Tag Archive for Chemotherapy

How a Port Can Make Cancer Treatments Easier

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For more than five years, Sally Boyd had repeated needle punctures in her arm for blood draws, chemotherapy, and other procedures for multiple myeloma.

“The nurses said I had good veins, so at first it was easy for them to insert the needle,” Boyd recalls. “But as time went on, my arms were bruised and sore.”

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Young Woman with Breast Cancer Finds Dream Team

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A young woman in her prime, with a full life and meaningful career, does not expect a cancer diagnosis. But that is what happened to 34-year-old Erin, who received the news when she was in Paris with her mother and sister, on a long-awaited trip to celebrate Mother’s Day. Read more

How to Ease Chemotherapy Side Effects with Food

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Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, can make eating well and enjoying food a challenge for many patients. Food may start to taste strange, appetite may diminish, and other symptoms, such as fatigue, bowel changes, nausea, and mouth sores, may make finding nutritious, delicious foods difficult.

“During chemotherapy, it’s very common for patients to not feel like eating, for appetite to be low, or the taste of food to be off,” says Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, who stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to manage symptoms. In the video below, Kennedy explains how to combat symptoms by incorporating tart or sour flavors, eating small and frequent meals, and staying hydrated:

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How to Care for Your Central Line at Home

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Cancer or blood disorder patients may have central lines, which make it easier to receive certain medications (such as chemotherapy) and have blood tests. The major types of central lines include Port-A-Cath, Hickman, and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). Patients receiving stem cell transplants sometimes have central lines.

If you have a central line, you may need to care for it at home. Or you may need guidance in caring for a loved one with a central line. Knowing the correct procedures is essential to preventing infection. Read more

Dating and Cancer 101

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by Amy Atwood

SWF, Bald, Undergoing Chemo and Radiation…

Oh yeah, isn’t that the first profile you would click on if you were searching for the love of your life or even just a new ‘friend’ online? Dating in itself – or, I should say, finding someone to date – is never easy. Finding someone when you happen to be bald, going through chemo and/or making daily trips to the hospital for radiation makes it a zillion times more complicated. I know. I’ve tried it.

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Chemotherapy Related Neuropathy: Managing this Nerve Wracking Problem

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While chemotherapy can kill cancer cells, certain chemotherapy drugs can also cause an uncomfortable and distressing condition that may produce numbness, tingling, and discomfort in the arms or legs. This condition, known as peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), can make it difficult for people to perform day-to-day activities.

Although there is no sure prevention for CIPN, there are ways to control the pain and minimize its effects on quality of life, says Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of South Florida and post-doctoral fellow at Dana-Farber and the University of Massachusetts.

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An Overview of Lymphoma Therapy

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More than 70 years ago, two pharmacologists began looking at mustard gas as a possible treatment for lymphoma. The chemical, used during World War I, lowered blood counts and destroyed lymph nodes in soldiers who were exposed to the gas.

Two decades after the war, a thoracic surgeon named Gustav Lindskog used nitrogen mustard to successfully treat a patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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Revisiting Cancer Care in Rwanda: One Year Later

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By Lori Buswell, RN

I recently returned from a three-month rotation as a nurse fellow at a comprehensive cancer center at Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, a tiny African country known as the “land of a thousand hills.” The hospital, built and operated by the Ministry of Health and Partners In Health, is located in a rural, mountainous area where most residents are farmers. Because most homes do not have running water, people fill up 5-gallon jugs at the local water spigot. Read more

Ovarian Cancer: Seven Terms You Should Know

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By Melanie Graham

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer can raise a lot of questions. It can also raise many new medical terms, which your doctor or a member of your care team can explain. Here are a few terms to know.

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Kelley Tuthill’s Tips for Choosing a Wig

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By Kelley Tuthill

Hair loss can be a jarring side effect of chemotherapy. When I was treated for breast cancer, I was nervous about my appearance and decided to wear a wig. At first it was a strange experience, but wearing a wig helped me face the day — and a TV audience. Here are five tips I learned for selecting a wig and wearing it with confidence. Read more