Having cancer not only takes a toll on the patient’s body, but it also affects their mind. Regardless of the type of cancer, an important part of the healing and recovery process is coping with both the physical and emotional scars and consequences. With psychotherapy included in your treatment plan, survivors may better cope with the life changes, stress and emotional turmoil that comes with this life-threatening disease.
Psychotherapy, also called counseling, helps to change the way people see their world, behave and feel, improving overall quality of life. When used with cancer patients, it may be either group or individual therapy, and involves coping with negative feelings about cancer treatment and recovery. Some interventions may require long-term counseling, especially for cases of cancer resurgence after a period of remission.
Benefits of Psychotherapy in Cancer Recovery
While psychotherapy may not necessarily extend life in cancer patients, it can help to improve the patient’s quality of life and their ability to cope with disease. Whether the cancer is at an early or an advanced stage, people going through cancer treatment may benefit from therapy.
Some advantages of psychological interventions in cancer treatment and recovery are as follows:
●Teaches patients coping skills and strategies to deal with the physical and emotional pain and distress associated with cancer
●Encourages journaling about feelings and emotions, in particular for those who find it hard to express them verbally
●Helps patients feel better about themselves, to cope with depression, feelings of hopelessness and physical and emotional scars
●Helps patients and their families by offering support and understanding of the emotional effects of cancer
●Assists patients in dealing with and overcoming feelings of fear, anger and anxiety,
●Provides group support so patients can overcome feelings of loneliness and connect with other cancer patients
●Gives patients assignments to help them learn or practice coping skills
Types of Psychotherapy Interventions
By focusing on the emotional trauma and stress that results from a serious disease like cancer, professional counselors or therapists may use different interventions. Three popular forms of therapy that may be used in cancer recovery are:
●Individual psychotherapy, which involves the patient working through emotions and learning coping techniques
●Group therapy to gain emotional support from other cancer patients, who share similar challenges and worries,
●Behavioral therapy to help patients change negative attitudes and behavior patterns, replacing them with healthy responses
You do not have to go through this alone! Ease your mind and go speak to someone who not only cares, but can help you handle your troubles. A strong, positive mind can help you stay on the road to recovery, so what are you waiting for?
This article is by Melanie L. Bowen at http://www.mesothelioma.com
The possible benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening have been hotly debated in recent years, but for the first time a new study tries to put a number on the balance of pluses and minuses for the average man.
“Genetically, human beings haven’t changed, but our environment, our access to cheap food has,” says Professor Jimmy Bell, obesity specialist at Imperial College, London.
“We’re being bombarded every day by the food industry to consume more and more food. “It’s a war between our bodies and the demands our body makes, and the accessibility that modern society gives us with food. And as a scientist I feel really depressed, because we are losing the war against obesity.”
While most are aware that being overweight or obese does increase their risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, researchers from UCLA have uncovered another lesser known, but equally severe risk. After reviewing brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, researchers found that obese people have eight percent less brain tissue than those of normal weight, and their brains looked 16 years older!
Overweight people, in addition, had 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appeared 8 years older than those with leaner builds. This amounts to “severe brain degeneration,” according to senior author of the study and UCLA professor of neurology Paul Thompson. “That’s a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases that attack the brain.”
Aside from causing your brain to age prematurely, it’s also been found that obesity now causes nearly as many cases of cancer as smoking, and may one day surpass it. In fact, it’s estimated that 90,000 cancer deaths could be prevented every year in the United States if Americans maintained a healthy weight.
Excess weight was also linked to leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In 2005, 32.5 million cattle were slaughtered to provide beef for U.S. consumers. Scientists believe about two-thirds of American cattle raised for slaughter today are injected with hormones to make them grow faster. America’s dairy cows are also often given a genetically-engineered hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. These measures mean higher profits for the beef and dairy industries, but what does it mean for those of us consuming these products? The USDA and FDA claim these hormone additives are safe, but there is growing concern that hormone residues in meat and milk might be harmful to human health and the environment.
European standards do not allow hormones in beef cattle production because the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health believe they pose a potential risk to human health. The use of six growth hormones in beef production: Oestradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone, Zeranol, Trenbolone, and Melengestrol are not allowed in European beef products. The Committee questions whether hormone residues in the meat of “growth enhanced” animals can disrupt human hormone balance, causing developmental problems, interfering with the reproductive system, and even leading to the development of breast, prostate or colon cancer.
Of most concern are children, pregnant women and the unborn, those most susceptible to negative health effects. Hormone residues in beef have been implicated in the early onset of puberty in girls, which could put them at greater risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer later. The European Union’s Committee reported that as of 1999, no comprehensive studies had been conducted to determine whether hormone residues in meat can be cancer-causing.
Despite international concern, the United States and Canada continue to allow growth promoting hormones in their cattle, while The European Union does not allow the use of hormones in cattle production. They have prohibited the import of hormone-treated beef since 1988.
Where do you stand on the hormone question? Do you insist on “natural” products or are the Europeans over reacting?
The Food and Drug Administration just approved the first new pill for ED in a decade. But Stendra, also known as Avanafil, works the same way and is likely to work for the same men as previous pills.
Stendra does have one new selling point: “It acts a little quicker,” often in about 15 minutes, says Wayne Hellstrom, a professor of urology at Tulane University in New Orleans. He worked on clinical studies for drugmaker Vivus Inc. The other drugs typically take effect in 30 to 60 minutes. The drugs all increase blood flow to the penis, and men who take any of them can get side effects such as facial flushing, headaches, upset stomachs and stuffy noses.
Still, these heavily marketed pills are not the whole answer to a problem estimated to affect 30 million American men and their partners.
For one thing, they don’t work for everyone: The 40% to 60% of men who get results are likely to have milder ED (they can still get some spontaneous erections), are in stable relationships and do not have a long list of other health problems. Those health problems — including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. But many cases of ED could be prevented or improved with the same lifestyle choices that improve overall health, especially heart health.
Experts are developing ED prevention guidelines based on studies showing links with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diets. Those links are so strong that doctors now know that a man in his 40s who arrives in a doctor’s office with ED is at high risk for an eventual heart attack and/or stroke, says Stephen Kopecky, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.
“These are different manifestations of the same disease process,” he says. “What causes heart attacks? A decrease in blood flow to the heart. What causes erectile dysfunction? It’s a decrease of blood flow to the penis.” But the effects on the penis show up sooner, he says.
Sometimes, there are other factors. ED can be caused by certain medications, including drugs for high blood pressure and depression. Many patients have had surgery for prostate, colon or bladder cancer, and for those men, pills often are less effective than other options, including penile injections and pumping devices. Blood vessel surgery is an option for some young men with ED caused by pelvic injuries.
Whatever the cause, ED can be made worse by “conflict in the marriage, hurt and anger, depression and performance anxiety,” says Ruth Hutcheson, clinical director of North Shore Center for Marital Therapy in Oakbrook, Ill., and a certified sex therapist with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Sometimes sessions with a therapist may help.
“It’s very important to improve communication,” she says. When couples do that, they often find that everything works better in the marriage.
A new technique to treat early prostate cancer may have far fewer side-effects than existing therapies. A 41-patient study in the journal Lancet Oncology suggests targeted ultrasound treatment could reduce the risk of impotence and incontinence. Researchers say it could transform future treatment if the findings are repeated in larger studies. The Medical Research Council (MRC), which funded the study, welcomed the results, which it said were promising.
Each year 37,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Many face a difficult dilemma: the disease kills about 10,000 men every year, but for some it may not get worse if left untreated. Standard treatment with surgery or radiotherapy involves treating the whole prostate gland, and can harm surrounding tissue, with a serious risk of side-effects, including urinary incontinence and impotence.
Doctors at University College Hospital in London have carried out the first trial using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) aimed at small patches of cancer cells on the prostate. This was a “proof of concept” study involving 41 patients.
They used a probe, placed close to the prostate, which emits sound waves that heat the targeted cells to 80C, while causing minimal damage to surrounding nerves and muscles. Hashim Ahmed, a urological surgeon at the trust who led the study, says the results, 12 months after treatment, are very encouraging.
“We’ve shown in this study that focal therapy – by targeting the individual areas of cancer – can avoid the collateral damage. In nine out of ten men no impotence or incontinence resulted.
Mr Ahmed says the early evidence on cancer control is also very good, but this needs to be evaluated in much larger studies.
In just one year, Americans drank nearly 9 billion gallons of bottled water, which is second only to soft drinks as the largest beverage type in the U.S. market, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.
What are You Really Drinking When You Drink Bottled Water?
Plastic water bottles have come under scrutiny in recent years for both their environmental and health effects, including those surrounding the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA can leach out of plastic during everyday use, causing health problems. It’s now widely known that BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen and may affect fertility and promote cancer. And just last year it came out that BPA may also lead to heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.
Studies have shown that detectable levels of BPA exist in more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, but exposure has been blamed on not only drinking water and food, but also on dental sealants, dermal exposure and inhalation of household dusts.
How much BPA are we exposed to when drinking from a plastic bottle?
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found out. Researchers recruited Harvard College students for a study in April 2008, and all 77 participants then began a seven-day “washout” during which they drank all cold beverages from stainless steel bottles in order to minimize BPA exposure. For the next week, participants were given two polycarbonate bottles and asked to drink all cold beverages from them.
Urine samples were taken at the end of each week-long period, and the results that came back were shocking! Levels of BPA rose 69 percent after just one week of drinking out of plastic bottles.
“We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds. If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher. This would be of concern since infants may be particularly susceptible to BPA’s endocrine-disrupting potential,” said Karin B. Michels, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH and Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study.
While previous studies have found that BPA could leach from polycarbonate bottles into their contents, this study is the first to show the corresponding increase in BPA levels in humans.
The end result is this, if you drink out of plastic water bottles, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re increasing your levels of BPA, which is very risky for your health.
Chronic exposure to very low levels of BPA, such as might occur when drinking bottled water, is potentially very harmful.
“An expert panel of scientists has concluded that exposure to extremely low doses of bisphenol A is strongly linked to diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes, and to reproductive and neurological development,” the Sierra Club reported. And single-serve bottles are not the only ones to be concerned about. Consumer Reports found in 2000 that eight of 10 5-gallon water jugs they tested contained residues of BPA.
While the use of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles was banned in Canada in 2008, and some manufacturers have voluntarily eliminated the chemical from their bottles, this is not yet widespread in the United States nor have recent U.S. regulatory laws been passed. In fact, BPA is so widely used that it may be nearly impossible to avoid exposure entirely, however you can greatly reduce your exposure by avoiding BPA-containing products as much as possible, including one of the biggest BPA predators: plastic water bottles.
Plastic containing BPA may be called: Polycarbonate, Lexan, and Polysulfone.
For the nearly 12 million cancer survivors in the US, the toughest part after initial diagnosis and treatment is dealing with fears of recurrence. New research findings presented this week at the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual meeting in Chicago provide some reassuring news for cancer survivors — and ways to lower their risk of having a relapse.
1. Nearly half of all cancer survivors do not die of cancer. They instead die of unrelated conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. Based on a population study of 1,807 cancer survivors followed for 18 years, the longer cancer patients survive after initial diagnosis, the more likely they are to die from other disease.
Cancer was the cause of death in about two-thirds of the study participants who died within five years of diagnosis, but cancer was the cause of death in only one-third of those who survived for 20 years or longer after their original cancer diagnosis.
It was found that after the detection of cancer, clinicians and cancer survivors pay too little attention to the prevention and treatment of other chronic diseases and complications. Do not neglect other aspects of your health as you focus on future cancer prevention.
2. Cruciferous vegetables lower risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients. Breast cancer survivors should add more broccoli, cauliflower, and bok choy to their diet. A Vanderbuilt University study of nearly 5,000 Chinese breast cancer patients found that those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had the lowest risk of recurrence and of dying of breast cancer over a three year period.
The benefits were modest: a 21 percent decrease in recurrence risk for those who ate one or two servings a day of cruciferous vegetables and a 35 percent decrease for those who ate more. Still, it’s impossible to say whether the vegetables, themselves, or some other factor led to the reduced risk.
“Breast cancer survivors can follow the general nutritional guidelines of eating vegetables daily and may consider increasing intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as greens, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, as part of a healthy diet,” said study author Sarah Nechuta in a statement.
3. Common diabetes drug may improve prognosis for several cancers. It is possible that metformin — a popular first-line drug to treat Type 2 diabetes — can improve cancer prognosis and lower the risk of relapse. As of now, this is just a hypothesis being investigated in several studies that were presented at the AACR meeting.
The initial results were positive: A study from MD Anderson Cancer Center that examined medical records from 302 pancreatic cancer patients who also had diabetes found that those who were taking metformin had a three-month longer survival time on average compared to those who were not. At one year, the researchers found that 64 percent of the patients prescribed metformin were still alive, compared to 46 percent of the group not prescribed metformin.
Other studies presented at the meeting found that metformin appears to slow prostate cancer growth in those who were randomly given the drug instead of a placebo in a small clinical trial. This drug also protected against liver cancer and oral cancers in two studies conducted in mice.
From my own experiences in the past few years and what I have learned after suffering from a terrible case of Candida Albicans back in 2008, sugar is one of the worst toxins we consume everyday.
A handful of scientists have recently suggested that sugar is actually the worst thing in the American diet, on some levels even worse than trans fats. Sugar can be blamed for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even some form of cancers. According to research led by Robert Lustig of the University of California, sugar is toxic. He will appear on CBS 60 Minutes this evening to explain his findings.
According to research, the average American person consumes roughly 130 pounds of added sugars, which includes sugar as well as high fructose corn syrup, every year. While high fructose corn syrup is often vilified more often than sugar, Lustig says that, metabolically, there is no difference.
Taking the idea of the toxicity of sugar even further, Lustig, in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CBS 60 Minutes tonight, goes so far as to say that sugar should be treated no differently than alcohol or tobacco.
Ironic isn’t it, we try to limit alcohol and tobacco consumption to adults, but push sugar at our children every chance we get. EASTER candy anyone?
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