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8 Healthy Foods for Cancer Patients

healthyfoodsNutrition is an important part of remaining healthy for everyone, but for individuals receiving cancer treatment, nutrition is critical. Side effects of treatment—such as nausea or decreased appetite—can make eating a healthy, well-balanced diet challenging. While not all foods work for everyone, below is a list of foods to assist in maintaining adequate nutrition when fighting through the side effects of cancer treatment.

  1. Eggs – Extra protein may be necessary at times during treatment and eggs are a great source for it, packing in seven grams per egg. Egg yolk is also rich in vitamins D and E. In some studies, vitamin E, an antioxidant, was shown to protect the body from the powerful toxins of cancer drugs that cause side effects.
  2. Ginger – Chemotherapy treatments are known for causing nausea and vomiting. From ginger supplements to ginger ale, ginger has been found to help reduce chemotherapy side effects.
  3. Soy – Soy contains a phytoestrogen called Genistein, which studies show to be toxic to cancer cells. Genistein may also assist in making chemotherapy work faster by helping the drugs kill tumor cells or inhibit further dividing. Sources of soy include tofu, soy flour, soy protein isolates and some dietary supplements. Discuss adding soy to your diet with your provider, as there are some contradictory findings with its efficacy. Continue Reading »

Combating cancer-related fatigue

cancerfatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, fatigue is the most common side effect found in individuals going through cancer treatments. In fact, about 90 percent of patients have fatigue while they are receiving treatment. While working with various individuals throughout different stages of diagnosis in treatment I have found this to be a fairly accurate symptom assessment. The main difference that most people do not understand is that cancer-related fatigue is completely different from everyday tiredness or fatigue. Cancer-related fatigue makes general activities such as shopping, showering, dressing, household chores or work extremely difficult. The other major difference is that it can occur without warning and is not relieved with rest. Cancer-related fatigue is physically, mentally and emotionally draining for an individual, and it affects their ability to actively participate in daily life.

Some sings of cancer-related fatigue are: Continue Reading »

Uncover your cancer risk with a genetic counselor

genetic counselor

Genetic counselors are specially trained health care professionals with skills in medical genetics and counseling who work in a variety of settings, including cancer genetic risk assessment. We provide information and support to families who may be at risk for inherited conditions.

Consider meeting with a genetic counselor if you or a relative (aunts/uncles, grandparents, cousins, parents, siblings, and children):

  • Have had cancer at a young age (before age 50), and/or
  • Had two or more separate cancers, and/or
  • Have multiple family members with cancer

A genetic counselor will evaluate your family health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk. If genetic testing is available, the counselor will tell you about the tests and help you decide if testing would be useful to you.

Continue Reading »

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

colon cancerMarch is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Did you know that it is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths? Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, affects men and women equally and is usually found in people ages 50 years or older. With the right precautions, colorectal cancer is preventable and can be detected early with regular screenings.

Since 90 percent of new cases occur in people ages 50 or older, it is recommended for men and woman to begin getting screened at that age. Survival rate for individuals who have early stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent but only 10 percent when diagnosed after it’s spread to other organs. Colonoscopies and other screenings help detect abnormalities and can save lives.

Remember, colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable in most cases. Screening and early detection is key!

To schedule your screening for colorectal cancer, call NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.

To show your support and help raise awareness for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, join us in wearing blue this Friday, March 7.

 

Mercy Health Foundation campaign kickoff!

awaken the dragFor the past couple of years, Mercy Health Foundation has been working to bring quality cancer care and support services close to home through its mercyStrong campaign. During the campaign’s quiet phase, generous donors helped Mercy Medical Center complete a much-needed technology update that includes a new TrueBeam linear accelerator for radiation treatment and a wide bore CT scanner simulator in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center.

The Mercy Health Foundation is now kicking off its “to be continued” public fundraising campaign and is inviting the community to help raise the remaining $271,000 needed to reach its charitable goal of $1.7 million. Continue Reading »

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