Tag Archives: Living With Cancer

Tips for Lowering Your Stress Levels While in Cancer Treatment

Taking a Deep Breath and Seeking Help Can Really Help Take Stress Down a Notch.
Taking a Deep Breath and Seeking Help Can Really Help Take Stress Down a Notch.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, stress relief is more important than ever for your quality of life. A recent study found that relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation actually produce molecular changes that counteract depression.

The Immune System in Overdrive

When stress triggers the familiar “fight-or-flight” reaction, it also boosts production of a molecule called NF-kB. This molecule in turn stimulates genes to produce cytokines, which are proteins that cause inflammation as part of the immune system response.

In the short term, this process is helpful in battling infections and other common ailments. Problems arise when the pro-inflammatory gene expression is chronic, leading to higher cancer risk along with accelerated aging and mental disorders such as depression.

Exploring the Mind-Body Connection

The study from the Universities of Coventry and Radboud, published in Frontiers in Immunology, examined gene behavior in 846 participants over a span of 11 years. Principle focus was the effect of mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as yoga, tai chi and meditation.

Results showed that regular practice of MBIs caused reduced production of NF-kB and cytokines. This decrease reversed the pro-inflammatory gene expression pattern, with a corresponding reduction in the risk of inflammation-related conditions.

According to lead researcher Ivana Buric, the process leaves a “molecular signature” that reverses the effects of stress and anxiety. MBIs can change the genetic code to follow a path toward health and well-being.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: A Personalized Approach

No two cases of cancer are the same. Contact us to learn how Issels® uses individually developed immunotherapy for cancer programs to help patients of all ages and all forms of cancer.

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.

Taking Care of Yourself: Important Safety Reminders About Your Cancer-Compromised Immune System

Keep in Mind Your Immune System

When you’re undergoing cancer treatment, it demands the full attention of your immune system, leaving the door open for bacteria and other germs to sneak in. Use these food-handling tips to reduce the risk of disease and infection.

Food Preparation

  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after food prep and before eating.
  • Keep foods at the proper temperature. Hot foods should be above 140° F, while cold foods should be below 40° F.
  • Don’t thaw proteins at room temperature. Use a microwave or place them in the refrigerator with a pan to catch drips.
  • Defrosted foods should be used right away and never refrozen.
  • Don’t take chances. If any foods look, feel or smell strange, dispose of them immediately.
  • Wash produce under running water using a vegetable scrubber. Don’t use soaps, bleaches or other chemical cleaning products.

Cooking

  • Always use a clean spoon when tasting foods while cooking.
  • Don’t guess when cooking meat. Use a food thermometer for accuracy. Beef should be cooked to 160° F while poultry should be cooked to 180° F.
  • If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable, rotate the dish a quarter-turn a couple of times during cooking to ensure that food is evenly heated.
  • When reheating leftovers, cover food with a lid or plastic wrap and stir frequently.

Immunotherapy at Issels®: Personalized Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment

Our immunotherapy treatment programs are designed to boost your immune system, allowing it to fight cancer naturally. Visit our website to learn more about how our state-of-the-art cancer treatment has helped many patients achieve long-term remission.

I Have Cancer, Who Should I Tell?

Finding the Best Way to Tell Others you Have Cancer.
Finding the Best Way to Tell Others you Have Cancer.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to maintain a support network of friends and family, but discussing your illness can be awkward and uncomfortable. How do you decide whom to tell and what to tell them?

Sharing Your Cancer Diagnosis

  • Your situation is unique. How and when you inform loved ones is up to you, not some arbitrary timetable. Take time to explore your own thoughts and emotions, giving yourself permission to experience them honestly.
  • Once you’re ready to start telling others, make a list of those you want to talk to in person. This group will most likely include your spouse or significant other along with other family members, followed by close friends. You may want to let these people break the news to more casual acquaintances.
  • If you work, not everyone in the office has to have the same level of information. You should tell your supervisor and human resources manager, since treatment will probably affect your work schedule. With co-workers, you might want to let them know with a general email or statement and then share details individually as you see fit.

Handling the Reactions

  • Most people will offer assistance, so be prepared with an answer. If you do want help, give them specific suggestions.
  • Sometimes people make inappropriate or thoughtless comments. Keep in mind that such behavior stems from their own discomfort or insecurities and shouldn’t be taken personally.

Personally Tailored Immunotherapy for Cancer Programs

At Issels®, we have decades of successful experience using immunotherapy for cancer to bolster our patients’ natural defense mechanisms. Visit our website to learn more.

Do Depression and Stress Lead to the Spread of Cancer?

Don't Let Stress Get To You! Take a Deep Breath.
Don’t Let Stress Get To You! Take a Deep Breath.

It’s been well-documented that stress and depression can cause a wide range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems such as chronic joint pain, listlessness, and lack of concentration. Do these mental difficulties have any effect on the onset or spread of cancer?

The Connection between Stress and Cancer

An article published on the National Institutes of Health website gives a comprehensive overview of studies on the link between stress and cancer. While there is little evidence to suggest that stress and depression can trigger the development of tumors, there is strong evidence to support a relationship between stress and cancer metastasis.

Metastasis occurs when malignant cancer cells break free of their original location and spread to other parts of the body, forming new tumors. Researchers have discovered that chronic stress and depression activate hormones that promote angiogenesis, which is the process of creating new blood vessels.

While angiogenesis plays an important role in the healing process, it also provides the dedicated blood supply needed for cancer cells to grow and spread. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s in short supply in patients experiencing chronic stress or depression, inhibits angiogenesis and impacts the tumor microenvironment.

Combating Stress and Depression

The role of dopamine in restricting angiogenesis makes it a promising factor in immunotherapy for cancer. Having a strong support system can also relieve stress and depression while improving the outcome of treatment.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Boosting Your Body’s Natural Defenses

At Issels®, our state-of-the-art immunotherapy for cancer treatments target both the tumor and its microenvironment. Contact us to learn more about our integrative, personally tailored protocols.

Tips for Settling Your Stomach While in Cancer Treatment

Better Eating
Better Eating

Nausea is a common side effect that occurs with cancer patients, whether from the disease itself or from treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. While the physical discomfort is bad enough, nausea can prevent you from absorbing valuable nutrients when you need them the most.

Relieving Nausea during Cancer Treatment

Drugs called antiemetics can help control nausea, but here are some cancer treatment tips you can use to naturally reduce your symptoms:

  • Don’t try to counteract nausea by eating your favorite foods. A more likely result is that you’ll lose your taste for those foods because you associate them with the nausea.
  • Sip liquids throughout the day, but not during meals, when it can cause bloating and a feeling of fullness.
  • Sitting comfortably for about an hour after eating helps digestion.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes that are less restrictive around your midsection.
  • If you’re experiencing nausea during therapy sessions, avoid eating for a couple of hours before treatment.
  • Soft foods such as oatmeal, yogurt and canned fruits and vegetables are easier on your stomach. Avoid spices along with foods that are high in fat or sugar.
  • Track your episodes of nausea to identify specific triggers and adjust your eating habits accordingly.

Issels® Offers State-of-the-Art Immunotherapy for Cancer

We know that your environment and lifestyle contribute to successful cancer treatment. Visit our website for more cancer treatment tips and contact us to learn more about our individually tailored therapies such as cancer vaccines and NK cells.