Radiation therapists do more than administer radiation treatment. These dedicated professionals also monitor medical equipment and computer programs, perform X-rays, assess patients' physical and psychosocial needs, and much more. We recently sat down with Jill Hoffman, RT(T), to learn more about the day-to-day relationship patients build with their radiation therapists.
By: Scot Ackerman, M.D. -- With every passing year, cancer survival rates improve. This is due in part to research findings, new treatment options, and preventive care. One important concept in preventive care is to take steps to reduce complications both before and after cancer treatment. Pre- and post-treatment care has been reported to greatly improve long-term quality of life for cancer survivors.
The financial impact of a cancer diagnosis can be staggering. Missed work time, transportation costs to and from treatment, co-pays, medication and medical supplies – the list goes on and on. To help deal with these unplanned costs, some patients are finding unique ways to finance their cancer care through social media.
By: Alan Forbes, M.D., Ph.D. -- Life in Florida for many people brings up the concern of developing skin cancer. Prevention of skin cancers is of prime importance because of the intense Florida sun and our outdoor lifestyle. But what if you have a skin cancer or a precancer? What should you do? What are your options?
Public awareness of specific cancer types has grown tremendously thanks to the efforts of survivors, family members, and patient advocacy groups. We are proud of the hard work that continues to go into this increased awareness, but we also believe that every cancer deserves the same amount of attention and support. Surprisingly, the cancers we hear the most about are not necessarily the most prevalent. There are numerous cancer types that are under-publicized and under-funded, yet they continue to affect individuals and families every day.
By: Scot Ackerman, M.D. -- The majority of patients being treated for head and neck cancer experience oral side effects, but dental problems can arise in patients undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. There are, however, steps patients can take to minimize these side effects.
An increasing body of scientific evidence shows that addressing the psychological and spiritual needs of cancer patients helps to facilitate their healing process.
By: Scot Ackerman, M.D. -- One of the most valuable features of the human body is its ability to protect itself against the invasion of abnormal cells. This powerful protection system, known as the immune system, uses a specific type of white blood cell, called a T-cell, to detect and destroy harmful viruses and bacteria that make their way into the body. Unfortunately, some cancers have the ability to hide from or suppress these hardworking T-cells. To combat the problem, new drug therapies are being developed that work to supercharge the immune system to help fight off cancer.
When a person receives a cancer diagnosis, his first reaction is often to find a reason why. He may blame himself, others, an environmental factor, or a bad habit. This behavior can lead to misplaced feelings of guilt or shame. However, the majority of cancer cases may simply be the result of random DNA mutations, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
By: Paul Ossi, M.D. -- By identifying biomarkers, doctors are better able to detect cancers in their early stages, classify tumors, and select appropriate therapy options. Biomarkers also allow patients with a family history of inherited cancers to better manage their cancer risk.