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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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Foodie Friday: Citrus Essential Oil Smoothie Recipes


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

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

The Beer for Brains Foundation


For many, a brain cancer diagnosis remains a death sentence. The life expectancy of those suffering from gliomas, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumour, has changed little in 40 years.

On average, patients die within 9-12 months of receiving the diagnosis. Yet the most cruel aspect of this illness is the way it attacks individuals from within – steadily robbing them of their ability to perform basic tasks and making it increasingly difficult for them to interact with loved ones and the world around them.

Brain cancer alters personalities. It impairs mental functions, disrupts speech, paralyses limbs and, ultimately, leaves its victims with little freedom or dignity. It not only takes lives, it drastically reduces quality of life.

The Beer for Brains Foundation is an Arizona-based non-profit organisation of craft-beer lovers, distributors and brewers, who are committed to raising public awareness about brain cancer, Engendering Compassion for its victims and Helping Fund ground-breaking research leading to a cure. Read the rest of this entry

Foodie Friday


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.

 

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High Dose Vitamin C to Improve Cancer Treatment Outcomes Passes Human Safety Trial


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

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

The Ugly Business of Cancer!!


What most people do not realise, is that Cancer is a Business!! This is the ugly fact that parents are not told on the fateful day that their child is diagnosed with cancer.

Finding out that your child has cancer is devastating enough in itself, but what is even worse are the months and years that follow… the fight against this monstrous disease, the toll it takes on your child with cancer, your other children, your spouse, your marriage/relationship, your familial relationships, your friendships, your work, your own health, and your finances.

When we talk about The Business of Cancer, we are not only talking about the financial costs of Childhood Cancer Treatment, although they are high, but everything that it takes to deal with a diagnosis of Childhood Cancer…

A typical cancer patient’s treatment can easily cost hundreds of thousands of rands per year:

Depending on the kind of cancer and the complexity of a case, treatment per year can cost less than R10 000, or way over R1 million,” according to Dr Ernst Marais, Operations Executive at the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON). Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate Oncology Nursing Month, May 2017!


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

FOODIE FRIDAY: Nutrition for Children with Brain Cancer


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

Types of Brain Tumours in Children


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
  • Ependymomas

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