The end of treatment is an important milestone for any cancer patient, but it can also be a time of anxiety. In fact, some new cancer survivors say leaving the routine of regular visits with their health care team can be downright scary. That’s why Dana-Farber and other leading cancer centers offer programs to help survivors transition from active treatment to living well beyond cancer. Read more
Tag Archive for PatientEducation
If you recently learned you have cancer, donating a sample of your cancer tissue to science is probably the last thing on your mind. But it’s a topic that you might discuss with someone on your health care team, because cancer researchers often rely on donated tissue samples to help them better understand what causes cancer and which treatments are most effective. Read more
For many cancer patients, the Internet serves as a vital tool used to stay in touch with loved ones during treatment, find comfort and advice from other patients and caregivers, or even research clinical trials. But using the Web to learn more about a cancer diagnosis or potential treatments requires a healthy dose of caution. For all of its many benefits, the Internet used unwisely can lead to scams and misinformation, as well.
Most people seek opinions from experts when it comes to important matters, such as finances, children’s education, or a major purchase.
Why not do so when it comes to your cancer treatment? Read more
by Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, and Elizabeth Lundy, DI
Grapefruits are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other phytonutrients, but if you’re taking certain prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, you may need to choose other fruits.
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
In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship.
When I was discharged from the hospital in 1996 after undergoing a stem cell transplant to treat leukemia, I was terrified. Yes, I’d survived cancer treatment, but now I had to deal with something even scarier: the unknown.
If you’ve recently ended active treatment and are entering the world of survivorship, here are some tips to keep in mind.
For people with cancer, deciding how, and what, to tell others about the diagnosis can be a challenge. How do you tell your loved ones, or your employer, that you have cancer?
For parents, there’s another degree of difficulty: What do you say to your children? How much will they understand, and what’s the best approach?
Susan Englander, LICSW, a social worker at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who specializes in working with young adult patients — many of whom have children — offers these tips to parents with cancer on how to talk to their kids and help them through the process. Read more
The Super Bowl this weekend is the result of a lot of training and planning (and luck) on the part of the two competing teams. Players have to know their roles and everyone needs to work to the same game plan — and be ready to change tactics in an instant.
In the same way, the specialists overseeing your cancer treatment and long-term care have their own areas of expertise, and you’re an important player on the team. Here’s why:
Know your team
Medical oncologists call the plays, determining the best options for treatment and guiding the care team. They work closely with radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, ensuring that you get the best care, at each step in your treatment plan. Learn about the important players on your cancer care team.
Know your game plan
But when you’re finished with all of your treatment regimens, oncologist appointments, and follow ups, what’s next?
Here’s where you make the call: Ask for an end-of-treatment summary. This is a document that maps out what you and your doctors already know, summarizing your cancer diagnosis and the steps included in your treatment. This information is important because it can help your primary care physician understand your medical history and better map out a plan for the future. Dana-Farber has created a Survivorship Toolkit (PDF) to guide you through the steps.
Avoid incomplete passes
Since your oncologist won’t be regularly involved in your health care once treatment is over, it’s important to bring your primary care doctor up to speed on any follow-up tests or potential long-term side effects that may arise in the future. This will form the basis of your care plan going forward. Learn more about setting up a care plan after cancer treatment.
Focus on the end zone
Making healthy changes in the way you eat, exercise, and live your life won’t necessarily prevent your cancer from coming back, but it can help you feel better and may also lower your chances of developing other health problems in the future. Find out more about creating a wellness plan that works for you.
Do you have a game plan for wellness after treatment? Tell us in the comments!