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Smartphone App Reduces Pain, Hospital Visits for Cancer Survivors


A smartphone app that includes artificial intelligence elements may be able to reduce the effects of cancer-related pain, according to recent research presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium.

The app, named ePAL, was designed and studied as part of a collaboration between Partners HealthCare Pivot Labs, the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Palliative Care, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

“There is a significant shortage of palliative care providers, which will only worsen in the future as our population ages,” lead study author Mihir M. Kamdar, M.D., associate director of the Division of Palliative Care and an interventional pain physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a statement. “This is one of the reasons why technology solutions to help manage palliative care challenges, such as cancer pain, are so important.”

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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 #GivingTuesday?


Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving.

Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, a great American tradition.

As a global movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and Holiday Season, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

While this is only the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, the movement continues to show exponential growth year over year. In 2017, Giving Tuesday raised more than 300 million dollars in donations – a 69% increase from the previous year.

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Can Dogs Detect Cancer?


Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell which humans have put to use by training them to sniff out explosives and narcotics.

This remarkable sense of smell can also be useful in the medical world, as dogs are able to sniff out and detect viruses, bacteria, and certain diseases, including cancer in a person’s skin, urine, and sweat.

Like many other diseases, cancers leave specific traces, or odour signatures, in a person’s body and bodily secretions. Cancer cells, or healthy cells affected by cancer, produce and release these odour signatures. Depending on the type of cancer, dogs are able to detect these signatures in a person’s skin, breath, urine,faeces, and sweat, and can, with training, alert people to their presence.

These dogs that undergo training to detect certain diseases are referred to as medical detection dogs – they can detect some substances in very low concentrations, e.g. parts per trillion, which makes their noses sensitive enough to detect cancer markers in a person’s breath, urine, and blood.

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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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A Plant Based Diet is Good for Fighting Cancer


The basic principles of a plant-based diet (PBD) are that it focuses on whole, minimally processed foods – whole grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts should make up the majority of what you eat – and limits animal products. A PBD also excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour, and processed oils.

A plant-based diet is rooted in food quality, promoting locally sourced, organic food whenever possible.

A healthy diet and lifestyle help in the fight against cancer — whether treating it or in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.

Various studies on the mental health of people on a prolonged vegan or plant-based diet have found something fantastic – it really helps with anxiety, mood swings, and stress levels, all of which is really good news for someone fighting cancer.

A 2018 study published in American Family Physician noted, “Recommending an eating style can help patients make positive change. Dietary patterns that support health … have benefits that include prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and obesity.”

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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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Modern Day Romeo & Juliet has Happy Ending


Back in the late 1980s, young Joel Alsup, a 7-year-old from Chattanooga, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which would result in the amputation of his right arm.

In 1991, 10-year-old Lindsey Wilkerson from Crane, Mo. was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the same hospital.

The two frightened children overcame childhood cancer to become friends, best friends, then husband and wife.

Our families would actually sit in the waiting room and visit while she was in treatment and I was coming back for checkups,” Joel says.

I don’t think they even knew each other’s names then. We had no idea where it would end,” said Lindsey’s mother.

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