Tag Archives: Surviving Cancer

Twist Out Cancer Allows Cancer Patients to Share Their Stories

Sharing Their Stories
Sharing Their Stories

As a cancer patient, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone as you fight the illness. Community support can relieve your loneliness and provide inspiration from the encouragement of others. A young woman’s refusal to be marginalized led to the creation of Twist Out Cancer, an online social network allowing members to form positive connections.

One woman’s story

Jenna Benn Shersher was a 29-year-old woman dealing with a rare form of lymphoma that affects fewer than 300 people in the United States. Although her compromised immune system kept her isolated, she decided to proactively reach out for companionship.

Since treatment prevented her from enjoying her favorite pastime of dancing, Jenna posted a video of herself twisting in her room to Chubby Checker songs. She invited viewers to join her on the “dance floor,” and it took only days to receive responses from thousands of people, many of whom shared their own dance videos.

Giving back to the community

After completing treatment, Jenna wanted to use her experience to benefit other cancer patients seeking companionship. Twist Out Cancer is a website devoted to creating bonds through the sharing of thoughts, stories and experiences.

Anyone touched by cancer is encouraged to create their own page highlighting the personal “twist” they use to cope with the disease. One young woman recently issued a challenge to others to “Kiss Away Cancer” by posting selfies of their smooches with family, friends or even passers-by.

At Issels® we look beyond cancer to see the unique individual that you are. Our treatments are personalized to meet your particular needs. Visit our website to learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy methods.

Cancer Super-Survivors Give Us All Hope

Cancer Survivor
Cancer Survivor

Today’s array of immunotherapy  treatments are offering cancer victims something they’ve been robbed of for some time– a fighting chance. Read on to discover more about super-survivors and the treatments that are not only putting immunotherapy in the spotlight, but transforming the future of cancer treatment.

Super-survivor stats:

  • Joseph Rick
    Rick’s advanced melanoma metastasized throughout his body. Years of the side effects of chemo and radiation left a lasting impression, but did not cure his cancer. When doctors gave up hope, Rick turned to a trial vaccine immunotherapy. A year later his tumors had shrunk 50 percent, and after three years he experienced remission.
  • Tom Telford
    A tumor on Telford’s small intestine spread to his liver and kidneys following surgery and chemo, however Telford is still alive nine years later following treatment with immunotherapy.
  • Richard Logan
    Logan’s skin melanoma metastasized to his lung and liver. His cancer has been stabilized five years following treatment with checkpoint inhibitors, a form of immunotherapy.

Treating the immune system, not cancer:
Harnessing the power of the immune system, immunotherapy is charting new territory. It offers a chance at long-term survival, particularly in advanced cancers, with developments in treatment technology such as:

  • Checkpoint inhibitors
    Certain immune system components can prevent immune system warriors, T-cells, from attacking tumors. Checkpoint inhibitors block these components, putting T-cells back in the fight.
  • T-cell therapy
    This therapy involves genetically modifying certain T-cells outside the body, creating “CAR T cells”, which are then re-infused back into the body to attack targets on the surface of cancer cells.
  • And many more therapies both in use and under investigation.

Want to be a super-survivor? Contact Issels® today.

Tips to Boosting Weight Gain for Cancer Patients

peanut butter sandwich
Try to add calories as you can with easy to eat foods.

While eating is generally (and correctly) thought of by most as a pleasurable activity, its primary function is to provide your body with fuel and nutrients. This aspect becomes even more crucial when you’re undergoing cancer treatment. You may actually be losing weight at a time when it’s important to keep up your strength.

Eating properly boosts your energy levels, prevents muscle loss and fortifies your immune system.

Use these helpful tips to maintain a nutritious diet along with a healthy weight.

• It’s a basic formula: eating calorie-dense foods will make your weight go up. If you want to gain weight, add 500 to 1,000 calories to your normal daily intake. If your goal is maintenance, 15 calories per pound is a good rule of thumb.

• Protein is the building block of muscles. Rich sources include peanut butter, meats and seafood, nuts and cheese. If your system can’t tolerate high-protein foods, try low-fat cottage cheese, milk and yogurt. Protein powder is another method to increase your intake.

• Fruits and vegetables are chock-full of valuable vitamins and minerals. Choose dried fruits and 100 percent fruit juices along with starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn and peas.

•  The American Cancer Society advises that it’s best to eat before you begin to feel hungry. If nausea is a problem, stick with sandwiches and other cold or room-temperature foods that don’t require cooking.

Our alternative cancer treatment includes non-toxic therapies with fewer side effects, making it easier to eat a healthy diet and maintain your weight. Visit our website to read real-life success stories from our patients.

New Innovations in Cancer Care Are Changing Your Prognosis

Innovation In Cancer
Innovation In Cancer

Innovations are helping more people than ever survive cancer, while enjoying a better quality of life throughout treatment. Here are some positive developments that show how cancer prognoses improve a little every day:

Genetic studies

Researchers continue to discover genetic markers for certain forms of cancer, and establishing these links can lead to earlier detection and better prognoses.

Scientists in England recently found mutations in patients with Barrett’s esophagus (an acid reflux disease) who tend to develop esophageal cancer.

Therapy and rehabilitation

Traditionally, patients with cancer have received less encouragement to take on physical therapy and rehabilitation efforts, compared to patients with other diseases and ailments.

A program at the Community Medical Center in Montana has found that cancer rehab programs can improve quality of life, especially when instituted soon after the diagnosis. Alternative therapy for cancer can help improve mental and emotional conditions, while also helping some people live longer.

Less frequent or lower doses of treatments

People in stage four cancer treatment can enjoy effective treatment and an easier experience when receiving lower doses of certain medications, or less frequent treatments. Patients can more easily focus on holistic cancer treatment while taking less medication.

Among recent findings, women with breast cancer taking monthly doses of zoledronic acid can reduce complications by receiving treatment only once every three months after the first year. A study has found that people with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer can use a lower dose of radiation than was previously believed necessary.

Breakthroughs, innovations, and new alternative cancer treatments continue to revolutionize patients’ outlook and quality of life. Talk with Issels Cancer Treatment Center for information about how our latest advances may help with your case.

Resources for Family Caregivers

Helping Caregivers Deal with Cancer
Helping Caregivers Deal with Cancer

Cancer has been called a family disease because it affects not only the cancer patient but the entire family. Spouses, parents, adult children and other relatives find themselves suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver.

While being the caregiver of someone you love can be a very rewarding experience and is a role many family members willingly accept, it can also be emotionally draining and physically exhausting.

Local Cancer Support Resources

Taking care of another person on top of your own responsibilities can leave caregivers feeling overwhelmed. It is important to develop a strong support network early. There are many excellent organizations, publications and support groups, both online and in your local community, available to cancer caregivers.

Good places to find local resources include the family resource center of your local hospital, your county or city’s senior services department, churches and local branches of national cancer organizations.

Online Cancer Support Resources 

The following online resources may also be helpful:

National Cancer Institute offers an online cancer information service and live chat.

American Cancer Society offers helpful articles for caregivers and links to cancer support networks.

Cancer Care provides a list of online and telephone support groups for cancer caregivers and sponsors educational online and telephone workshops and podcasts on cancer-related topics. Monthly Q&As with cancer experts offer answers to common caregiver questions.

Family Caregiver Alliance is devoted to supporting caregiver family members and friends. The site offers education, practical tips and resources to help caregivers manage every stage of care.

Caregiver Action Network (formerly National Family Caregivers Association) provides information, education and support for family caregivers and offers online support forums and peer networks.

AARP Caregiving Resource Center provides a comprehensive collection of online tools for caregivers, including connections to experts and other caregivers through online forums.

Valerie Harper on Cancer: Prepare for Tomorrow But Live for Today! – Part One

Surviving Cancer
Surviving Cancer

Valerie Harper refuses to be cowed by cancer. Battling incurable cancer, the 74-year-old Emmy-award winning actress is living each day to the fullest. She’s prepared for the inevitable end of life but has already outlived doctors’ predictions.

“This diagnosis makes you live one day at a time, and that’s what everyone should do: Live moment to moment to moment,” Valerie told AARP Magazine in an interview.

Although never a smoker, in 2009 Valerie was diagnosed with lung cancer, the same cancer that killed her mother (also a non-smoker). After surgery to remove the tumor, she returned to acting. While rehearsing for the Broadway show Looped early in 2013, she started having memory problems. Doctors in New York found cancer cells in the meninges tissue that surrounds the brain, leading the press to report that she had brain cancer. When she returned home to Los Angeles, Valerie’s oncologist diagnosed her condition as inoperable metastasis of her earlier lung cancer.

Since then Valerie has been treating her cancer with a combination of traditional and alternatives at an alternative cancer treatment center and says she is so far holding her own. “This diagnosis makes you live one day at a time, and that’s what everyone should do,” Valerie counsels; “Live moment to moment to moment.”

But Valerie has also insisted on preparing for the end of life whenever it comes. That part of dealing with cancer has been difficult for her husband of 26 years, Tony Cacciotti. “Valerie is a realist,” Tony told AARP. “And she worries more about others than herself. She worries about what’s going to happen to us when she’s gone.”

To be continued