Archive for Health and wellness

Does Cancer Cause Blood Clots?

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Cancer patients are at a higher risk than the general population of developing serious blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs or pulmonary emboli in the lungs, which can be fatal.

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Debunking Common Nutrition Myths

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By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD

For cancer patients, a healthy, balanced diet is important for managing symptoms and promoting survivorship and overall wellness. But in a world where it’s nearly impossible to tell one fad diet from the next, it can be difficult to determine which foods are actually good for you. We’re debunking some of the common myths about certain foods:

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Which Test is Right for Me?

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Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women.  It is also considered one of the more preventable cancers due to the effectiveness of screening. But which screening option is right for you?

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DNA Test May Offer Alternative to Pap Smear

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A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel has recommended that a DNA test should be the primary screening tool for cervical cancer, rather than the traditional Pap smear. The DNA test detects the DNA of human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted infection that causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

“This is an important step forward for cervical cancer screening,” says Alexi Wright, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. Specifically, the DNA test screens for HPV-16 and HPV-18, the two highest-risk HPV strains, as well as 12 other high-risk HPV types, using a blood sample.

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Can Drinking Increase Risk of Malignant Melanoma?

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It’s well known that excessive sunning and sunburns can foment the development of malignant melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. Now, in a preliminary study, scientists have suggested that drinking alcohol may be an added risk factor for the disease.

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What Role Does Nutrition Play During Cancer Treatment: A Twitter Chat Recap

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Whether it’s before, during, or after cancer treatment, nutrition plays a critical role in a patient’s overall health. Certain foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can help increase energy levels, support the immune system, and manage side effects.

StacyKtwitterchat-2Dana-Farber (@DanaFarber) and HealthCentral (@healthcentral) hosted a live Twitter chat on nutrition and cancer on March 12, 2014. The chat featured Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, as well as a large group of hospitals, nurses, dieticians, doctors, and patients. Some of the topics included tips for maintaining a balanced diet, how to manage side effects with food, how to lose weight in a healthy way, and information about vitamins and supplements.

Scroll through the Storify below for some highlights from the cancer nutrition chat and tips on how you can start a healthy eating routine.

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How Cancer Can Affect Sleep

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For many cancer patients and survivors, insomnia can be a troublesome side effect of living with cancer. There are many reasons why patients and survivors may have problems with sleep.

Eric Zhou, PhD, a clinical fellow at Dana-Farber and research fellow at Harvard Medical School, explains why insomnia can be linked to cancer and also discusses the best methods for getting some sleep.

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ASCO Recommendations on Family History a ‘Good First Step’

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Before any patient begins treatment for cancer, oncologists should discuss first- and second-degree family cancer history, according to new recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The ASCO recommendations, published recently, are the first to focus on family history and a person’s genetic risk of cancer.

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Web Chat: How Integrative Therapies Can Benefit Cancer Patients

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Whether it’s yoga, meditation, massage, or nutrition counseling, integrative therapies can offer a wide range of benefits for patients.

David Rosenthal, MD

David Rosenthal, MD

“The whole concept of integrative therapies is about improving the overall quality of life for cancer patients,” says David Rosenthal, MD, medical director of Dana-Farber’s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies. “Integrative and complementary therapies are helpful in all stages of diagnosis, from pre-cancer to survivorship.”

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Why is Breast Cancer on the Rise Worldwide?

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The number of deaths from breast cancer has dropped over the past decade in the United States, but around the world, especially in less-developed countries, the number is rising. A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2013 said 522,000 women died from breast cancer in 2012 – a 14 percent increase compared with 2008.

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