Category Archives: Cancer Treatments

New Service Transforms Childhood Cancer Treatment


 

Professor Gareth Veal. Credit: Newcastle University

Children with cancer in the UK are to benefit nationally from a service which for the first time will allow doctors to personalise their treatment.

The therapeutic drug monitoring service, developed by Newcastle University experts, allows clinicians to obtain vital information about how much chemotherapy individual young patients should receive.

Youngsters diagnosed with cancer, including infants in the first weeks of life, can be particularly hard to treat as it is difficult to know how much chemotherapy to give.

Doctors sometimes have to make tough decisions about the most appropriate dose of a drug, without enough scientific information to help them decide on the best course of action.

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Can New Cancer Drug Safely Boost Radiation Therapy?


Cancer continues to be one of the top causes of death in many countries, and Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments used in the fight against cancer.

About 60% of cancer patients benefit from radiation, which is used either on its own or together with chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy works by puncturing the DNA inside cancer cells. This stops the cancer cells from growing and multiplying, eventually causing them to die.

Doctors can use radiation to destroy cancer tumours completely or to shrink them in preparation for surgery. This depends on the type of tumour, as some cancers are more sensitive to radiation therapy than others.

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What is Interventional Radiology for Paediatric Cancer Patients?


Interventional radiology offers a set of minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for certain diseases, such as cancer.

This subspecialty in interventional radiology is also known as interventional oncology.

These procedures can be alternative options to open biopsies and surgeries, and are typically shorter, relatively less risky and associated with faster recovery.

Interventional oncology uses image-guided tools much like the GPS system to target the tumour area and perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in patients through the use of catheters, needles, and tiny probes (tiny instruments inserted into small incisions or natural body openings).

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Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Cancer?


Hydrogen peroxide is often used to whiten teeth, treat minor cuts and scrapes, or dye one’s hair. Some individuals claim that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer, but what does the research say?

Claims that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer stem from the fact that it is an oxidising liquid, which means it gives off oxygen. Low oxygen levels can cause cancer, and some people think that exposing cancer cells to high levels of oxygen will prevent them from growing and they will die.

This type of therapy is often known as oxy medicine, oxidology, or oxidative therapy.

No current research suggests hydrogen peroxide has any effect on cancer cells. There are, however, many warnings against using it internally.

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Can Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer?


Conventional cancer treatments can be devastating to the human body, even more so to a small child’s body that is still growing.

While there are yet no other treatments to fight childhood cancer, especially to those in poorer countries, than the old ones such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, more and more individuals are also using complementary methods.

Not every conventional or complementary method will work for every individual, but it is surely up to us to try whichever method we can to fight this terrible disease – as long as it does no harm, it could do good.

Something that falls under the banner of complementary treatment is mushrooms – more specifically, Reishi mushrooms, aka Ling zhi, Lin zi, and Mushroom of Immortality – which various studies from around the globe have shown to be effective in fighting cancer.

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Doctors Prescribe Nature for Chronic Disease


Spending the day outside in nature is wonderful; tiring perhaps, but also deeply satisfying. Our relationship to nature is primal – we thrive on it!

Urbanisation is taking a toll on our brain function and mental health. City dwellers have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, mood disorders and schizophrenia compared to those who live in rural areas.

In order to counteract this, all you need do is spend some time in nature. This can include many different natural environments, such as city parks, farms, beaches, wilderness areas or even just in your home garden. The most important thing is to find somewhere with as many living things and as little evidence of human presence as possible.

Spending time in green spaces is absolutely crucial to human wellness, and modern doctors are finally starting to realise how powerful nature can be – especially when it comes to those with chronic health issues.

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More than just Treatments needed for Childhood Cancer


Connor Webb developed a lump on his right thumb that raised concerns with his mother, Kim, but when queried about it, doctors told her not to worry about it and to just “take care of it whenever.”

Eventually though, the lump doubled in size, prompting surgery to remove it, but the subsequent phone call from the doctor stunned Kim – Connor had been diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a slow-growing soft-tissue cancer.

After a month of tests and scans, Connor underwent a full resection of the tumour plus a bit of surrounding tissue to prevent recurrence and regained full use of his thumb. Later CT and MRI scans show no evidence of disease (NED).

This has, however, not put his mother at ease, as epithelioid sarcoma has a very ugly secret…

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Computerised Cognitive Training: Brain Games & Brain Training


Children may not experience the same brain tumour side effects and symptoms as adults.

Because their brains and bodies are still growing, they may experience symptoms and side effects that are unique to their age and stage of development.

Children, adolescents and young adults with brain tumors generally experience various side-effects from brain cancer, including Physical Side Effects, Eating and Nutrition Issues, Changes in Physical Appearance, Cognitive and Emotional Side Effects, as well as Long-Term or Late Effects.

Neurocognitive problems are an unfortunate potential side effect of childhood brain tumours. These can vary widely, and can affect intellectual ability, academic achievement, memory and attention.

Potential problems can be assessed by a pediatric neuro-psychologist who can help determine the types of issues that need to be addressed and their treatments.

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Chemobrain in Childhood Cancer


23843263_sSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the  overall treatment plan.

Around 70% of cancer survivors report difficulties with memory and concentration after undergoing chemotherapy – this is conversationally referred to as “Chemobrain,” which is described as a mental clouding or fogginess, during and after cancer treatment.

Chemobrain refers to the cognitive impairment that can occur after cancer treatment. It’s not limited to people who undergo chemotherapy (surgery and radiation can also contribute), but it’s more noticeable if one has undergone chemotherapy.

Doctors used to dismiss patients who complained of brain fog after cancer treatment. It’s still unclear exactly how many patients among the 15-million-plus cancer survivors are affected.

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CINV Affects Patients Economically & Emotionally


Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a common — and often costly — problem among patients with cancer.

Chemotherapy is the use of specific drugs, administered by a paediatric oncologist, to destroy cancer cells by preventing the cancer cells from growing and dividing to make more new cells. Cancer cells generally grow and divide much faster than healthy cells; chemotherapy destroys them more quickly than it destroys most healthy cells.

Chemotherapy drugs are very powerful and they cause damage to many growing cells, including some healthy cells. This damage causes the side effects of chemotherapy, which can include Nausea and Vomiting; Diarrhoea; Constipation; Heartburn or Stomach Ache; Sore Mouth or Throat/Mouth Sores; Change in Taste – Foods Have Less Taste or a Bitter Metallic Taste; Hair Loss; Skin Redness; Dry, Itching Skin; Moist Skin; Rashes; Sun Sensitivity; Swelling, Redness, or Pain at The Needle Site Where Chemotherapy Drugs are Given; Bladder Irritation and Infection; Change in Urine Colour & Strong Urine Odour; Nerve Damage; Stress Fractures; Fever; Flu-Like Symptoms; Infection; Anaemia/Fatigue; Blood Clotting Problems (Bleeding); Swelling/Fluid Retention; and Allergic Reaction.

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