important to remember to take care of yourself. To learn more about how UH Seidman Cancer Center can help patients and their families, visit our Support and Wellbeing section.

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Sex and Cancer

Posted 10/30/2015 by UHBlog

It's common for people to have problems with sex because of cancer and their cancer treatment. When your treatment is over, you may feel like having sex again. Until then, you and your spouse or partner may need to find new ways to show that you care about each other. This can include touching, holding, hugging and cuddling. Tell Your Partner How You Feel Talk to your partner about any concerns that you have about your sex life. Be open about your feelings and stay positive to avoid bla...

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Complementary Therapies and Integrative Medicine: Choices for Your Cancer Journey

Posted 10/12/2015 by UHBlog

Complementary therapies are health care practices that are not a part of standard medicine. Complementary therapies do not replace standard medicine but are used along with it. Integrative medicine describes standard medical treatment used along with complementary therapy. It is the pursuit of well-being regardless of the presence or absence of disease. Many complementary practices are used by cancer patients. The 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed that 63 percent of respondents...

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Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day is October 13

Posted 10/5/2015 by UHBlog

Metastatic breast cancer is also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer. At University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, we offer one of the only support and education groups in Northeast Ohio for women with stage IV breast cancer. Led by a social worker, the group meets once a month at University Hospitals Westlake Health Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To learn more or to register, call Kerri Mazzone at 440-250-2017. You can also learn more about our other classes and support groups through t...

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September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Posted 9/18/2015 by UHBlog

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. SCD is estimated to affect 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. Although not a type of cancer, sickle cell disease is often treated by our doctors because it is a blood disorder. Sickle cell is a lifelong disease that can cause many problems such as painful crises, stroke and infections. Our monthly Sickle Cell Support Group offers support and education for people with sickle cell disease. Led by a social work...

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Caring For Yourself Now That You Have Cancer

Posted 9/3/2015 by Kim Day

No one expects to get a cold, let alone a cancer diagnosis. As a social worker who has worked with cancer patients for 26 years, I know it is overwhelming, intense and life altering to hear the words “you’ve got cancer.” Just as you are emotionally coming to grips with what a cancer diagnosis means to you, in real terms; your body may be experiencing major side effects from treatment that impact your ability to emotionally cope. But there are things that you can do to sustain...

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September is National Food Safety Education Month

Posted 9/1/2015 by UHBlog

When certain bacteria, viruses or parasites contaminate food, they can cause foodborne illness. People with weak immune systems due to cancer are more likely to get sick from contaminated food. There are things you and your caregivers can do to safely handle and prepare your food to avoid foodborne illness. To learn more: Visit www.foodsafety.gov. This site includes general food safety information, as well as details about recent food recalls and alerts. You can sign up to get food recall ...

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When Someone You Love Has Cancer

Posted 8/17/2015 by UHBlog

As a caregiver, you try to strike a balance each day. You have to care for the person with cancer while keeping up with the demands of family and work. Your focus tends to be on the patient’s needs. But it’s also necessary to stay in tune with your own needs. Many people who care for someone with cancer describe the experience as a personal journey. They say it has changed them forever. This is much like the way people with cancer describe their experience. It’s not something ...

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Art: A Way to Creatively Cope

Posted 8/4/2015 by UHBlog

Art therapy is a creative choice for coping with cancer. It’s based on the thinking that being creative can be healing. A trained art therapist talks with and guides group members to help them express their feelings. Art therapy may help people with cancer, their friends, family and caregivers: Deal with feelings Lower stress, fear and worry Gain a sense of freedom Art therapy is much more than just doing crafts for fun or to relax. And you don’t have to be artistic...

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Can You Catch Anything from Your Antiperspirant and Other Breast Cancer Myths

Posted 7/28/2015 by UHBlog

Learn the truth about breast cancer risks, treatments, prevention and detection methods. Ask us. The fear of breast cancer keeps many women awake at night with scary, unwanted thoughts. And while it's true that one-eighth of all women will be diagnosed with this disease during their lifetime, the rumors and half-truths that surround breast cancer make it one of the most misunderstood illnesses. Although fear of the unknown is normal, knowledge is power, says breast imaging diagnostic radiologi...

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Have You Gone to Chemo Class?

Posted 7/20/2015 by UHBlog

Did you know we have a chemo class? Our nurses teach a one-time, 90 minute class about how chemo works, common side effects and problems you need to call your doctor about.

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Cancer Treatment: How Integrative Medicine Can Nix Side Effects

Posted 7/10/2015 by UHBlog

You don’t have to feel miserable while undergoing cancer treatment. Find out how integrative medicine can help. If you’re undergoing cancer treatment, you know how draining it can be. Conventional cancer treatments can zap you emotionally, nutritionally and physically. But integrative medicine may help you weather your treatment a little easier. According to Lina Sbrocco, a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist at University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network, the...

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When Cancer Changes the Way You Look

Posted 6/29/2015 by UHBlog

Hair loss, skin changes, weight changes and being tired are side effects of cancer treatment that can change the way you look. Maybe you’ve noticed that people don’t look at you the same way that they used to, or that some people don’t even recognize you. Maybe you don’t want to go out much because you feel “ugly”, “fat”, “skinny” or “bald”. Do you wonder if you will ever feel comfortable with yourself or pretty again? Are ...

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Embracing the Beauty of Fall In Spite of Fatigue

Posted 6/22/2015 by UHBlog

Fatigue with its weary, heavy, worn out feeling doesn’t go away with the beauty of fall and changing of the seasons. Instead, dealing with fatigue can be even harder in the fall when days begin to get shorter and the weather gets cooler. Here are some ways to manage fatigue and enjoy the fall at the same time: Relax. On nice days sit outside in a comfortable chair and read a book or write in a journal. Take time to experience the sounds, smells and feeling of fall. Close your eyes then ...

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On the Labyrinth: Always the Correct Way

Posted 6/15/2015 by UHBlog

Did you know University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, on the main campus in Cleveland, Ohio, has a healing garden? The Schneider Healing Garden is a beautiful area in the middle of a noisy urban setting. It is surprisingly quiet and calming. In the center of the garden is an inlaid granite path. It is called a labyrinth. Unlike a maze that has dead ends and is made to confuse people, labyrinths have only one path that leads to the center. Our labyrinth is based on an 800-year-old design insi...

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3D Mammography Improves Cancer Detection

Posted 6/8/2015 by rgriffith

$(document).ready(function() { $('.youtube-lightbox').magnificPopup({ type: 'iframe', iframe: { patterns: { youtube: { src: '//www.youtube.com/embed/qgL1g3LXBvU?autoplay=1&rel=0' } } } }); }); One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Regular screening is key: The survival rate is 97 percent for early detection. The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 or over get an annual mammogram, which is an x-ray of the...

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New Breast Cancer Discovery at UH

Posted 6/1/2015 by UHBlog

Women with breast cancer are living longer these days – largely because of advances in treatment and therapy. One of these advances recently occurred at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, where researchers made a discovery about triple-negative breast cancer that may help predict how women with this type of cancer will respond to treatment. Triple-negative breast cancer occurs most commonly in younger women and African-American women, and it’s difficult to treat. “Tri...

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6 Ways to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk

Posted 5/25/2015 by UHBlog

“One-eighth of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime,” warns Donna Plecha, MD, a radiologist specializing in breast cancer. “It’s the leading cause of cancer death in women.” Breast cancer can be hereditary – and you can’t change your genes – but there are many things you can control. Dr. Plecha offers her guidance for reducing your risk. 1. Cut the booze If you drink alcohol heavily, it’s time to revisit and revise you...

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Colon Cancer Rates Are On the Decline

Posted 5/18/2015 by UHBlog

Good news in the wake of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Colorectal cancer rates are down among older Americans. A new report from the American Cancer Society reveals that colon cancer incidence in people age 50 and older have fallen by 30 percent in the last decade. The decrease is especially pronounced in those over the age of 65. Research indicates the remarkable decline is due to the increased frequency of colonoscopy screenings, according to gastroenterologist, Gregory Cooper,...

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6 Biggest Myths About Colon Cancer

Posted 5/11/2015 by UHBlog

Myth 1: If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a screening. Truth: Gastroenterologist Gregory Cooper, MD, explains that colon cancer and most colon polyps don’t always produce symptoms in its early stages. Colon cancer occurs when a polyp in the lower bowel or large intestine develops into a tumor. “The vast majority of polyps,” says Dr. Cooper, “don’t cause symptoms and if removed could prevent cancer from spreading.” Myth 2: Colon cancer ...

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