CaSfA - Cancer Support for All
News from CaSfA's Director

Meditation

The continuing rise in cancer rates and longer survivorship underscores the need for effective symptom management. Based on current evidence, meditation is a promising modality for the relief of both psychological and physical symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments. Meditation can reduce stress, control anxiety, improve sleep, and improve emotional health and self-awareness.  It has also been reported to lengthen attention span and reduce age-related memory loss.

CaSfA recently hosted a Meditation Workshop utilizing the free app, 

The American Cancer Society's 2019 Annual Report

Much has been written in the past weeks about the American Cancer Society’s Annual Report.
 
Here are some facts from the report:
The Good News
·      The U.S. cancer death rate has hit a milestone, falling for the past 25 years.  The nation’s cancer death rate was increasing until the early 1990s.

Colon Cancer Screening

Tonight I will be attending a wake for a woman who was taken much too soon due to Stage IV Colon Cancer.  Please heed the advice of the American Cancer Society for screening:
Research has shown that the risk of colorectal cancer has been increasing in younger adults.  This finding spurred the American Cancer Society to update their screening guidelines for colorectal cancer:

End of Life Care

End-of-life care is the term used to describe the support and medical care given during the time surrounding death. This care does not happen only in the moments before breathing stops and the heart stops beating.  People living with one or more chronic illnesses may need a lot of care for days, weeks, and even months before death.  In addition, we don’t always know when death is near, so it is important that we figure out a plan in advance.
 
According to the National Cancer Institute, “End-of-life care includes physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support for patients and their families.

Yoga for Survivors

CaSfA had such a wonderful evening of Yoga with Eileen Nikopoulos!  Gentle, simple poses and breath work started the class.  We were then guided into a few restorative poses and experienced a sample of Thai Yoga bodywork.  We all left the evening feeling much more relaxed and rejuvenated!!

Eileen Nikopoulos, RYT 500 is an experienced yoga teacher and Certified Thai Yoga Bodywork Practitioner who practices at several studios in the Central Massachusetts area.  Her private studio is at 14 South Street, Westborough, but she will also travel to your home or office.

Cancer and Exercise

There is a physical (and mental) decline in our bodies as we age—and studies have shown that biologic aging begins in our 20’s!  Add cancer and the effects of its treatments to this decline and we can end up with significant weaknesses.
 
It can be extremely challenging to do any exercise or fitness program during treatment and even after treatment is completed.  I remember some days, just getting out of bed was a major accomplishment.  There is pain and limited abilities that may be secondary to surgeries and radiation.

Cancer Survivorship: Sexual Health and the Pelvic Floor

CaSfA members learned a lot of useful information at "Cancer Survivorship: Sexual Health and the Pelvic Floor", a presentation by Stacey Berger, PT. Stacey specializes in women’s health, men’s health, pelvic pain, pelvic floor rehabilitation, continence control, and musculoskeletal conditions.  She is STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Certified in Oncology Rehab.

Here are some take home pelvic health tips:
  • Drink plenty of water for healthy bladder and improved bowel function

USPSTF's Recommendations for PSA Testing

The US Preventive Services Task Force recently released a draft statement with updated advice for the use of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in screening for prostate cancer.  They will be accepting public feedback regarding their recommendations until May 8, 2017, after which time a final recommendation will be released.
Back in 2012, the USPSTF unequivocally told doctors to discourage patients from getting PSA testing.  They stated that the risks of false positives and overtreatment outweighed the benefits.

Skin Care After Cancer

CaSfA members were fortunate to have Holly Brown of Looking and Feeling FAB, Inc.(http://lookfeelfab.org) for a presentation, “Skin Care After the Diagnosis of Cancer”.  This non-profit organization offers those with cancer and other serious illnessesFREE skin care products, treatments and educationat multiple locations in Massachusetts (including Westborough!!).  We learned how our skin changes with cancer and what we can do to preserve and protect our skin.  We even received gift bags with sample products!

What's New In Cervical Cancer

In a recent Facebook webchat, Dr. Ursula Matulonis, medical director of Gynecologic Oncology in Dana-Farber’sSusan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, and Dr. Colleen Feltmate,director of minimally invasive surgery in Gynecologic Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discussed what is new in Cervical Cancer. You can access the webchat at:http://blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2017/01/what-you-should-know-about-cervical-cancer-webchat/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=What%20you%20should%20know%20about%20cervical%20cancer&utm_campaign=spotlight
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