National Cancer Survivors Day

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Medical Information

 

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Inspiration and Progress:
Our National Commitment to Defeat Cancer
A National Cancer Institute Annual Report

by Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director of the National Cancer Institute

Every year, for the past two decades, the National Cancer Institute has had the honor of writing an article for Coping’s July/August issue. While searching for a fitting theme for this year’s contribution, I was struck by the challenge we sometimes face – both as individuals touched by cancer and as a nation – in articulating the inspiration needed to confront cancer.

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What to Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed
with an MPN

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a closely related group of progressive blood cancers in which the bone marrow typi­cally overproduces one of the mature blood elements. Other shared features include tendencies toward blood clot­ting or bleeding, organ enlargement, bone marrow scarring (fibrosis), and a possibility of transformation. Although MPNs can strike anyone at any age, most people are affected in the sixth decade of life or later.

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What Cancer Survivors Need to Know about Lymphedema

Lymphedema is the build-up of fluid in soft body tissues. The condition occurs when lymph is not able to flow through the body the way that it should. When part of the lymph system is damaged or blocked, fluid cannot drain from nearby body tissues. Fluid builds up in the tissues and causes swelling. In cancer survivors, lymphedema is caused when the lymph system is damaged or blocked by infection, injury, cancer, re­moval of lymph nodes, radiation to the affected area, or scar tissue from radia­tion therapy or surgery.

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