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.
Following on yesterday’s post Herbal Essential Oils Proven to Kill Cancer Cells and last week’s post, High Dose Vitamin C to Improve Cancer Treatment Outcomes Passes Human Safety Trial, today we are sharing some great smoothie recipes using citrus essential oils.
Smoothies are always good for Children with Cancer as it is one way that they can get the required nutrition, especially when suffering from sore mouths or are struggling to swallow as a result of their cancer treatments.
Many essential oils can also be used in recipes in place of the fruit, seed, or plant the essential oil is derived from, and citrus essential oils such as lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit can be delicious substitutes for the juice and/or zest called for in a recipe.
Having essential oils on hand is always a good idea as they contain loads of goodness in a small bottle and one only needs to use a tiny bit at a time – 1 drop of citrus essential oil can generally substitute for 1 teaspoon of zest or 2 tablespoons of juice. If your recipe calls for the zest of the entire fruit, this works out to between 7-15 drops of its essential oil counterpart. Read the rest of this entry
Once again it is foodie Friday, and we are bringing you some great, nutritious recipes for your Child with Cancer that the whole family can enjoy.
It is vital that Children with Cancer, including Children with Brain Cancer, eat well-balanced, nutritional meals and snacks in order to maintain their weight, rebuild any tissue lost in treatment, and strengthen their immune system and power it to fight against the brain cancer.
The occurrence of malnutrition in children with childhood tumours is multifactorial and develops during therapy for cancer in 40-80% of children. Malnutrition is more commonly seen in patients with advanced Neuroblastoma, Wilms Tumour, Ewing Sarcoma and advanced lymphomas.
Malnutrition is usually more severe with aggressive tumours in the later stages of malignancy. Children who have a poor nutritional status have lower survival rates compared to those with a good nutritional status.
Many individuals have been espousing the use of high doses of Vitamin C for cancer patients for years, but were shouted down by the majority, especially Big Pharma, because Vitamin C is not a massive money-spinner.
Now, however, new clinical trials have found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800 – 1,000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments.
In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers have also shown pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell killing caused by high dose vitamin C.
“This paper reveals a metabolic frailty in cancer cells that is based on their own production of oxidizing agents that allows us to utilize existing redox active compounds, like vitamin C, to sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,” says co-author Garry Buettner, who was one of the first to propose that cancer cells might have a vulnerability to redox active compounds over 40 years ago. Buettner, along with study senior authors Bryan Allen and Douglas Spitz, are faculty members at the University of Iowa’s Department of Radiation Oncology, Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program, in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read the rest of this entry
Oncology Nursing Month, celebrated the entire month of May, is a chance to recognize the outstanding contributions of oncology nurses.
The official theme selected for 2017 is: FEARLESS COMMITMENT; ENDLESS COMPASSION.
Oncology Nurses explain the diagnosis, guide patients through treatment, celebrate their victories, and comfort them through the unimaginable. No matter what, they provide fearless commitment and endless compassion to their patients every day. That’s why we celebrate the oncology nurse this month.
Oncology nurses, and especially Paediatric Oncology Nurses, provide steadfast and selfless care for their patients. Individuals who are diagnosed with cancer, as well as the parents of Children with Cancer, naturally go through a wide range of emotions; they may feel confused, angry, afraid or just numb, and they may wonder how others find the strength to remain positive through all the obstacles that come with the diagnosis. Read the rest of this entry
Nutrition is very important for Children with Cancer, because the presence of the tumour as well as the treatments that they undergo play havoc with their immune systems as well as various other systems in their little bodies.
A malignant tumour leads to changes in a child’s metabolism; their system is unable to regulate the expenditure of energy according to the reduced energy intake, leading to an ineffective use of nutrients and contributing to the development of malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to lower survival rates in children with brain cancer.
Children with cancer, especially those with solid tumours, have reduced body protein stores due to whole body protein breakdown. This may occur as a result of the cancer itself, the treatment they are undergoing for their tumour, or complications of the disease. Read the rest of this entry
Brain tumours can be either primary (develop in the brain) or secondary (cancer from another part of the body spreads to the brain).
A primary brain tumour occurs when abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumours are the most common type of tumour that develops in children, and they can affect children of any age.
The brain and spinal cord are closely linked and together they form the Central Nervous System (CNS). The spinal cord connects the brain with nerves in virtually every part of the human body. The brain controls many vital bodily functions.
More than 60% of brain tumours in children are located in the posterior fossa (the back compartment of the brain). The posterior fossa includes the cerebellum, the brainstem, and the fourth ventricle. Tumours in this area include:
- Medulloblastomas(also called Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumours, Or Pnets);
- Cerebellar Astrocytomas;
- Brainstem Gliomas; and
Brain tumours result in more deaths of children than any other disease, including other cancers, and the five-year survival rate is under 20%, which is extremely low seeing that the survival rate for other childhood cancers can be up to 80% these days.
There are more than 120 different types of tumour, making brain tumours a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose. Unfortunately, the brain is still one area of the human body that has not been conquered, and this includes brain cancer.
It is a wonder then that brain cancer treatments have not really changed in the last 35 years and brain tumour research is woefully under-funded.
During this year alone, in excess of 7 000 children will be diagnosed with a brain tumour. Brain and central nervous system tumours are the most common cancers among children and death from brain tumour has overtaken death from leukaemia as the leading cause of death in children.
Childhood brain cancer is not the same as adult brain cancer; a child’s brain is still developing, so brain tumours in children generally appear in different areas of the brain than adult tumours and they also act differently to adult tumours. Treatment options for Childhood Brain Cancer vary and are generally influenced by the age of the child.
May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month! During the month of May, millions of individuals across the Globe “Go Grey for May” in support of Loved Ones who are or have suffered from brain cancer. Grey is the colour of the Brain Cancer Awareness Ribbon.
Show YOUR support for all our Little Fighters battling Brain Cancer by turning your Facebook pages GREY during the month of May (you will find some covers and profile pics you are welcome to use on our FB Page.)
Few challenges can compare to dealing with the news that a child in your family has a brain tumour. The emotional burden can seem beyond anyone’s ability to cope, and there are very difficult decisions involved in coming to terms with the diagnosis.
Brain cancer survival rates are low and have hardly changed for 30 years, despite significant increases in survival for other cancers. Treatment is challenging because it affects our most vital organ. Brain cancer costs more per person than any other cancer, yet only receives a small fraction of government cancer research funding.
Relative five-year survival for brain cancer has hardly changed for 30 years, increasing less than 2% between the periods of 1984-1988 and 2009-2013. Only two in ten people diagnosed with brain cancer will survive for at least five years. Between 1982 and 2014, brain cancer incidence and mortality trends showed little change. Read the rest of this entry
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
Every day the Little Fighters Cancer Trust gets loads of phone calls, e-mails and enquiries on our Facebook Page from individuals who want to know how they can help us to help our Little Fighters and their families.
We really appreciate all the offers and enquiries, but we cannot always get to them as we are only 3 full-time staff who have a mountain of things to do, so we have made it very easy for you to offer help…
Like any NGO, we survive on donations, all of which (and more) are desperately needed to do whatever we can for our Little Fighters and their Families, so we definitely do need as many volunteers as possible.
Unfortunately most people want to work directly with the children, but this is not possible most of the time as the hospitals have major red-tape about visitors to the paediatric oncology wards – and for good reason – primarily that these Little Fighters all have impaired immune systems and the slightest infection could mean disaster for them.
We do, however have many other forms of volunteerism, and if you would like to help please look through the descriptions of the volunteers that we do need and see which would suit you.
This is 10-year-old Little Fighter Brendon, and last week he made a short video for all his supporters to tell them how he was doing and thank them for the support; he first did this in Afrikaans (his home language) but when asked by Mandie if next time he could do one in English for those Little Fighter Supporters who do not understand Afrikaans, he immediately made a second one in English – what a CHAMP!!!
What is more important though, is that he made these videos a short few days after massive surgery to place a Broviac Line as well as open chest surgery to do a biopsy on his thymus.
This is what inspires us about our Little Fighters and keeps us doing what we do – all of these children who are fighting cancer are SO strong and somehow, through it all they all smile most of the time…
Brendon suffered from severe abdominal pain and cramping and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2016, but his suffering continued as did the doctors visits, various medications, various medical tests, and loads of financial and psychological stress for the whole family.