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The Transition from Cancer Patient to Survivor

cancersurvivor

I attended a cancer continuing education course back in ’10-‘11 which covered all manner of topics related to patients that have been diagnosed with cancer. One of the most interesting pieces of advice that our speaker gave and that many different groups are taking up as well is that an individual becomes a cancer survivor the moment they are diagnosed. Maybe it would be difficult for you, but I know that personally it would take me less than 2 minutes to name at least 10 people or more that have been diagnosed with some type of cancer within the last 1-2 years alone. Survivorship is extremely different and personal to each individual and can even be separated into different descriptive terms depending on the stage that person is at within their care:

  • Acute survivorship – refers to right after diagnosis or during treatment
  • Extended survivorship – completion of treatment or several months post
  • Permanent survivorship – after treatment has been completed and measured in years Continue Reading »

Newborn screening for Cystic Fibrosis: a vital first test

newbornscreening

May was National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, but it’s never a bad time to be mindful of the condition that affects approximately one in 2,500 to one in 3,500 Caucasian newborns. Cystic fibrosis causes thick, sticky mucus to build up and impact certain organs such as the lungs and pancreas. To facilitate early treatment and minimize symptoms, all infants in Wisconsin are tested for cystic fibrosis during their newborn screenings.

Newborn screening, a test that reaches each of the more than four million babies born in the United States every year, is coordinated on the state level by the public health department. It ensures that all babies are screened for certain serious conditions at birth, and it allows providers to immediately start treatment for babies who are identified with a condition. This testing is important because many babies born with one of the testable conditions may not initially look or act differently, so parents and providers may not otherwise know there is a reason to be concerned. The sooner a condition is caught, the more proactive providers can be with treatment. Continue Reading »

St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services actively seeking recruits

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Would you or someone you know—a neighbor, parent, or college student—make a great volunteer? St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services is looking for enthusiastic and energetic volunteers who want to stay active and have fun while helping others. If you’re interested in helping ensure patients receive the best care possible, you’re exactly the kind of volunteer that is needed.

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At least one four-hour shift once a week is ideal. As a volunteer, you can:

  • Meet new people and create friendships
  • Share talents, skills and experiences
  • Assist our patients, visitors and associates
  • Explore health care careers
    • Gain information, education or training
    • Use Affinity library services
    • Attend Affinity Health System training and development courses
    • Participate in a variety of special programs offered by Affinity Health System.
    • Make a difference in our community

These and other benefits are waiting for volunteers at St. Elizabeth Hospital. If you would like to make a meaningful difference in our community, fill out the online application here. Students ages 15-18 who are looking to volunteer can find opportunities to do so with the St. Elizabeth Student Program.

Studies show that volunteers feel good physically and emotionally when they help others, and volunteer assignments are matched to individual talents and interests. It’s easy to get started. For more information or to apply, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services section online at affinityhealth.org/volunteer or call us at 920.738.2425

How to Manage Stress Related to Cancer

cancer

Imagine having a medical test and getting the phone call that there is something abnormal, and more testing is necessary to determine if it’s cancer. Not knowing is a very difficult emotional state. It’s likely that your body will react to this with adrenal hormones like cortisol and its fight or flight response. This leads to racing hearts and minds, difficulty sleeping, tight muscles, digestive problems, and a sense of dis-ease. If this stress response continues, it can affect every cell and organ in your body and impair your body’s ability to heal.

Fortunately, there are many things a person can do to help manage the stress related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Social support is essential; allow others to be involved and accept the care you need. Find ways to do the things that normally bring you peace—like physical activity, time in nature or worship services. For many people, spiritual practices or spiritual counseling are very helpful.

Physical activity is a powerful stress reducer. Our bodies are meant to move every day, so keeping as active as possible is important. On the other hand, it’s important to listen to your body, and not over-do it, especially during cancer treatment. Regular exercise can help give a sense of control and remind people of the strength of their minds and bodies. It is also proven to help prevent cancer recurrences. Continue Reading »

Strawberries – a tasty and nutritious treat

strawberries

It’s strawberry season! Well…it’s supposed to be strawberry season. However, spring’s late arrival has delayed Wisconsin’s harvest of these precious fruits.

These small, dimpled, delicious red berries are a favorite for many. They happen to be low in calories and high in Vitamin C, potassium, manganese and fiber. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cellular damage, and potassium may help regulate blood pressure. Manganese is a mineral that helps with bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. Strawberries also contain chemical compounds called phenols; phenols have shown some promise in the fight against many inflammatory disorders. Most of all, strawberries are a tasty treat!

Choosing the perfect strawberry is not tricky. The first thing you should know is that strawberries come in different sizes depending on their variety, growing conditions and time of picking. Smaller strawberries tend to be tastier and best for popping in your mouth for a refreshing fruit treat. Bigger strawberries can be used for baking or to make smoothies. These berries should be dry, firm and fully ripe for the best taste. The caps (leaves on the top of the fruit) should look green and fresh. If the cap has been removed, the berry will wilt faster. Wash berries just prior to eating, as wet berries will soften and wilt very fast. Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.