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Foods to Stimulate Appetite in Cancer Patients


One of the side-effects of undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer is that the appetite is often affected; most food tastes like cardboard so not very appealing. The constant nausea also generally makes one not feel like putting anything in your mouth.

Despite the many side-effects and complications caused by conventional cancer treatments, it is vital that a person with cancer consumes sufficient nutrients to help the body recover.

The human body is essentially designed to heal itself, but when it is overwhelmed by poisons, pain, and the inability to smell or taste, food might be the last thing a person with cancer wants. It is important therefore that you ensure that you choose foods for your child with cancer that will stimulate their appetite while delivering the biochemical components necessary to rebuild damaged tissues and fight against infection and inflammation. These foods should also contain properties that eliminate nausea, stimulate appetite, and heal the gastrointestinal tract.

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Herbal Essential Oils Proven to Kill Cancer Cells


Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has become an accepted complementary therapy for cancer patients, as they can provide support in the form of stress relief and emotional support.

Some essential oils, however, have been shown to act directly on cancer cells, , preventing growth or even promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death).

Every individual carries a minute amount of “cancer,” or malformed cells, in our bodies at all times. These cells do not cause any problems in healthy bodies where a balanced diet and robust lifestyle is practiced – the cells will generally be removed or healed and the body kept in balance.

In an unhealthy body which is not well-maintained or exercised and fed a constant diet of junk food, these malformed cells can continue to exist and can actually develop into cancer.

Some of the most effective oils against unhealthy irregular cells include Chamomile, Frankincense, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme. These oils are remarkable because they are able to selectively harm or disable cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact, whereas many conventional cancer medications and treatments are often poorly targeted and cause severe side effects.

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High Levels of Education Linked to Heightened Brain Tumour Risk


A university degree is linked to a heightened risk of developing a brain tumor, suggests a large observational study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Gliomas, in particular, were more common among people who had studied at university for at least three years than they were among those who didn’t go on to higher education, the data show.

The researchers base their findings on more than 4.3 million Swedes, all of whom were born between 1911 and 1961 and living in Sweden in 1991.

They were monitored between 1993 and 2010 to see if they developed a primary brain tumor, and information on educational attainment, disposable income, marital status, and occupation was obtained from national insurance, labour market,and national census data.

During the monitoring period, 1.1 million people died and more than 48,000 emigrated, but 5735 of the men and 7101 of the women developed a brain tumour. Read the rest of this entry

Cancer Protects Itself via Inflammatory Pathways


A few years ago, scientists in the laboratory of Stanford’s Irving Weissman, MD, discovered that cancer cells cover themselves in copies of the CD47 “don’t eat me” protein to protect themselves from being engulfed and devoured by immune cells called macrophages.

What they could never really tell though, is how the cancer cells actually increased the production of CD47.

Recently, however, Weissman and his colleagues discovered that cancer cells accomplish this trick by recruiting molecular pathways usually used for inflammatory processes. One particular pathway involves a protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), which is produced in response to infection or trauma. It attracts and activates macrophage cells, which destroy sick or damaged cells. Ironically, that same genetic machinery is being used by cancer cells to protect themselves from those macrophages. The research study was published in the journal Nature Communications. Read the rest of this entry

Link between Blood Sugar & Brain Cancer Found


According to a new study from The Ohio State University, while many cancers are more common among those with diabetes, cancerous brain tumours called gliomas are less common among those with elevated blood sugar and diabetes.

Glioma is one of the most common types of cancerous tumours originating in the brain. It begins in the cells that surround nerve cells and help them function.

The discovery builds on previous Ohio State research showing that high blood sugar appears to reduce a person’s risk of a noncancerous brain tumour called meningioma. Both studies were led by Judith Schwartzbaum, an associate professor of epidemiology and a researcher in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new glioma study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. Read the rest of this entry

Foodie Friday: Tasty Tuna


Some of the many health benefits of tuna fish include its ability to reduce cardiovascular conditions, stimulate growth and development, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, help in weight loss efforts, boost the immune system, increase energy, maintain the health of the skin, increase red blood cell count, prevent cancer, protect against various kidney diseases, reduce general inflammation, and inhibit cell membrane damage.

While many cannot affor or even access fresh tuna, canned tuna is inexpensive and packed with protein. The fish is mild in flavour and versatile enough to include in a variety of nutritious recipes.

Opt for tuna canned in water; a serving contains less than 1 gram of fat and only around 100 calories. While one should not eat tuna every day because of its mercury content, one can still safely enjoy canned tuna as a regular part of a healthy eating plan.

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Preparing for the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Death


The 12 months following the death of a loved one is known as “the year of firsts” and for obvious reasons, is extremely difficult to get through. Dealing with the first birthday, Christmas, etc. is painful, and does not necessarily equip one to face that dreaded anniversary of the loss.

Grief is a complicated experience, partially because it never truly resolves itself but rather changes over time and meanders along different paths; some difficult and others not so difficult.

Facing the anniversary of a meaningful loss can completely blindside one, even though we know that it is coming and generally anticipate it with dread. Just as with other “stages” of grief, getting through this time can be immensely difficult and there is no right way or wrong way to approach it; the experience is different for each individual.

Every single person will be faced with losses of those we love and admire throughout our lifetime, and the loss of a child is always the worst.

 

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Foodie Friday: Nausea Remedies


Cancer experts generally point out that everyone’s experience with cancer and cancer treatments is different, but one thing that is common to around 70% of  individuals undergoing cancer treatment is nausea.

While the symptoms will disappear once treatment is completed, it is a good idea to feed your child anti-nausea foods while undergoing Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy or any other treatments/medications that make them nauseous.

Below are recipes for some foods that can help alleviate or minimise some of the nausea that can come with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Some general rules of thumb for cooks: keep portions small, keep the room cool, and keep cooking odours to a minimum (too much food, strong food aromas, and hot temperatures can also trigger nausea).

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Reduction in Radiotherapy for Childhood Brain Tumours Unsucessful


A research study, Radiotherapy after high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic cell rescue: Quality assessment of Head Start III, published in Paediatric Blood & Cancer, shows that reduced Radiation Therapy results in worse outcomes.

This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial,” Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.

The paper is a qualitative assessment of the Head Start III trial which avoids or delays Radiation Therapy in children with brain tumours. The studies represent an innovative approach to the treatment of malignant brain tumours – using high dose Chemotherapy followed by transfusion of blood stem cells – as a substitute for radiation in younger children, where the late side effects of radiation to the developing brain can be particularly detrimental. If disease persists after this course of treatment or if the child is older, they receive radiation therapy.

In the latest Head Start III study, only 31 of 220 children received radiation – of those, a subset (8 of 25), consisting of  children 6 years of age or younger, had deviations from the treatment plan.

Parents or providers may want to delay the start of radiation or reduce the dose or area of exposure – particularly in very young children,” said Wong. “But in a study already limiting radiation exposure – patients with these kinds of protocol violations experienced worse outcomes.”

Patients that received radiation therapy treatment according to protocol and within 11 weeks of recovery from stem cell transfusion showed improved overall survival.

 

Cancer-Detecting Gum May Soon Be Available: Fact or Fiction?


On April 10, 2017, Fox News published an article, Chew on this: Cancer-Detecting Gum May Soon Be Available, which stated that “soon there may be a new chewing gum that could help save your life.”

The article went on to say:

The gum absorbs what are known as “volatiles” in a person’s saliva as they chew it, then the chewed gum is analyzed to determine whether it contains certain chemicals produced in the body when a person has cancer.

Katherine Bazemore, president and CEO of Volatile Analysis explained that there are chemicals produced in the body called volatile organic compounds, and they are unique to each type of cancer. By determining which of those compounds are found in the gum, doctors can tell which type of cancer is present in the patient.

The gum is still in the testing stage so it may be too early to determine how well it will work. But the company is hoping to make the gum available to doctors and patients sometime next year.

While you may not be able to blow bubbles with it, Bazemore promises the gum will come in flavors that taste just like candy.

Now this sounds FANTASTIC, but is it the truth?

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Foodie Friday: Nutritious Snacks


As we all know, eating while dealing with the ravages of Childhood Cancer and the side-effects of Childhood Cancer Treatments can be challenging, but at the same time, it is vital that anyone with cancer eat nutritious meals and snacks in order to build up their immune system to fight the cancer and stay strong.

It is not always easy to get someone with cancer to eat though, due to mouth sores, weakness, nausea, and the fact that treatments sometimes leave a metallic taste in the mouth or just make food taste different.

Today we bring you some recipes found on a Pancreatic Cancer website that were devised by professional chefs and nutritionists for those with pancreatic cancer because of their extreme challenges in a patient’s diet and nutritional needs due to their digestive issues. While these recipes were devised for pancreatic cancer patients, they will be just a nutritious and beneficial to any cancer patient.

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Phytochemicals & the Fight Against Cancer


Children facing the demands of cancer treatment must eat healthily in order to get the nutrients that can fuel the body and aid in healing as well as assist in maintaining a healthy weight.

Special nutritional challenges are bound to arise throughout treatment because the side-effects of Childhood Cancer and Cancer Treatment Therapies such as Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy can result in changes in your eating habits and differences in the way your body uses nutrients. Nutritional needs and eating habits are affected differently depending on the type of cancer and its treatment.

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant chemicals (phyto means plant in Greek). They provide plants with colour, odour and flavour. Once we eat them, however, research shows they can influence the chemical processes inside our bodies in helpful ways.

Findings from laboratory studies have shown that phytochemicals have the potential to:

  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Block substances we eat, drink and breathe from becoming carcinogens
  • Reduce the kind of inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely
  • Prevent DNA damage and help with DNA repair
  • Reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can spark cancer
  • Slow the growth rate of cancer cells
  • Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce
  • Help to regulate hormones

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