Cancer

Cancer

Even though there are 100 different types of cancer, each one begins in your cells, your body's basic building blocks. When the cell creation process goes awry, abnormal cells are produced that can grow uncontrollably and cause cancer. When excessive cells form, benign or malignant tumors can develop throughout your body. While benign tumors aren't cancerous, malignant ones can invade healthy tissue and spread to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis. Early detection and treatment is key to fighting cancer.

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    AHealthyWomen answered
    A histologic grade refers to how much tumor cells resemble normal cells when viewed under the microscope. The grading scale usually ranges from 1 to 3. Grade 1 tumors are composed of cells that closely resemble normal ones. Grade 3 tumors contain very abnormal-looking and rapidly growing cancer cells.
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    ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Is it true that dogs can smell cancer?

    Some dogs can smell cancer. In this video, Robin Miller, MD shares how dogs are being trained to detect ovarian cancer.

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    ARealAge answered

    Find out as much as you can about your cancer. Research on the Internet for successful treatments, new treatments, and experimental treatments. Learn all you can about your condition so that you can ask the right questions during your doctor visits. Find out what other people with your cancer have tried successfully. Find out what you can do to support your medical treatment at home. Some of the information you find online may be difficult to interpret or may not apply to you, so be sure to print the information and talk to your doctor about what you find.

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    ARealAge answered

    Benign tumors don't have cancer cells, but they can still be dangerous and need to be removed. That's because some tumors can grow large enough to block the pathway of important nutrients or put pressure on critical organs.

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    AMark O'Rourke, MD, Oncology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System

    Being a caregiver for a loved one can be physically exhausting and emotionally stressful. Physically exhausting because you need to meet their needs 24/7 as well as your own. Emotionally stressful because you experience their suffering as well as your own loss and grief.

    There are some general tips that can help reduce caregiver stress.

    • Accept help from others AND ask for help from others. Don’t try to do it all yourself.
    • Recognize your limits. No one can be the perfect caregiver and one should not feel guilty about falling short of perfect. The essence of being a good caregiver is how you care, not what you do.
    • Get help from support organizations, such as the Cancer Support Community at the Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship (www.ghs.org/cios, (864) 455-1346).
    • Stay connected with family and friends and make time each week to stay in touch with them.
    • Take care of your own health with regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep, and visits to your doctor as needed.

    Being a caregiver for a loved one can be the most rewarding thing that we ever do, but we have to take good care of ourselves in order to take good care of our loved one.

    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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    ANimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Your sex life will likely be impacted by your partner’s diagnosis. Here's how you can help as a partner:

    1. Empathy. Understanding the emotional and physical effects of treatment will help you find solutions.

    2. Communication is critical. Share your concerns and fears. Tell your partner that you find him or her desirable but are willing to wait until he or she is ready to resume sexual activity.

    3. Be patient. Most of the effects of treatment for cancer lessen when treatment ends. At that time your partner will feel better physically and emotionally. Keep in mind that every patient recovers at his or her own pace and some patients continue to experience lack of desire. This is normal.

    4. If you and your partner were experiencing problems in your sex life before the cancer diagnosis, this may be a good time to seek professional help. Talk to the doctor or the hospital social worker for a referral.

    5. If your partner is a gynecologic-oncology patient and experienced orgasm before her diagnosis, she will in all likelihood experience orgasm again. Some women report their orgasms feel somewhat different but they do occur. The use of vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can help remedy vaginal dryness. Regular vaginal intercourse, if and when your partner is ready, helps stretch the vagina following radiation. If you are not ready for vaginal intercourse, vaginal dilators have the same effect. In general, you will not feel a difference during intercourse if your partner had a hysterectomy.
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    ANimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    As with any serious surgery, patients typically suffer from fatigue and pain following surgery. The doctor may prescribe pain medications and other treatments, and the body’s natural healing powers should reduce the side effects over time. How you can help your partner:

    1. Talk with your partner about visitors. Most patients are uncomfortable following surgery, and it can be difficult to receive visitors. Find out what your partner’s preferences are before going into surgery, and confirm this following surgery.

    2. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you have all necessary prescriptions and phone numbers to call if your partner has questions or concerns.

    3. When your partner returns home, monitor his or her pain medications, and don’t let your partner perform any physical activity that the doctor has advised against (e.g., cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.). This is one of the exceptions to the rule about asking how much your partner wants to do .

    4. During the weeks following surgery, your partner will need your physical and emotional support. The physical support you can provide includes helping with meals, driving, childcare, and other household tasks. On the emotional side, being a supportive and reassuring presence can help in many ways. Assure your partner that you will be there for him or her. Your partner’s emotions may include anxiety, fear, and feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Being a good listener is especially helpful at this time. Many patients adjust to the stress of surgery by telling and retelling the story of the surgical experience.

    5. Most patients do not need home health nursing following surgery, and insurance will only pay for nurses to come to your house if your doctors believe it is a “medical necessity.” If you have concerns or questions, or think your partner will need a nurse or special equipment at home, speak to the social worker before your partner is discharged from the hospital.
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    ANimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    As a partner, your job as an advocate includes four tasks:

    1. Speaking up for and supporting your partner when dealing with doctors, nurses, and the hospital bureaucracy when he or she needs your help. Ask your healthcare professionals to a) limit their use of medical jargon, b) give you enough time to discuss your concerns and ask your questions, and c) explain things to you so they are perfectly clear. This new world you have found yourself a part of speaks a language you may not understand. Do not leave the hospital or doctor’s office until you understand what has been said.

    2. Acting as a go-between with family and friends. Be your partner’s advocate by screening calls and visits if he or she wishes. Tell friends and family what is helpful and what is not.

    3. Making a list of questions before doctors’ appointments and understanding the answers. If necessary, write down the answers for easy reference in the future. Stay organized and keep a calendar noting important dates and events.

    4. Accessing useful information about the diagnosis and treatment process. You and your partner will likely access the Internet for information. While there are many useful sites, there is also a great deal of inaccurate and out-of-date information that may both misinform and frighten you. Be cautious when you visit a website; make sure the source is reliable. You are unique, so avoid trying to compare your story to someone else’s experience.
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    ANimesh Nagarsheth, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Transportation may be an issue for some patients. As a supportive partner, handling the logistics of transportation to and from treatment sessions and doctors’ visits can be very helpful. If driving is not an available option, you may live in a city with wheelchair-accessible buses or private or hired cars. Patients unable to use public transportation (e.g., trains or buses) may be eligible for ambulette or van service. Your social worker can help you figure out which option best suits your needs.
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    AStewart Fleishman, Hospice & Palliative Care, answered
    Dr. Stewart Fleishman - When is cancer considered a chronic illness?

    Cancer is almost always considered a chronic illness. In this video, palliative medicine specialist Dr. Stewart Fleishman explains why.


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