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“Warming Up” the Immune System to Fight Cancer

By: William Peters, M.D., Ph.D. -- Cancer cells frequently use "checkpoints" to hide from our immune systems. These checkpoints trick our bodies into believing that the tumor cells are normal, like our own healthy cells. Several immunotherapy drugs have been developed to stop the tumor checkpoints from working. This helps the immune system "warm up" to find and fight cancer cells over the long-term.

What You Need to Know about the FDA’s New Nutrition Labels

By: Karen Ambrosio, Oncology Wellness Specialist -- Last Friday, May 20, the FDA announced that it will reformulate the well-known Nutrition Facts Labels for packaged food. The agency’s goal is to provide easy-to-read labels to better aid consumers in making healthy food choices.

Go Green for a Long and Healthy Life

Want to live a longer life? Go green, say researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The researchers performed a study that surveyed the living arrangements of nearly 109,000 nurses over an eight-year period. As a result of their analysis, they found that women living near the most greenery had a 12 percent lower overall mortality rate than women residing near the lowest levels of greenery.

Reflections on “Proton beam therapy, the silver bullet for cancer?”

In his March 2016 article, columnist Josh Allsopp discusses recent breakthroughs in cancer treatment, such as proton therapy and immunotherapy. Ackerman Cancer Center reflects on this article.

Incorporating Mindfulness and Art into the Healing Process

By: Eden Mock, MSW, Oncology Social Worker -- According to the National Institute of Health, Mindfulness and Art Therapy are examples of Complementary Health Care Practices under the branch of mind and body control. Specifically, Mindfulness is a form of attention that nurtures an individual’s greater awareness, clarity, and acceptance of reality in the present moment. The basic tenants of mindfulness include: having a non-judging attitude, embracing patience, having a beginner’s mind, learning to trust, building acceptance, and letting go.

How much physical activity do I need?

By: Karen Ambrosio, Oncology Wellness Specialist -- According to the CDC, inactive adults have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some cancers, and even early death. Statistics shows that 80 percent of adults do not meet the government's physical activity recommendations for aerobic exercise and strength training. Men were more likely than women to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity, while Americans living in the South were less likely to be physically active than Americans living in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions of our country.

The Influence of Music on Cancer-Related Pain and Anxiety

By: Alan Forbes, M.D., Ph.D. -- Music has been used since ancient times to enhance well-being and to reduce pain and suffering. In our contemporary clinical setting, music is used in many ways—from dedicated music therapy to stereo systems in lobbies. Now, there is scientific support for music’s positive effects on medical patients.

Fruits vs. Vegetables: Which are More Effective at Preventing Breast Cancer?

By: Karen Ambrosio, Oncology Wellness Specialist -- Due to their antioxidant properties, vegetables and fruit have been hypothesized to reduce the risk of breast cancer occurrence, but it was not until the last few years that researchers began comparing fruits and vegetables in order to assess their individual effectiveness in cancer prevention.

Combination of Immunotherapy and Radiation Therapy Shows Promise

In recent years, several new immunotherapies have been introduced. These therapies have shown great success in boosting the immune system’s response against tumors, but now research shows that immunotherapy may work best when used in combination with traditional cancer treatment therapies.

Antioxidants and Cognitive Function

By: Karen Ambrosio, Oncology Wellness Specialist -- Recent studies show that dietary supplementation with nuts, berries, or both can alter cognitive performance in humans, and perhaps prevent or reverse the effects of neurodegeneration in aging populations. Because of its antioxidant properties, this dietary supplementation could possibly be used as an additional therapeutic strategy in the treatment and prevention of several neurodegenerative diseases and age-related brain dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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