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Thu, Jan 10 9:53am · Best Ways to Prevent Nausea from Cancer Treatment in Cancer Education Center

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Nausea is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Learn how to help prevent nausea by viewing this Mayo Clinic video or reading through the steps below to reduce your risk.

  • Eat small meals. Enjoy small meals throughout the day rather than fewer, larger meals. If possible, don’t skip meals. Eating a light meal a few hours before treatment may also help.
  • Eat what appeals to you. It’s best to avoid foods that are sweet, fried or fatty. In addition, cool foods may give off less bothersome odors. Cook and freeze meals in advance of treatment to avoid cooking when you’re not feeling well. Or have someone else cook for you.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Try cool beverages, such as water, unsweetened fruit juices, tea or ginger ale that’s lost its carbonation. It may help to drink moderate amounts throughout the day.
  • Avoid unpleasant smells. Pay attention to what smells trigger nausea for you and limit your exposure. Fresh air may help.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Rest after eating, but don’t lie flat for a couple of hours. Try wearing loose-fitting clothing and distracting yourself with other activities.
  • Use relaxation techniques. Examples include meditation and deep breathing.
  • Consider complementary therapies. Complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and aromatherapy, may help you feel better when used in combination with medications from your doctor. Talk with your provider if you’re interested in trying these treatments.

These self-care measures may help you prevent nausea and vomiting, but they can’t take the place of anti-nausea medications. If you begin to feel nauseated despite the medications, call your doctor.

We would love to learn what has worked for you and invite you to share.

Dec 12, 2018 · Movement is Good Medicine in Cancer Education Center

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Research not only shows that physical activity reduces the risk of a variety of cancer types, it also suggests the idea people with a cancer diagnosis should be active throughout all stages of survivorship. The idea has gone as far as encouraging doctors to prescribe exercise as a strategy to improve quality of life and long-term outcomes for cancer survivors.

The research is strong showing positive benefits for cancer survivors, including:

  • Decreasing fatigue
  • Improving balance and flexibility
  • Boosting energy and mood
  • Improving heart and bone health
  • Reducing risk of cancer returning

Adding exercise and movement to your day doesn’t need to be complicated. Start slow and be creative. Even small changes in your daily routine can make a difference. Getting started can be the hardest part, so here are a few ideas:

  • Talk with your health care provider first if you have any long-term medical conditions.
  • Plan your strategy — try adding 10, 20 and 30 minute sessions of some form of activity each day. Planning and being purposeful about setting aside time for daily activity increases follow through.
  • Choose activities you enjoy — it’ll be easier to stick with your plan that way.
  • Explore new ways to exercise — dance, walk, climb stairs, swim, etc. All movement counts.
  • Wear a pedometer — tracking your progress can be a great way to get immediate feedback and can serve as positive encouragement for adding more steps each day (1 mile is about 2,000 steps).
  • Make it a habit — it takes approximately 30 days to create a habit.

Has your health care provider prescribed physical activity for you? Please share your thoughts on the topic and what has worked for you.

 

Meet others talking about exercise and healthy habits in the Healthy Living group or talking about cancers in one of the many cancer groups on Mayo Clinic Connect. Share experiences, ask questions and find support from people like you.

Nov 20, 2018 · The Great American Smokeout in Cancer Education Center

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world with more than 34 million Americans smoking cigarettes. For over 40 years, the third Thursday in November has been recognized as the Great American Smokeout. The day marks an opportunity for thousands of individuals to take an important step toward a healthier life and reduce cancer risk by making a commitment to be smoke-free.

Quitting is difficult yet the benefits are immediate. You’ll notice food tastes better; your sense of smell returns to normal; your lung function increases; your heart rate and blood pressure drop; and your circulation improves.

If you missed the Great American Smokeout, there is no need to wait until November 2019 to jump onboard, there are plenty of resources available to help you quit successfully. Participating in counseling, creating a support network, utilizing medication and taking advantage of other assistance such as quitlines, self-help books and Nicotine Anonymous meetings may double, or even triple, your chances of saying goodbye to smoking for good.

The ACS can help and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support. To find out more, visit cancer.org/smokeout or call 1-800-227-2345.

If you’re supporting a loved one in their effort to quit smoking, ask how you can best help. Whether it is offering to engage in activities to keep their mind off smoking, having candies or other foods available as distractions or there to provide words of encouragement – your role is incredibly valuable. Just remember, needs will change and it’s important to have a broader focus than just whether they’ve stayed quit. The journey to smoke-free may take time.

What have your experiences been with striving to be smoke-free? What has helped you most?

 

Meet others sharing about trying to quit smoking while undergoing medical treatment or talking about cancers in one of the many cancer groups on Mayo Clinic Connect, Share experiences, ask questions and find support from people like you.

Oct 24, 2018 · Cancer survivors: Managing your emotions after cancer treatment in Cancer Education Center

I can understand how guilt might arise, just remember your feelings are every bit as important as the next person's. Your world has changed and being able to express all the emotions that come with that aids in healing. Your voice is important. You might be surprised if you open up – those further in their journey may view the opportunity to help you as a gift.

Oct 22, 2018 · Benefits of Yoga in Cancer Education Center

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Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity

Is yoga right for you? It is if you want to fight stress, get fit and stay healthy.

Your phone is ringing, your to-do list is a mile long and your partner wants to know what’s for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to give yoga a try.

Understanding yoga

Yoga — a mind-body practice — is considered one of many types of complementary and integrative health approaches. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities and most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The health benefits of yoga

The potential health benefits of yoga include:

  • Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
  • Improved fitness. Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.
  • Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.

Yoga precautions

Yoga is generally considered safe for most healthy people when practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor, but there are some situations in which yoga might pose a risk.

See your health care provider before you begin yoga if you have any of the following conditions or situations:

  • A herniated disk
  • A risk of blood clots
  • Eye conditions, including glaucoma
  • Pregnancy (generally considered safe, but some poses may need to be avoided)
  • Severe balance problems
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure

You may be able to practice yoga in these situations if you take certain precautions, such as avoiding certain poses or stretches. If you develop symptoms, such as pain, or have concerns, see your doctor.

Getting started

Although you can learn yoga from books and videos, beginners usually find it helpful to learn with an instructor. Classes also offer camaraderie and friendship, which are also important to overall well-being.

When you find a class that sounds interesting, talk with the instructor so you know what to expect. Questions to ask include:

  • What are the instructor’s qualifications? Where did he or she train and how long have they been teaching?
  • Does the instructor have experience working with students with your needs or health concerns? If you have a sore knee or an aching shoulder, can the instructor help you find poses that won’t aggravate your condition?
  • How demanding is the class? Is it suitable for beginners? Will it be easy enough to follow along if it’s your first time?
  • What can you expect from the class? Is it aimed at your needs, such as stress management or relaxation, or is it geared toward something else?

 

Achieving the right balance

Every person has a different body with different abilities. You may need to modify yoga postures to match you. Choosing an instructor who is experienced and who understands your needs is important to safely and effectively practice yoga. Good instructors will understand and encourage you to explore — but not exceed — your personal limits.

We would love to hear stories sharing how yoga has benefitted you!

Sep 13, 2018 · Cancer survivors: Managing your emotions after cancer treatment in Cancer Education Center

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A variety of emotions is normal and, despite being eager to return to a more normal life, it can be scary to step away from the doctors and nurses who supported you through treatment. Take time to acknowledge how and understand why you feel these emotions and what you can do about them.

Fear of recurrence in cancer survivors

Fear of recurrence is common in cancer survivors. Though they may go years without any sign of disease, cancer survivors say the thought of recurrence is always with them. You might worry that every ache or pain is a sign of your cancer recurring. Eventually these fears will fade, though they may never go away completely. The feelings might be especially strong before follow-up visits to your doctor or the anniversary of your cancer diagnosis.

To calm fears and influence your future health try to:

  • Take care of your body. Focus on keeping yourself healthy. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fit exercise into your day. Get enough sleep so that you wake feeling refreshed.
  • Go to all of your follow-up appointments. You may fear the worst when it’s time for your next follow-up appointment. Don’t let that stop you from going. Write down questions about any signs or symptoms that worry you and use the time with your doctor to ask them. Ask about your risk of recurrence and what signs and symptoms to watch for. Knowing more may help you feel more in control.
  • Get all your follow-up tests. Discuss with your doctor plans for follow-up and monitoring of your cancer. Together, you will formulate a specific plan based on your situation. Not everyone needs regular scans or blood tests. Ask your doctor about creating a plan to look for late side effects of the cancer therapy. Many cancer treatments can cause side effects years later.
  • Be open about your fears. Express your concerns to your friends, family, other cancer survivors, your doctor or a counselor. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of discussing your fears, try recording your thoughts in a journal.
  • Keep busy. Get out of the house and find activities that will take your mind off your worries.

Stress in cancer survivors

When you were diagnosed with cancer, you might have focused completely on your treatment and getting healthy. Now that you’ve completed treatment, all those projects around the house and the things on your to-do list are competing for your attention. This can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Don’t feel you need to do everything at once. Take time for yourself as you establish a new daily routine. Try exercising, talking with other cancer survivors and taking time for activities you enjoy.

Depression and anxiety in cancer survivors

Lingering feelings of sadness and anger can interfere with your daily life. For many people these feelings will dissipate. But for others, these feelings can develop into depression.

Tell your doctor about your feelings. If needed, you can be referred to someone who can help you through talk therapy, medication or both. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are keys to successfully overcoming depression.

Self-consciousness in cancer survivors

If surgery or other treatment changed your appearance, you might feel self-conscious about your body.

Changes in skin color, weight gain or loss, the loss of a limb, or the placement of an ostomy might make you feel like you’d rather stay home, away from other people. You might withdraw from friends and family. And self-consciousness can strain your relationship with your partner if you don’t feel worthy of love or affection.

Take time to grieve. But also learn to focus on the ways cancer has made you a stronger person and realize that you’re more than the scars that cancer has left behind. When you’re more confident about your appearance, others will feel more comfortable around you.

Loneliness in cancer survivors

You might feel as if others can’t understand what you’ve been through, which makes it hard to relate to other people and can lead to loneliness. Friends and family might be unsure of how to help you, and some people may even be afraid of you because you’ve had cancer.

Don’t deal with loneliness on your own. Consider joining a support group with other cancer survivors who are having the same emotions you are. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society for more information. Or try an online message board for cancer survivors, such as the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network.

Where to go for help

While experiencing any of these emotions is normal, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. If you find that your feelings are overwhelming you, or interfering with your everyday life, it’s a good idea to consider getting some help. Whether it’s talking with friends, family, therapist or as part of a support group with other cancer survivors – find what works best for you. You can also consider offering your own expertise to other patients who are going through active treatment and help them in their journey.

You know what is best for you. If you have advice for others on calming fears, talking through emotions or seeking support, please share. We would love to hear from you!

Connect with other caregivers here:

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/

 

Sep 5, 2018 · 14th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk - Registration Open in Cancer Education Center

JTJ walkRegistration is now open for Join the Journey’s 14th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk! Registration will close on Friday, September 14th.

WHEN: Sunday, September 16th, 2018

WHERE: Mayo High School – 1420 11th Avenue SE, Rochester, MN

WHAT: Registration includes pre-walk event, t-shirt, 5-mile walk with supporters and survivors, post-walk entertainment and lunch!

TIME: Pre-walk event starts at 8:45am

HOW TO REGISTER: Visit Breast Cancer Walk 2018 or register via Facebook .

Join the Journey’s mission is to promote breast cancer awareness in our community and to provide support to individuals on their breast cancer journey through programs and services such as the Pink Ribbon Mentors, Making Waves Dragonboat, Creative Support Series, support groups, book program, and other additional items provided to patients at Mayo Clinic. Please visit Join the Journey for additional information.

 

 

Jul 25, 2018 · Intimacy and sex after cancer treatment in Cancer Education Center

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Love, affection and intimacy are important to healthy relationships. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy may cause sexual side effects, affect your body image and can also impact your feelings about sex and intimacy. As a cancer survivor, keep in mind that you may need to give your body time to heal after surgery or treatment. Be patient.

Sexual dysfunction is more common with cancers of the reproductive system, such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Treatment for other cancers such as colorectal and bladder cancer can also have an effect on sexual function.

Emotions can have a strong effect on your desire for sex due to anxiety, fears and physical changes during and after cancer treatment. It’s important to recognize these emotions and understand the impact they may have.

Intimacy and sex are strongly related, however, you may find that during this time of recovery and healing, your focus is more on intimacy and the emotional connection rather than the physical focus of a sexual relationship.

The following points may help you find new ways to be intimate with your partner:

  • Be open and honest — talk about how you’re feeling.
  • Ask them how they feel — never assume you know what they’re thinking.
  • Explore new ways to have a physical connection — try backrubs, foot massages, cuddling, reading together or simply holding hands.
  • As you’re feeling better, request a date night and suggest what you’d like to do.
  • When you feel like initiating a sexual connection, communicate what you’d like to try and begin slowly.
  • The level of connection you feel with your partner may depend on your own body image — let them know what you’re feeling so you can talk about it together.

Remember, sexuality and intimacy includes all parts of you — physical, emotional and spiritual. Many times, individuals share that intimacy and relationships were strengthened during this healing period.

Please reach out to each other on this topic. Receiving support and encouragement from others is so important. If you feel you need more help, don’t hesitate to ask for professional guidance.