Tag Archives: Low Fat Diets and Cancer

The Tough Questions – What Should I Tell My Kids About Cancer?

Telling Kids About Cancer
Telling Kids About Cancer

Naturally, you to want to protect your children from bad news. The instinct to shelter them may make you reluctant to tell them about your cancer; however, it is best that you do. It will be difficult to continue hiding it and children are often able to sense when something is wrong. They may be more worried if they feel that important news is being kept from them.

Explain the Illness
Find a time where you will not be interrupted or distracted.  Younger children will not need as much detail as older ones; too much information may confuse and distress them. Phrase answers to questions so that each child will be able to understand. Children up to age eight may be given a short explanation. Tell them that cancer means a part of your body that is not doing what it is supposed to do. There are bad cells in your body that can spread, so they need to be kept from growing or to be removed.

Prepare for reactions such as the child thinking that they caused the cancer (“magical thinking”) or that it is contagious. You may have to explain that cancer cannot be transmitted to them or the other parent.

For older children, name the illness so that they do not misunderstand. They may need a more detailed explanation and may ask questions about your specific type of cancer. If they have more information, they are less likely to feel helpless.

Explain to the child that there are treatments available that can help and that it is much rarer for people to die from cancer than it used to be.


Dealing With Cancer Related Stress

The Stress Of Cancer
The Stress Of Cancer

Dealing with the stress of cancer is difficult, both for the patient and his or her family. Aside from the obvious worry and questions about the illness and treatments are the overwhelming details that must be handled regarding health insurance, medical appointments and financial concerns.

For the Patient

  • It’s OK to not be OK. Your mind and body are reacting to many new challenges, and if you feel sad, tired, confused, angry, lost, or afraid, it’s OK.
  • You may not think a support group is for you, but connecting with others going through similar situations, whether in person or online, can reinforce the idea that you’re not alone. And your insight might help someone else. Sometimes that is enough to make you feel more positive.
  • Give your body a break. Don’t push it. Give yourself permission to rest more by simplifying your routine. Treat yourself to massages, eat healthy and exercise as little or as much as you want.
  • Prioritize what’s really important to you and unplug from anything that causes undue stress.

For the Family Caregiver

  • Remember that your loved one is feeling very out of control, so sharing input in as many details and decisions as possible will keep the paths of communication open and ease stress between you.
  • Maintain a good support system of family and friends. Don’t become overwhelmed with the stress of caring for a family member with cancer.
  • Keep yourself healthy and watch for the warning signs of stress and depression – sleeplessness, irritability, forgetfulness and exhaustion to name a few.

Don’t let cancer related stress diminish the quality of life you or your loved ones deserve. The Issels Treatment® uses natural, alternative protocols, individualized for the patient’s health and well-being.

Some Birth Control Pills May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills

A new study has linked certain types of birth control pills to a higher near-term risk of breast cancer, but the finding is unlikely to affect the majority of young American women.

“The study found no relationship between an increased cancer risk and the use of low-dose estrogen pills, which are currently the most commonly prescribed type of birth control pills in the U.S.,” according to a CBS News report.

High Risk Pills

The birth control pills implicated in the study are those containing moderate to high doses of estrogen. While birth control pills containing a moderate estrogen dose elevated breast cancer risk only slightly, high-estrogen medications nearly tripled breast cancer risk.

The two greatest offenders were triphasic combination pills containing norethindrone and birth control pills containing ethynodiol diacetate. If your birth control pills contain either of these ingredients, Issels Cancer Treatment Center staff urges you to talk to your doctor.

No Need to Panic

“Breast cancer is rare among young women, and there are numerous established health benefits associated with oral contraceptive use that must be considered,” study author Elisabeth Beaber of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center told CBS News.

She recommended that women exercise caution in interpreting the study’s results, which are yet to be confirmed, and discuss their breast cancer risk with their physician. As CBS notes, some other studies have shown no appreciable link between birth control pills and increased breast cancer risk. Previous studies have shown that breast cancer risk declines when women discontinue birth control pills.

Like cancer risk, breast cancer treatment must be personalized to the unique needs of each individual. Visit our website for more information.

Scientists Discover Gene ‘Anchor’ Linked to Spread of Lung Cancer

The Lung Cancer Gene
The Lung Cancer Gene

One of the world’s deadliest cancers, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Its ability to metastasize and quickly spread to other organs in the body is what makes lung cancer so deadly. A new genetic discovery by scientists at the Salk Institute in California may help researchers devise a way to keep lung cancer from spreading and dramatically improve the long-term outcome of this deadly form of cancer.

Cancer Cells on the Move

As described in Medical News Today, Salk researchers have discovered a gene that helps lung cancer cells “pull up their anchors in the primary tumor,” making it possible for them to move to other parts of the body to form new tumors; a process called metastasis. Normal cells have a natural adhesion that acts like an anchor, keeping the cells firmly rooted in their proper place.

Genes Linked to Cell Adhesion

Scientists already knew that cancerous cells were able to overcome this natural adhesion and travel through the bloodstream to other organs. Previous studies had even shown that some cancer cells were able to manipulate cell anchors. But the Salk Institute research is the first to link communication between specific genes to cancer cell adhesion and explain how cancer cells are able to “up anchor.” When that communication breaks down, cancer cells are set free and start traveling.

In lab and animal experiments, Salk researchers were able to re-establish communication between anchoring genes and slow metastasis. Researchers are hopeful that further research will lead to a way to stop lung cancer from spreading.

Visit our website to find out more about Issels  targeted cancer therapies.

Mammograms and Breast Cancer – The Problem with Dense Tissue


If you’ve recently had a mammogram, you may have discovered that you have dense breast tissue. What does it mean? How does it affect your results and prognosis for breast cancer?

The definition of dense tissue
Fibrous and fatty tissue give breast their size and shape, holding in place glandular tissue, home of the lobules which produce milk. For reasons not yet known, those with dense breast tissue simply have more fibrous connective tissue or glandular tissue than fatty tissue. It is common for breast density to increase with age, and dense tissue is not abnormal.

Breast density and the cancer risk
Women with high breast density are 4-5 times more likely to get breast cancer than those with low breast density, however lowering the density of the tissue has not been shown to decrease this risk. As a result, at this time breast density is not considered a factor in assessing a woman’s cancer risk.

How breast density effects mammograms
Mammograms are more difficult to interpret on patients with high breast density than those with low. Fatty tissue is more translucent allowing for greater visibility, however dense fibrous and glandular tissue appears white on x-rays, clouding results.  For a better interpretation, your provider may suggest other types of breast imaging to obtain a more accurate diagnosis such as digital mammography, ultrasound, or MRI. Unfortunately there are no special recommendations or screening guidelines for women with dense breasts at this time.

Did you find out you have breast cancer from your mammogram results? Issels can help. Learn more about Issels integrative immunotherapy options for treating your breast cancer today.