Category Archives: After Cancer

Taking Care of Yourself: Your Appearance is More than “Looking Good”

Look Good, Feel Good
Look Good, Feel Good

Do you think that maintaining good grooming while you’re going through cancer treatment is a luxury? Caring for your appearance is a great way to lift your spirits from the outside in.

Personal Care Tips for Cancer Patients

  • Are you too tired or weak to get out of bed? Keep a portable mirror and grooming supplies in your nightstand.
  • Shave with an electric razor to avoid nicks and cuts that may become infected.
  • Brush your teeth and floss as usual, but consult your healthcare team before scheduling cleanings or other dental procedures.
  • Hair loss is a frequent side effect of cancer treatment. Opt for whatever solution makes you feel best, whether it’s wearing wigs and scarves or shaving your head.
  • Wear rubber or latex gloves during household chores to prevent contact with harsh soaps and chemical cleaning products.
  • Make sure manicuring tools are clean before using. Instead of cutting cuticles, simply push them back gently. Keep nails short to prevent them from catching on things.
  • Treat yourself to a relaxing spa session. Talk to your doctor beforehand if you’re planning a manicure, pedicure or waxing. Artificial or glue-on nails are usually restricted during cancer treatment.
  • Exercise daily at whatever level feels comfortable. Not only does exercise benefit you physically, it relieves depression and anxiety. Yoga is a good choice that promotes harmony between mind and body.

Personalized Immunotherapy Treatment at Issels®

No matter what form of cancer you have, your case is unique. Contact us to learn how we tailor your specific treatment program to address your individual needs.

 

What Does Cancer Remission Mean?

What Does Cancer Remission Mean?
What Does Cancer Remission Mean?

This past April actress Shannon Doherty, who was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly two years ago, announced via social media that she is in remission. But is that the same thing as “cured?” An expert from the American Cancer Society (ACS) takes a look at the meaning of the term.

Does “In Remission” Mean “Cured?”

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of ACS, recently spoke to Fox News Health about understanding the true concept of “remission.” Officially, when doctors examine a patient after cancer treatment and find no sign of the disease, he or she is declared to be in remission.

While remission is a major victory for cancer patients, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the story. Their doctors continue to conduct regular exams watching for a relapse, which occurs when cancer returns.

Remaining Vigilant After Cancer Treatment

Initially, post-treatment exams are performed every few months, and become less frequent while the patient remains cancer-free. Even so, cancer can sometimes reappear after years of remission. Doctors suspect that such cases arise due to cancer still being present, but too small to be detected.

Chances of a relapse are often affected by the type of cancer and the stage it was in at the time of diagnosis. Cancer patients can also enter partial remission when the size of the tumor decreases by at least 50 percent.

Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our personally tailored immunotherapy programs have helped numerous patients diagnosed with all forms of cancer achieve long-term remission. Contact us for more information about our special testing methods and integrative treatment protocols.

New After-Cancer Self-Care Treatments Boost Healing

Create a Positive State of Mind
Create a Positive State of Mind

While immunotherapy for cancer and other innovative methods have improved breast cancer treatment results, women can still suffer from physical and mental side effects that threaten their overall well-being. Many women are finding relief in alternative self-care activities that create a more positive frame of mind and facilitate healing.

1. Brain-Building Exercises

Traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can sometimes impair the brain’s cognitive functioning. Rehabilitation oncology therapists use tools like game apps to help patients keep their minds sharp and boost their memory skills.

2. Hit the Dance Floor

Dance is a joyous and light-hearted alternative to standard physical therapy. The tango has been found to help patients improve balance, gait and side-to-side movements, skills that sometime suffer during cancer treatment.

3. Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation draw heavily on Eastern medicine concepts of the connection between mind and body. Regular practice clears the mind and relieves stress, which boosts the body’s immune function. Guided imagery is a form of meditation that involves a therapist guiding patients through a series of positive mental images.

4. Natural Medicines

Natural vitamins, nutrients and supplements can work well when paired with conventional treatment methods. If you’re considering this course, be sure to consult your doctor and healthcare team to make choices that will not interfere with other medications or treatments.

Issels®: Creating Treatments Based on Each Patient’s Needs

At Issels®, we strongly believe that a patient’s lifestyle and environment play a role in effective immunotherapy for cancer. Contact us today to learn more about our personally-developed integrative programs including non-toxic cancer vaccines and cell therapies.

June is National Cancer Survivor Month – Wear the Purple Ribbon

Diverse Hands Holding The Word Cancer
June 5th is Cancer Survivor Day!

We tend to think of National Cancer Survivor Day as a day that’s set aside to honor all of those who have beaten this dreadful disease. However, here at Issels® we feel that it’s also important to remember the unsung heroes. These are the people who have worked hard by their loved ones’ sides to ensure that they receive the best possible care during their treatments.

National Cancer Survivor Day is June 5. On this day, we want to remember everyone who has fought, or who is still fighting cancer and celebrate them and their journey.

The Effects of Cancer

Unless you’ve been through it, it’s hard to completely understand the effects of cancer. Many patients live their lives in a constant state of fear from one treatment to another, and the side effects that are usually experienced after their treatments can have life-long impact. Their caregivers struggle with knowing if they’re making good decisions, and whether or not their friends and family members are comfortable and pain-free.

Providing Support to Patients and Caregivers

If you know a cancer patient or a cancer caregiver, there are many ways you can honor them; not just on National Cancer Survivor Day, June 5, but all year long. Providing a listening ear helps more than you know, and offering to do tasks such as running errands, cleaning the house, and paying bills is very much appreciated. Cancer patients and their caregivers need to know that they are supported and loved, and you can play a major role in making sure that happens.

This year, on National Cancer Survivor Day, June 5, wear your purple ribbon and show your support!

Coping with the Side Effects of Traditional Cancer Treatment

Dealing With Side Effects
Dealing With Side Effects

One of the goals of non-toxic cancer treatments at the Issels immuno-oncology center is a reduction of debilitating side effects typically caused by traditional treatments. Unfortunately, side effects are a frequent result of therapy when using chemotherapy and radiation.

Successful management of side effects has benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. Here are three of the more common side effects of traditional cancer treatment along with tips to reduce them.

  1. Fatigue from radiation and chemotherapy

Not only is cancer treatment energy-sapping on its own, it can sometimes result in anemia, which also causes fatigue. This exhaustion often interferes with normal activities so many patients find it helpful to cut back on work and other obligations. A healthy diet and moderate exercise can also help, but it’s important to get rest when you need it.

  1. Hair loss from chemotherapy

Hair loss is a well-known side effect of chemotherapy, which destroys rapidly dividing cells like hair roots. The loss is usually temporary, and hair grows back from three to 10 months following the last treatment, but can be permanent in some patients. A variety of options are available based on your personal preference. They include cutting your hair short or covering your head with hats, scarves and wigs.

  1. Nausea from chemotherapy

Nausea and vomiting that accompanies chemotherapy is usually addressed with medication. Some patients avoid types of food that tend to be irritating, such as greasy or spicy products. Based on a 2004 study, researchers are exploring the possibility that expectations of nausea can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Treatment protocols at our immuno-oncology center include non-toxic therapies that minimize harmful side effects. Contact us to learn more about the Issels® personalized programs.

Non-Toxic Agent Makes Cancer Cells Glow

Thermal Treatment
Making the Cancer Glow

When you’re looking for small objects in a dark, confined area, your first step is turning on a light. Recent cancer research has uncovered a non-toxic chemical compound with the ability to “turn on the light” that reveals cancer cells.

Breakthrough testing

The study, conducted at Oregon State University, was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists last October. Researchers injected a substance called silicon napthalocyanine into mice suffering from ovarian tumors. After 24 hours, the chemical had been absorbed by the tumors but was not present in the rest of the body.

Tumors were completely eradicated, and researchers detected no side effects. They are optimistic about the compound working on other types of tumors as well.

“Glow in the dark” cancer cells

Once the compound has been absorbed by a tumor, it causes cancer cells to glow when illuminated with near-infrared light. The effect makes it easier for surgeons to find and remove the cells more effectively, while a chemical reaction combining heat and oxygen kills any remaining cells.

Olena Taratula, lead author of the OSU study, explained that the research demonstrates proof of concept they hope to expand on with further experiments. Next on the researchers’ agenda is developing a system whereby the compound would actually seek out cancer cells. The next round of testing would involve dogs, possibly followed by clinical trials on humans.

Our experienced staff of medical professionals actively works to remain up-to-date on the latest and most innovative cancer research. Contact us to learn why Issels® is a leader in non-toxic integrative immuno-oncology treatments.