National Cancer Survivors Day

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Medical Side Effects Information

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Your Skin Care Questions Answered

by Mario E. Lacouture, MD

A survey of cancer survivors showed that 67 percent did not expect skin problems to occur prior to treat­ment. But once they finished their treatment, skin irritation and dry skin were reported as the most common side effects. Since most anticancer treatments work by destroying rapidly growing cancer cells, healthy skin cells will also be affected.

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Prepare, Prevent & Protect

People with cancer who are treated with chemo­therapy are more likely to get infections through everyday activities or from healthcare settings. One out of every ten people with cancer who re­ceives chemotherapy gets an infection that requires a hospital visit.

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Get Relief from Gastrointestinal Side Effects

by Marie Morande, RD, CSO, LD

While cancer treatments affect everyone differently, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery all pose potential side effects. Cancer treatment can affect your body’s ability to absorb food, reduce how much you enjoy food, and cause disruptive gastrointestinal issues. Common gastrointestinal side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and sore mouth or throat.

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Take Control of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy

by Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP

Neuropathy is a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, but until a solution is found, you can manage this side effect with help from members of your healthcare team.

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Don’t Let Cancer Keep You Up

by Lisa K. Sprod, PhD

Cancer and its treatment can lead to a number of short- and long-term side effects. Of those side effects, impaired sleep quality is one of the most common and most distressing, affecting up to half of all cancer survivors.

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Working with Chemo Brain

You’re back at work after cancer treatment – or maybe nearly done with treatment and working at least part time. You’re understandably eager to get back to “normal.” But if you’ve had chemotherapy, you may notice your concentration, memory, or other work skills aren’t up to par. This mental fog isn’t your imagination. It’s called chemo brain.

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What Happens to My Skin During Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy causes skin cells to break down and die. When people get radiation almost every day, their skin cells do not have enough time to grow back between treatments. Skin changes can happen on any part of the body that gets radiation. Here are some common skin changes.

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Combating Cancer-Related Fatigue

by Ann M. Berger, PhD, APRN, AOCNS, FAAN

Do you often feel a sense of physi­cal, emotional, or mental tiredness that limits your ability to do usual activities? Do you think that cancer or cancer treat­ment makes you feel exhausted? If you answered yes, you may be experiencing what your healthcare team refers to as cancer-related fatigue.

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