Cancer Caregiver Tips: Talking About Cancer with Your Loved One

Cancer Caregiver Tips: Talking About Cancer with Your Loved One
Cancer Caregiver Tips: Talking About Cancer with Your Loved One

Are you a cancer caregiver who’s tiptoeing around your loved one because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing? Use these tips to guide your conversations in positive and helpful directions.

Tips for Talking to a Cancer Patient

  • Don’t stress about coming up with the perfect words. This is a new situation for both of you. If you don’t know what to say, be honest about it. Your loved one will let you know what he or she needs.
  • Keep the focus on the patient. You’re there to help them, not the other way around. Talk to another friend or family member if you need a sounding board.
  • Avoid clichés or dismissive comments like “You’ll be fine” or “At least you got the ‘good’ cancer.” Of course you don’t want to be a source of doom and gloom, but minimizing the situation doesn’t make the patient feel any better.
  • Every case of cancer is different. Don’t bring up friends, family members or acquaintances and compare their situations.
  • Don’t ask for details about their cancer treatment such as blood test results or possible side effects. Let them share information if they like, but respect their personal boundaries.
  • Sometimes no words are necessary. Your loved one might want you to provide a sympathetic ear, or may prefer a period of silence. Be willing to graciously accommodate their wishes.

Personalized Cancer Treatment from Issels®

Your experience with cancer is unique, so your treatment should be also. Visit our website to learn more about cancer vaccines and other individually tailored and integrative immunotherapy for cancer treatments.

Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis

Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis
Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John has campaigned to raise awareness of cancer research since she began fighting the disease in 1992. In May she made the sad announcement that her breast cancer had returned and spread to her lower spine.

The Prognosis for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Newton-John’s breast cancer is metastatic, also known as Stage IV, which refers to cancer that begins in one area of the body and spreads to other organs or tissues. It was discovered when the singer postponed a concert tour due to lower back pain that was originally thought to be sciatica.

Family and friends remain positive, and Newton-John herself plans to resume touring in August. While metastatic breast cancer is a serious issue, doctors say that Newton-John and other women with this diagnosis have reason for optimism.

Five-Year Survival by the Numbers

A recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention discovered that the five-year survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer had reached 36 percent during the last 10 years. That number is double the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed in the early 1990s.

According to Dr. Sagar Sardesai of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, the healthcare community has begun thinking of metastatic breast cancer as a chronic disease. Physicians are working with patients cancer treatment programs that relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Stage IV Cancer Treatment at Issels®

If you have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, there is hope. Visit our website to read and hear testimonials from patients with Stage IV cancer in all forms who have been successfully treated with our immunotherapy programs.

One in five US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer
1 in 5 US Cancer Patients Are Diagnosed with a Rare Cancer

Rare cancers are more common than you think. As a group, they make up about 20% of all cancer diagnoses. However, each specific type of rare cancer is still very dangerous because the symptoms are often misdiagnosed. At Issels®, we often see patients whose rare cancer went undiagnosed despite several rounds of doctor visits and tests.

The American Cancer Society recently shed light on the frequency of rare cancer diagnoses:

  • Rare cancer is defined by annual diagnoses in less than 6 out of 100,000 people
  • 71% of all cases in people under 20 years old are rare types
  • 39% of all cases in people 20 to 39 years old are rare types
  • Younger people have better survival rates for rare cancer than older people

Together, Learning More About Rare Cancers

In some cases, standard cancer treatment fails to work as well as it does for common types of cancer. On the other hand, the ACS notes that innovations in rare cancer treatment often help scientists develop better treatment for all types of cancers.

After a rare cancer diagnosis, it can be difficult to find information if your physicians are not very familiar with the disease. We specialize in advanced stage cancer treatment at Issels®, including rare types of the disease that are not responding well enough to standard therapies.

At Issels®, we offer individualized treatments including cancer vaccines developed using the patient’s own autoimmune cells. Such treatments, known as immunotherapy, are helping patients with standard therapy–resistant and advanced stages of cancer.

Learn more about our integrative immunotherapy approach to cancer treatment on our website or contact us for more info.

Family’s 1,200 Mile Bike Ride to Fund Cancer Research

Family Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer
Family Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer

Getting creative can always help with a cancer awareness campaign. For one family in Michigan, that meant climbing on a bicycle built for three and setting out on a six-week fundraising bike trek from a Detroit suburb to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Karl and Eva Helminen have participated in many cancer fundraising efforts over the years, and they are also avid cyclists. As part of the Great Cycle Challenge USA program, they spent May 25 to July 5 on a bike with their 10-year-old son pedaling along, too. Their bulldog, Duchess, lent moral support and enjoyed restaurant leftovers along the way.

For the Helminens, the trip represented a special opportunity to help fundraise for childhood cancer treatment. As many families can relate, the Helminens have numerous family members and friends whose lives have been affected by cancer.

How Fundraising Events Help Cancer Treatment

Cancer awareness events can take many forms besides the typical walk or 5k run. Getting people talking and learning about cancer treatment and research projects is always the real goal.

The proceeds from cancer research events often get used to fund research to address difficult-to-treat types of cancer, including advanced stages, rare types, and cases that resist standard cancer therapeutic approaches.

At Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we see firsthand how innovative treatments can lead to cancer remission. Our therapies include targeted protocols to destroy cancer cells as well as immune enhancement that boosts the body’s existing cancer-killing capabilities.

The fight against cancer still has a long path ahead, but awareness and research are making inroads. Contact Issels® to learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy cancer treatment.

People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma – What to Know

People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma - What to Know
People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma – What to Know

A commonly-held misconception is that people of color have little risk of developing skin cancer. It’s true that melanoma occurs less frequently, but the consequences of skin cancer among African Americans are more serious than most realize.

How Melanoma Affects People of Color

Data from a study published last July in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that people of color are most likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in its later stages, resulting in worse prognoses and lower overall survival rates.

Many believe that the higher percentage of melanin in darker skin protects from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. A recent survey revealed that 63 percent of African Americans never use sunscreen, despite the fact that they actually can be susceptible to sunburn.

Causes and Warning Signs of Melanoma

Genetics and environmental factors also play a role in the development of melanoma, as they did with iconic reggae singer Bob Marley. The Jamaican native died at the age of 36 from acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), a form of cancer that appears on the palms of hands and the soles of feet.

Dr. Martitza I. Perez, senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation, recommends that people of all ethnicities watch for the warning signs of melanoma:

• A sore or growth that doesn’t heal

• An ulcer or scaly red patch that crusts or bleeds

• Moles that are asymmetrical, larger than a pencil eraser, or display any sign of change

Cutting-Edge Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our immunotherapy for cancer treatments have been effective against melanoma and many other types of tumors. Contact us to learn more.

Cancer Caregivers: What to Expect When You Step Into the Role

Cancer Caregivers: What to Expect When You Step Into the Role
Cancer Caregivers: What to Expect When You Step Into the Role

Cancer brings major changes to the life of a patient, but becoming a caregiver can be equally challenging. Here’s some information to help you prepare for your tough but rewarding new role.

Tips for Becoming a Cancer Caregiver

1. Ask for Help

No matter how invested you are in the job, you won’t be able to do it all. Don’t feel guilty about enlisting help as needed.

2. Be Prepared to Hear “No”

Not everyone will be willing to assist, even those who make a vague offer to help. Instead of passing judgment and letting resentment build up, either talk to the person about what’s bothering them or simply let it go.

3. Take Care of Your Own Health

You won’t be much help if you’re feeling tired and run-down. Make time to relax and enjoy some of your favorite activities.

4. Maintain Your Regular Routine

Follow your own daily routine as much as possible. You’ll have to make some concessions of your time, but stress can build up if the disconnect from your normal life is too great.

5. Create a Support Network

Despite your good intentions, caring for a cancer patient is bound to cause occasional thoughts of frustration, anger and fear. Talk about your feelings with a family member or close friend. You might also consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group.

Personally Tailored Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

No two cancer patients have the same needs from caregivers or treatment, so our integrative immunotherapy for cancer programs are created for each individual’s case. Visit our website for more information.

Individualized Cancer Treatment