National Cancer Survivors Day

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Medical Side Effects Information

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Men & Cancer – When Cancer Affects Your Sexual Health

by Phil Nguyen, MD

Survivors often realize that the very same treatment programs that have saved their lives are now affecting their sexual health and level of intimacy with their partners. Sound familiar?

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Cancer Brain Fog

by Pamela Joyce Shapiro, PhD

Cancer survivors face a number of physical, mental, and psychosocial challenges that diminish quality of life and alter one’s sense of self. Brain changes that affect a person’s cognitive identity – the thinking, capable, intelligent self – can be especially troubling.

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Taking the Bite out of Oral Complications

by Theresa Hofstede, DDS

People receiving cancer treatments are at risk of developing oral complications. The type and severity of these problems differ with the form and intensity of treatment. Appropriate oral care before, during, and after cancer treatment can help minimize complications.

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Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting – Strategies for Success

by Jeannine M. Brant PhD, RN, AOCN

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, CINV, is a major concern for individuals undergoing chemotherapy. Historically, there were few options available for controlling CINV, and most people reported CINV as the worst side effect associated with chemotherapy. Fortunately, new and effective strategies have been developed to control CINV, and even more strategies are on the horizon.

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Chemotherapy and Your Mouth

While chemotherapy helps treat cancer, it can also cause other things to happen in your body called side effects. Some of these problems affect the mouth and could cause you to delay or stop treatment.

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Peripheral Neuropathy

by Nessa Coyle, NP, PhD, and Julie K. Silver, MD

Cancer survivors may experience nerve pain, often described as tingling, burning, or numbness. They may also have problems with balance and coordination if the symptoms are in the feet. If the hands are involved, survivors may complain of dropping items or having difficulty buttoning shirts or using a cell phone.

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Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

Believe it or not, hair loss (alopecia) due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments. Hair loss happens because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, not just the cancer cells. The lining of the mouth, stomach, and the hair follicles are especially sensitive because those cells multiply rapidly just like the cancer cells. The difference is that the normal cells will repair themselves, making these side effects temporary.

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Fighting Fatigue

by Ellen Manzullo MD, FACP

Fatigue is the most common and often most distressing symptom in cancer survivors. Cancer-related fatigue is different from the fatigue we all experience in daily living. Cancer-related fatigue can occur suddenly and can be overwhelming. You may experience weakness over the entire body or lack the energy to perform normal activities of daily living. Some people wake up tired after a normal night of sleep.

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