When we are sick, the kindness of others carries us through. Visits from those we love provide comfort, a hand to hold. But for Cindy Hale, healing meant limiting contact with family and friends.
Hale underwent an allogeneic stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber in 2002, leaving her immunocompromised – with a weakened immune system. Cancer patients in general are at risk for acquiring infection as a result of their underlying disease or from chemotherapy. This is why it is so important for patients, visitors, and staff to take an active role in infection prevention, according to Susan O’Rourke, RN, of the Center for Patient Safety at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “This needs to be a team effort,” she says.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to help cancer patients is to give blood. There is a constant need for donations, but especially so in the summer when people are on vacation and unable to donate. One pint of blood can save up to two lives, and one platelet donation can save up to three. Read more
There’s no better time to barbecue with family and friends than the summer, but grilling meat creates chemicals that may be linked to cancer.
Research has shown that high-heat grilling can convert proteins in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish into heterocyclic amines (HCAs), chemicals that have been connected to a number of cancers. Another cancer-causing agent, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), is found in the smoke. PAHs form when fat and juices from meat products drip on the heat source, causing smoke to form and stick to the surface of the meat as it rises.
By Karen Lee Sobol
I recently learned that the word “patient” shares a Latin root with the word “compassion.”
Any one of us can become a patient, for a number of reasons. For me, hearing a diagnosis of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia flipped a switch. I became a patient in a big way. Read more