The return of her breast cancer after a decade in remission has caused U.S. singer-songwriter Anastacia to cancel her European tour just a month before its scheduled London kickoff. Less well-known here than she is abroad, the 44-year-old pop singer is a chart-topping, multi-platinum star with a huge European and Asian following. First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 when she was 34, the Chicago native has shared her cancer struggle through her song lyrics.After winning her first battle against cancer, Anastacia created the Anastacia Fund to help increase breast cancer awareness among young women. Her recent hit single Best of You is her personal message to those who share her struggle against cancer: “Don’t ever let cancer get the Best of You!”
Anastacia is representative of a disturbing U.S. cancer trend that cuts across racial and socio-economic lines. The results of a breast cancer study prompted by the author’s own breast cancer diagnosis at age 27 discovered that advanced-stage breast cancer among women 25 to 39 has been increasing at the rate of 2% per year since 1976. While breast cancer diagnoses in women under 40 comprise only 7% of all U.S. breast cancer cases, cancer experts are concerned by both the upward trend and the more aggressive nature of breast cancer in younger women.
The prospect of cancer is frightening at any age, but particularly when you are young and just beginning to build your life. Issels Integrative Oncology is internationally known for its remarkable complete long-term tumor remissions of standard therapy-resistant cancers. Visit our website for cancer treatment information.
For any medical ailment, the more information you can give your healthcare provider, the easier it may be for your physician to diagnose and treat what ails you. Patients are frequently encouraged to keep a daily diary of their symptoms before visiting the doctor to aid in diagnosis or to make a record of their physical and emotional reactions after beginning a new drug therapy to determine its effectiveness.
In such records, doctors frequently find useful and sometimes vital clues that allow them to provide the best possible health care for their patients. Keeping a personal record of your cancer history can provide vital information to your Issels treatment team that may not be included in your medical records. In all medical treatments, including cancer treatments, symptoms and patient reactions are open to interpretation guided by the doctor’s experience, training and medical bias.
Medical bias may be a product of a physician’s personal experience, local medical culture, federal regulation or even national sensibilities. For example, many drugs and treatment therapies that are highly respected and even commonplace in Europe are not accepted in the U.S. because they have not yet been approved by the FDA. Acupuncture is an excellent example of changing medical attitudes.
Part of Chinese medical culture for centuries, many Western physicians looked upon acupuncture as snake oil medicine; but today the National Institutes of Health endorses acupuncture as a valid alternative medicine and 43 states license, register or certify acupuncturists. Many aspects of cancer remain a mystery. The same data reviewed by a different cancer expert can point the way to new and possibly beneficial cancer treatments.
Health officials say the flu season seems to be winding down, but the spring cold season will soon be upon us. Cold and flu season can be a particularly dangerous time for cancer patients whose immune systems are already compromised by their disease. Certain cancer treatments may temporarily challenge the immune system, making cancer sufferers even more susceptible to cold and flu germs. Taking steps to boost your immune system can help your body fight off germs and may decrease your chance of catching a cold this spring.Try these natural methods of boosting your immune system:
Sleep regulates the release of cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the immune system. Sleep isn’t always easy for cancer patients but aim for at least 7 hours a night. If sleep is a problem, talk to your Issels treatment team about possible solutions.
Rapid temperature fluctuations activate the immune system. At the end of your shower, alternate 30 seconds of very hot water with 10 seconds of cold and repeat 3 times.
Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Low vitamin D can increase your risk of catching a cold. Experts recommend taking 1,000 to 1,500 IU of vitamin D per day. Dairy products, fatty fish like salmon and sunshine are also good sources of vitamin D.
Zinc supports and enhances the immune system and can decrease the duration of colds. Oysters, baked beans and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.
Saline nasal sprays, used several times a day, help irrigate and cleanse sinuses of cold germs.
Even cancer patients who are focused on healthy eating and improving nutritional intake should partake of a bit of Valentine’s Day chocolate from last week’s festivities. A bite of chocolate doesn’t just excite our taste buds; chocolate contains potent antioxidants that work to promote good health.Researchers are discovering that chocolate has positive metabolic benefits that may outweigh its weight-boosting potential. If you choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate, which contains more sugar and fat, you tip the health- balance even further in your favor.
The health benefits of eating dark chocolate are:
Works to free your body of anti-oxidants that cause aging and a cause for cancer.
Contains theobromine which has been shown to harden tooth enamel.
High in potassium, magnesium, and copper – trace minerals your body needs.
Helps to control blood sugar.
Can work to lower your blood pressure
Increases blood flow to your brain and heart.
You can read more about the benefits of eating dark chocolate in this article at WebMD to understand more about the role this simple sweet can play to positively impact our bodies even at the metabolic level.
Cancer patients may want to consider adding dark chocolate sweets to their diet, albeit in small quantities, throughout the week. Not only will this provide for an occasional treat, but these small treats may unlock the “hidden” health benefits that dark chocolate carries. Don’t consider these small sweet treats bad for your new healthy eating plan, but that they may actually be a benefit for your special dietary needs.