Positive Attitude May Benefit Cancer Patients

A positive attitude can help your health.
A positive attitude can help your health.

A positive attitude can help people with chronic disease and may aid cancer patients. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College found that people with heart disease, hypertension and asthma could positively affect their health by maintaining a positive attitude.To give your attitude a positive boost:

  • Listen to upbeat music. Elevate your mood by listening to music with a happy, energetic beat. If you’re feeling stressed, music with a soothing rhythm can have a similarly positive effect on your attitude.
  • Count your blessings. Concentrate on the people, things and events in your life for which you are grateful. Negative thoughts fade when you concentrate on happy ones.
  • Express your love and thanks. Tell family and friends that you love them. Thank people who have made a difference in your life. Mend fences that need mending. Say all those things you’ve always meant to tell your loved ones. It is amazing how comforting words can be — for you and those you love.
  • Create a happiness stash. Laughter is the best medicine. Collect things that make you smile or laugh: funny movies, humorous books, great photos, websites of your favorite comedians, hilarious YouTube videos, etc. When your spirit needs a boost, visit your stash.
  • Immerse yourself in at nature. Go outdoors if you can, sit by a window or watch a nature video. Tree leaves blowing in the wind, birds flitting about a bird feeder, bees buzzing between flowers, puffy clouds scudding across the sky — the sights, sounds, beauty and majesty of nature are a balm for the soul.

Women Under 40 at Increasing Risk of Advanced Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon
Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

The return of her breast cancer after a decade in remission has caused U.S. singer-songwriter Anastacia to cancel her European tour just a month before its scheduled London kickoff. Less well-known here than she is abroad, the 44-year-old pop singer is a chart-topping, multi-platinum star with a huge European and Asian following. First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 when she was 34, the Chicago native has shared her cancer struggle through her song lyrics.After winning her first battle against cancer, Anastacia created the Anastacia Fund to help increase breast cancer awareness among young women. Her recent hit single Best of You is her personal message to those who share her struggle against cancer: “Don’t ever let cancer get the Best of You!”

Anastacia is representative of a disturbing U.S. cancer trend that cuts across racial and socio-economic lines. The results of a breast cancer study prompted by the author’s own breast cancer diagnosis at age 27 discovered that advanced-stage breast cancer among women 25 to 39 has been increasing at the rate of 2% per year since 1976. While breast cancer diagnoses in women under 40 comprise only 7% of all U.S. breast cancer cases, cancer experts are concerned by both the upward trend and the more aggressive nature of breast cancer in younger women.

The prospect of cancer is frightening at any age, but particularly when you are young and just beginning to build your life. Issels Integrative Oncology is internationally known for its remarkable complete long-term tumor remissions of standard therapy-resistant cancers. Visit our website for cancer treatment information.

Daily Diary Can Aid Cancer Treatment

Woman Reading a Diary
Woman Reading a Diary

For any medical ailment, the more information you can give your healthcare provider, the easier it may be for your physician to diagnose and treat what ails you. Patients are frequently encouraged to keep a daily diary of their symptoms before visiting the doctor to aid in diagnosis or to make a record of their physical and emotional reactions after beginning a new drug therapy to determine its effectiveness.

In such records, doctors frequently find useful and sometimes vital clues that allow them to provide the best possible health care for their patients. Keeping a personal record of your cancer history can provide vital information to your Issels treatment team that may not be included in your medical records. In all medical treatments, including cancer treatments, symptoms and patient reactions are open to interpretation guided by the doctor’s experience, training and medical bias.

Medical bias may be a product of a physician’s personal experience, local medical culture, federal regulation or even national sensibilities. For example, many drugs and treatment therapies that are highly respected and even commonplace in Europe are not accepted in the U.S. because they have not yet been approved by the FDA. Acupuncture is an excellent example of changing medical attitudes.

Part of Chinese medical culture for centuries, many Western physicians looked upon acupuncture as snake oil medicine; but today the National Institutes of Health endorses acupuncture as a valid alternative medicine and 43 states license, register or certify acupuncturists. Many aspects of cancer remain a mystery. The same data reviewed by a different cancer expert can point the way to new and possibly beneficial cancer treatments.

Boosting Immune System May Help Cancer Victims Fight Off Spring Colds

Cancer Patients Can Boost Their Immune Systems
Cancer Patients Can Boost Their Immune Systems

Health officials say the flu season seems to be winding down, but the spring cold season will soon be upon us. Cold and flu season can be a particularly dangerous time for cancer patients whose immune systems are already compromised by their disease. Certain cancer treatments may temporarily challenge the immune system, making cancer sufferers even more susceptible to cold and flu germs. Taking steps to boost your immune system can help your body fight off germs and may decrease your chance of catching a cold this spring.Try these natural methods of boosting your immune system:

  • Sleep regulates the release of cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the immune system. Sleep isn’t always easy for cancer patients but aim for at least 7 hours a night. If sleep is a problem, talk to your Issels treatment team about possible solutions.
  • Rapid temperature fluctuations activate the immune system. At the end of your shower, alternate 30 seconds of very hot water with 10 seconds of cold and repeat 3 times.
  • Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Low vitamin D can increase your risk of catching a cold. Experts recommend taking 1,000 to 1,500 IU of vitamin D per day. Dairy products,  fatty fish like salmon and sunshine are also good sources of vitamin D.
  • Zinc supports and enhances the immune system and can decrease the duration of colds. Oysters, baked beans and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.
  • Saline nasal sprays, used several times a day, help irrigate and cleanse sinuses of cold germs.

Massage Therapy May Help Cancer Patients Manage Stress

Massage Therapy May Help to Relieve Stress.
Massage therapy may be a treatment program to discuss with your Issels physician.

Cancer patients may realize “profound” benefits from massage therapy. In a new study reported on Fox News, brain cancer patients experienced significant stress relief after receiving massage treatments. As the report noted, brain cancer can affect patients’ physical and cognitive functioning. Cancer tumors’ interference with brain function can also lead to challenging secondary mental disorders. Brain cancer patients suffer a high rate of depression often caused by the stress of traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments, as well as by the progress of their disease.In the study, brain cancer patients who received massage therapy twice a week for four weeks experienced a remarkable decrease in stress levels. Patients who at the beginning of the study suffered from severe stress scored below diagnostic stress detection by the end of their 4-week treatment.

“This is more significant than I would have expected,” Dr. Keri Peterson of the American Massage Therapy Association told Fox News.

Prior to the study, the majority of participants expressed concerns common to most cancer patients, including sadness, worry, nervousness, pain, tiredness, trouble sleeping, fear, depression, eating, constipation, nausea, dry skin and tingling sensations. At the end of the 4-week treatment protocol, concern about common cancer stressors was significantly reduced, by as much as 60% for some issues.

As a group, brain cancer patients enjoyed improved feelings of emotional, physical and social well-being. Post-treatment testing revealed that benefits began to fade when massage therapy was discontinued, although patients’ stress levels remained lower than they were initially. Continued massage therapy is an option you may want to discuss with your Issels treatment specialists.

Tips for Managing Cancer Pain

Physician Talking to Patient
Physician Talking to Patient

Cancer pain is not a solitary event but a fusing of mind and body. Pain caused by diagnostic tests, cancer treatments or the cancer itself travels through the body’s nerve pathways to your brain and may be felt in more than one of your senses. (Find out more about what causes cancer pain on the American Cancer Society website.)Working with your cancer treatment team, you will want to develop different strategies for anticipating and managing various types of pain. Having pain management protocols in place will facilitate early intervention which is the key to effective cancer pain management.

We all respond to pain differently and you may need to experiment to figure out which pain management techniques work best for you. Some people find relief in complementary or alternative cancer therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic or massage. Your Issels treatment specialists may also prescribe drugs or supplements to aid in pain control. Omega-3 fatty-acids and vitamin D supplements have shown some promise in treating certain types of pain.

Effective control of cancer pain generally involves multiple strategies. You may want to try some of these techniques for managing cancer pain:

  • Practice mindful meditation. Reacting to pain with anxiety, anger or fear can actually make it worse. In mindful meditation, you focus on controlling your thoughts and feelings rather than your reaction to pain.
  • Engage in physical activity. Even small amounts of daily movement can help strengthen muscles and release stress-fighting endorphins.
  • Learn to accept pain. Acceptance is the conscious decision to accept what you cannot change, focus on the positives and move forward with your life.

Individualized Cancer Treatment