It is not unusual for patients undergoing cancer treatment to experience fatigue. Cancer fatigue is a persistent mental, physical and emotional fatigue that can seriously impact a patient’s quality of life. Unlike the fatigue of daily life, cancer fatigue doesn’t go away with rest and it doesn’t typically resolve quickly. So what can you do to reduce cancer-related fatigue? Read the full article to learn.
Each year during the month of May, we join women from across the country in celebrating National Women’s Health Week. This year, National Women’s Health Week is from May 14 - 20. The observance is an opportunity to empower women to make their health and wellness a priority and encourage them to take steps toward improvement. In addition to staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and undergoing routine medical check-ups, I believe it is important for women to learn all they can about breast and gynecologic (female reproductive) cancer including screening recommendations, signs, symptoms and risk factors.
A recent New York Times article highlighted the use of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, or SBRT, for the treatment of prostate cancer. Although the use of SBRT for prostate cancer treatment has risen significantly in recent years, the article called into question the wisdom of using the high dose radiation delivery system near the delicate structures surrounding the prostate gland, touting a lack of solid evidence proving its effectiveness. Understandably, the article generated questions and concerns from a number of our patients and I feel it is important to address the issue.
Almost all of us have discovered a lump or bump on our bodies at one time or another. In the majority of cases, these growths are not cancerous and pose no reason for concern – but that still doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Even trained physicians like myself don’t rely on visual examination to identify every lump, and I certainly don’t recommend patients self-diagnose. While not every lump or bump is cancer, I always advise patients to err on the side of caution.
For years, the health community has been waging a debate on the connection between soy and cancer. Now a new study published this month in the journal Cancer indicates that soy appears to not only be safe for women with breast cancer –it may even be beneficial.
A recent analysis published by the American Cancer Society revealed colorectal cancer diagnoses and death rates have decreased for those 50 and older in recent years, while colon cancer rates are on the rise in younger adults. The retrospective study found that colon cancer diagnosis in adults over 50 fell 32 percent since 2000, and death rates dropped 34 percent during the same period. I believe the reduction in colorectal cancer rates can be credited to a vigorous screening protocol. Unfortunately, the falling number of colon cancer cases in older adults is in sharp contrast to those of younger Americans who have seen a 1 to 3 percent annual rise in the incidence of colorectal cancer over the past several decades.
In the United States, 1 in every 2 men will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. For women, this number is 1 in 3. In the past this difference was attributed to male's industrial work environments and the fact that more men smoked cigarettes. However, as more women entered the workforce and began to smoke, the cancer diagnosis rates did not change. Recently, a team of researchers from Harvard and MIT discovered a genetic difference between the genders that may be the cause of this difference.
February is National Cancer Prevention Month - a great time to take a look at ways to lower your cancer risk. Of course, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and not smoking are great cancer prevention tools. But vaccines also play an important role in cancer prevention. HPV vaccines prevent against HPV-related cancers, including cervical cancer. There are three effective, well-tolerated HPV vaccines available today. Unfortunately, the vaccination compliance rate for HPV is extremely low when compared to other vaccines. Steps must be taken to increase the number of teens getting vaccinated.
The use of proton beam therapy is expanding to include a diverse range of tumor sites, thanks to emerging research revealing the effectiveness of this advanced radiation treatment modality. Originally used in the treatment of prostate, brain, and pediatric tumors, we are seeing more and more types of tumors being treated with proton therapy. This is due to its ability to precisely deliver large amounts of cancer-fighting radiation directly to tumor sites while producing minimal side effects and reducing exposure to surrounding organs.
After years of consistent decline, the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer is now on the rise. A number of cancer experts, including myself and the other physicians at Ackerman Cancer Center, suspect the increase is likely due to changes in PSA screening recommendations that have come about in recent years.