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Childhood Cancer ~ Part V (iii): Radiation Therapy


 In Part 1 of this series we explained that this series of articles is not meant to be medical advice, but a guide that may help you as a parent of a newly diagnosed child with cancer cope just a bit better. Information is knowledge, and never more so than when you are dealing with childhood cancer!

These articles are meant to help you be the key part of your child’s treatment that you will need to be.

Take what works for you according to your situation and your child’s temperament, personality, fears, strengths, and how they deal with adversity, and leave what does not pertain to your situation.

Part 5 will deal with Different Types of Treatment and Possible Side-Effects of that treatment. As this is quite a long section, it has been split it into 5(i) Surgery 5(ii) Chemotherapy 5(iii) Radiation Therapy 5(iv) Immunotherapy and 5(v) Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatment (CAM) is very involved and will contain a lot of information, so that will be dealt with separately in Part 6 of this series of articles

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Foodie Friday: Anti Side-Effect Recipes


It is important to eat small meals more often while undergoing conventional cancer treatments such as Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.

For those who are suffering side-effects such as dysphasia, sore mouths or nausea, consuming a nutrient dense smoothie for one meal and then trying some sun-dried fruits (without sugar) and untoasted nuts as a snack a few hours later is a good idea.

A lunch with salad greens, bitter herbs, apple slices, berries and a dressing made with lemon and olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and avocado makes an exceptionally nutrient-dense meal.

This type of Ayurvedic diet plan will increase your sense of taste, smell, and appetite and help one heal and feel good.

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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.

 

Tomatoes May Combat the Damaging Effects of Radiation


tomatoesA team of researchers from The University of Manchester have discovered that lycopene – the red pigment in tomatoes – is extremely successful at guarding against the harmful effects of radiation.

Dr Ruth Edge from The University of Manchester, together with her colleagues Professor George Truscott from Keele University and Professors Fritz Boehm & Christian Witt from Berlin, undertook a study of lycopene (one of the carotenoids – plant pigments found in many fruits and vegetables) and its effectiveness at protecting against radiation at the University of Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility, part of the Dalton Nuclear Institute.

Radiation therapy is used to treat a wide range of tumours, but until now, its side effects have constrained its effectiveness. Recently, there has been interest in the possible role of dietary carotenoids in limiting these effects. In addition, interest has grown in identifying dietary counter-measures against nuclear accidents.

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Dried Plums Could Protect Against Radiation-Induced Bone Loss


dried plumsAccording to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports, eating dried plums could protect against bone loss caused by ionising radiation.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Nancy Turner, of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University, and her colleagues believe that their findings may have important implications for individuals heavily exposed to ionising radiation, including cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, radiation workers, astronauts, and victims of nuclear accidents.

Dr. Turner explained that, “Bone loss caused by ionizing radiation is a potential health concern for those in occupations or in situations that expose them to radiation. The changes in remodelling activity caused by exposure to radiation can lead to impaired skeletal integrity and fragility both in animals and human radiotherapy patients.”

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Helloooooooo Readers


Hi Folks,

Just a little note to let you know that although the blog posts have been few recently, I have not forgotten about you… I have been very busy adding new pages to the blog…

Please have a read through our new pages regarding Cancer Treatments and side effects of some of those treatments:

traditional -treatments

Conventional  Medical Treatments

Conventional medicine is the sort of medicine and treatment your doctor would usually use to treat your cancer. You may also hear this called orthodox medical treatment.

The following are general descriptions of treatments that may be used as part of a child’s treatment plan.

Surgery

Surgery is the removal of the tumour, either cancerous or noncancerous, and surrounding tissue during an operation. Many children with a tumour will need surgery at some point during their treatment. A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specialises in treating a tumour using surgery.

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Cancer Treatments


cancer-2

This page is being updated as we can so please come back frequently to check new information

Childhood Cancer is very different to Adult Cancer and is therefore not treated the same as Adult Cancer. Paediatric Cancer Centres generally offer extra support services for children and their families, such as child life specialists, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors. Special activities and programs to help your child and family cope may also be available. There are, however, times when a teenager with cancer may need to be treated at an Adult Cancer Centre.

All Children with Cancer should be treated at a specialised cancer centre. Doctors at these centres have extensive experience in treating children with cancer and have access to the latest research. In many cases, a team of doctors works with a child and the family to provide care; this is called a multidisciplinary team.

This section will eventually contain all available information about all the main cancer treatments for Childhood Cancer, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and bone marrow and stem cell transplants.

We will also provide information about complementary and alternative therapies.

The treatment of childhood cancer depends on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, the family’s preferences, and the child’s overall health. Your child’s care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.

Take time to learn about all of your child’s treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear.

Also, talk about the goals of each treatment with your doctor and what to expect while receiving the treatment.

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Childhood Cancer ~ A General Guide for Parents Part V (iii): Radiation Therapy


 smile-quotes

 In Part 1 of this series we explained that this series of articles is not meant to be medical advice, but a guide that may help you as a parent of a newly diagnosed child with cancer cope just a bit better. Information is knowledge, and never more so than when you are dealing with childhood cancer!

These articles are meant to help you be the key part of your child’s treatment that you will need to be. Take what works for you according to your situation and your child’s temperament, personality, fears, strengths, and how they deal with adversity, and leave what does not pertain to your situation.

Part 5 will deal with Different Types of Treatment and Possible Side-Effects of that treatment. As this is quite a long section, I will split it into 5(i) Surgery 5(ii) Chemotherapy 5(iii) Radiation Therapy 5(iv) Immunotherapy and 5(v) Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplants.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatment (CAM) is very involved and will contain a lot of information, so that will be dealt with separately in Part 6 of this series of articles

Read the rest of this entry

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