Cancer Care Tips Archive

Heading to the Beach? Don't forget the sunscreen!
Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply after sweating or swimming. Limit your time in the sun during the hours of 10am and 2pm.

When a family member or friend has been diagnosed with cancer . . .
  • Be yourself
  • Have an understanding attitude
  • Ask what you can do to help
  • Let them talk about their illness, but don't pressure them to talk
  • Be empathetic
  • Consider a quality visit rather than a lengthy one
  • Hold their hand
  • Smile

A Note About Skin Cancer
Did you know . . . non-melanoma skin cancers are highly curable, however, of the 1,000,000 people diagnosed each year, 2,000 will die. Protect your exposed skin from UV radiation.

When a Mole Becomes Something Else
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Moles or other dark spots are the usual areas for melanoma development. Not all changes are an indication of cancer, but you should get any suspicious area checked out by your physician.

Have You Had Your Mammogram?
The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is over 98% when detected early. One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Regular mammograms, monthly breast self-exams and regular exams by your physician are your best defense in the early detection of breast cancer.

Charbroiled cancer?
Meat or chicken cooked at very high temperatures on the grill or in the frying pan can increase your risk of cancer. Should you toss out the grill? No, just enjoy grilled meats occasionally. When you do grill, don't eat any burnt or blackened parts. Pre-cook meat in the oven or microwave then complete cooking on the grill. Also, eat smaller portions of grilled meats.

Isn't Air Pollution Just as Bad as Smoking?
Smoking causes a much greater risk of lung cancer than air pollution. People often overestimate the risks that are out of their control while underestimating risks caused by their own actions.

Rumor Put to Rest
Antiperspirant DOES NOT cause breast cancer. Extensive study does not show any link between the use of underarm antiperspirant and developing breast cancer.

Can Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors?

Although a few studies did suggest a link with certain brain tumors, most large population studies did not reveal a consistent correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors.

Are Tanning Beds Safe?
The primary cause of skin cancer is UV radiation from the sun. However, artificial sources of UV radiation, like those used in tanning beds (or booths) can also cause skin cancer.

Plant Foods that "Phyte" Cancer
Plant foods, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and other dark green, yellow or orange vegetables, contain phytochemicals which can slow cancer cell growth.

Just the Flax, M'am
Flaxseed has been linked to cancer protection as well as cholesterol reduction. Flaxseed, which contains phytochemicals, particularly plant estrogen, may reduce breast cancer risk. However, women already diagnosed with breast cancer should limit their intake of flax.

Great American Smokeout (3rd Thursday in November)
Come on, commit to quit for just 24 hours. You never know, you might just decide to do it for life . . . your life.

Tea . . . Drink to Your Health
Science is now backing up long time claims of the health benefits of tea. Both black and green tea contain catechins and flavonoids, which are antioxidants, that aid in cancer and heart disease prevention. Don't forget that tea does contain caffeine, so enjoy in moderation.

Support Groups
Did you know that patients who participate in support groups live longer and feel better than those who decide to go it alone. Consider getting involved in a support group to learn from the experience of others, express your feelings and share information with those facing the same life challenge.

Help Yourself While Helping Others
Reaching out to others in need can do wonders for your own healing. Consider volunteering if you're able or offer assistance to others in your neighborhood or church.

Get Your Cancer Answers
Gathering information and getting answers about your cancer diagnosis is an empowering activity. Learn everything you can about your disease and stage, prognosis and treatment options.

Media Reports or Tumor Rumors?
Do you have questions about a report you've read in the paper or seen on television? Ask your health care team or call the Cancer Advocacy Center. Because these reports are often very brief, they may not include all the pertinent facts.

Cancer Gene Scene
About 5 - 10% of cancers are caused by an inherited faulty gene which predisposes an individual to an increased risk of a particular cancer. If you have a strong family history of cancer, genetic counseling may be helpful to evaluate your cancer risk. Call our genetics counselor for more information or to make an appointment 877-680-0008.

Preserving your Self-Image
The esthetic side effects of cancer treatment do not mean you can't look your best. Cookie's Place Boutique can be your one-stop shop for a top quality wig and accessories, hats, turbans and other products to help you enhance your image and preserve your self-esteem as you journey through this life challenge.

Bladder Cancer and Cigarette Smoking

Bladder cancer doesn't usually come to mind when most people think about the risks associated with cigarette smoking. However, statistics show that cigarette smoking is the number one cause of bladder cancer. Other risk factors such as age and family history can not be controlled but we do have control over whether we smoke or not.

Prostate Cancer Prevention
Diet can play an important part in the prevention of prostate cancer. Eat less fat and more fruits, vegetables and grains. Also, tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon are excellent sources of lycopene, a substance shown to prevent damage to DNA and may help lower prostate cancer risk.

What are some of the risk factors for developing Colorectal Cancer?
  • Risk factors include:
  • Family or personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Ethnic background - Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews)
  • Personal history of intestinal polyps or chronic inflammatory bowel disease
  • Aging - risk increases markedly after age 50
  • Diet mostly from animal sources
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol - heavy use

What causes Ovarian Cancer?
We still don't know what causes ovarian cancer, however, some risk factors have been identified including:
  • Having a first child after age 30
  • Age - most occur after menopause after age 65
  • Long term use of fertility drugs
  • Menstrual history - number of cycles in the lifetime (early onset of menstruation and/or late menopause)
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Diet - limit intake of red meat, increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Cervical Cancer: A Risk Factor You Can Control
Infection with HPV (human papillomavirus) is a major risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. The disease is typically transmitted during sex. Your risk of HPV is increased if you have unprotected sex, especially at an early age. Risk is also increased if you have sex with multiple partners or a partner who has had many partners.  The FDA recently approved a HPV vaccine (Gardasil) which can prevent most types of HPV.  It is recommended for girls ages 9-26 prior to becoming sexually active.  Consult your physician or daughter's physician for more details.

Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer: What Role Does Estrogen Play?
Estrogen is responsible for the development and changes of the reproductive system during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy. Progesterone is another hormone responsible for physiologic changes. Each are normally produced in certain balanced amounts. Continuous exposure to estrogen without the balancing effect of progesterone is a major risk factor for the development of endometrial cancer.

True or False: Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer?
False. A circulated email rumor stated that underwire bras cause a compaction of the lymphatic system of the breast and cause breast cancer. No valid scientific study shows any correlation with wearing underwire or other types of bras and the development of breast cancer.

Cancer Rumors, Hoaxes and Urban Legends
These are spreading like wildfire especially since the advent of email. Rumors often contain some truthful bits of information but are usually based on anecdotal claims. Hoaxes are false, deliberately deceptive claims intended to frighten. Urban legends are typically false though believable as they spread over time. If you are concerned about information you've read, particularly information circulated in email or on the internet, verify the information with a reliable source of cancer information.

Coping With Cancer
Facing a cancer diagnosis can create fear, confusion and a sense of helplessness. Here's a list of little things you can do to help you cope:
Cry, let yourself grieve.
Ask for help - people are eager to help; have a list of things to suggest when someone offers help.
Confide in someone who will let you get your feelings out.
Give hugs to others when you need comfort.
Pray - rely on your spiritual faith.

Consider Clinical Trials When Deciding on Cancer Treatment
Clinical trials are basically research studies done on people. Whether you participate or not should depend on a complete discussion with your oncologist about the risks and benefits. Only 4% of adult cancer patients choose to take part in a study. The primary reason people give for not participating is not knowing they were eligible. Ultimately, participating in a clinical trial is a personal decision. Make sure you know all the facts before deciding.

Pain Management
Managing pain is an important part of your overall treatment. No one knows your pain better than you do and you're the best person to openly and honestly discuss pain control with your doctor. There's no reason to suffer in silence.