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Common Ground

January 24, 2018

(The second in a two-post series, Taking Control of Life With Cancer)

Since being diagnosed, do you feel as though someone else is in the driver’s seat?

Consider these ways you can take hold of the steering wheel while living with cancer:

  • Work with the present moment, rather than against it. Care for your mind and body as they are right now. At this moment, what can you do to bring yourself peace? Right now, what can you to help your body heal? Take a nap. Indulge in a hot bath. Grab a beer and sit on the front porch. Kick back to your favorite music. Treat your taste buds to some soul food.

  • Try to maintain as normal a routine as possible.

  • Carry a small notebook with you and mak...

January 17, 2018

Talk or knead it out, chill or work out: All can help to reduce fatigue

Whether it's talk or massage therapy, relaxation, yoga, aerobic training, or drugs, patients try many interventions to cope with cancer-related fatigue. A recent meta-analysis compared hundreds of studies to find the best nonpharmaceutical means to manage this common and challenging symptom.

Researchers compared 245 studies to evaluate which nonpharmaceutical interventions were most effective in reducing cancer-related fatigue. Relaxation therapy was effective during cancer treatment, but not as effective after treatment. Yoga was effective both during and after treatment, as were aerobic, resistance and combined aerobic...

January 10, 2018

Lean on me when you're not strong

Bill Withers had it right when he sang, “We all need somebody to lean on.” But can we assume patients with a strong social group at cancer diagnosis still have the support they need to carry on a year or two after surgery?

A total of 857 patients with colorectal cancer participated in the CREW cohort study, published in Psycho-Oncology. At baseline, 3, 9, 15, and 24 months postsurgery, researchers assessed social support and health-related quality of life. From baseline to 2 years, almost a third of patients felt their social support had declined and 8% reported very low levels of support. As a result, these patients experienced poor generic health and QoL,...

January 3, 2018

Patients should start practicing yoga before beginning treatment 

Everywhere you look today, women are sporting yoga pants. In addition to dressing comfortably and fashionably, women with breast cancer have good reason to put their yoga pants to practical use. A review of studies investigating yoga therapy added to standard breast cancer treatment, found that patients in the intervention groups experienced significant benefits.

In a systematic review, researchers investigated whether yoga therapy added to breast cancer treatment improved patients’ physical and psychosocial quality of life (QoL). The authors selected 38 articles from peer-reviewed publications and published their findings in ...

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