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,
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
According to the National Cancer Institute, “End-of-life
care includes physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support for patients
and their families.
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.
A new website that offers FREE guided meditations has been
created for cancer survivors. Kara (https://thisiskara.com
) features 12
meditations including the four core qualities whose initials give Kara its
name—kindness, awareness, rest and allowing.
The remaining eight tracks are designed to help with specific difficult
emotions or challenges that survivors experience, such as feeling overwhelmed,
afraid or angry; feeling alone or like you are a burden; or being in pain or
Here's just a few of my notes from the report:
Can Cancer Be Prevented?
“A substantial proportion of cancers could be prevented.”
Tobacco use is a major cause of some cancers.
Cancer doesn't just affect the patient. It affects our loved ones too. I recently read two very moving essays by loved ones and caregivers of cancer survivors. Read them:
Today I met with some CaSfA members. Among other topics, we did discuss end of life issues. The conversation reminded me of an episode of Frontline I recently
watched, “Being Mortal”, on PBS. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/being-mortal/
Although it was very emotional, I highly recommend watching the
According to PBS’ website,
“The United States has a problem
when it comes to conversations around death and dying, says Dr. Atul Gawande.
Patients with life-threatening illnesses tend to focus on how to beat the
steep odds against them, he says, without hearing from their doctors about how
certain kinds of treatment might actually worsen their remaining time
another study showing the anti-cancer properties of Vitamin D. “According to a new
study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, clinical trial
patients with metastaticcolorectal cancer
who had high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream
prior to treatment with chemotherapy and targeted drugs, survived longer, on average,
than patients with lower levels of the vitamin.”
These findings were recently reported
at the 2015 American Society of Cancer Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers
Symposium in San Francisco.