Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

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    AJoseph Thornton, MD, Colorectal Surgery, answered on behalf of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
    Will I Have to Have a Colostomy After Rectal Cancer Surgery?
    You may need a colostomy after surgery for rectal cancer, says Joseph Thornton, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he says the location of the cancer in the rectum affects this decision. 
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    AJoseph Thornton, MD, Colorectal Surgery, answered on behalf of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
    What's the Difference Between Treatment for Colon and Rectal Cancer?
    Colon cancer is first treated surgically, while rectal cancer treatment often begins with chemotherapy and radiation, says Joseph Thornton, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he says that abdominal location plays a role.
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    AKord Strebel, MD, OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
    How Has Cancer Treatment Evolved Over the Years?
    Site-specific treatments for cancer are important advances, says Kord Strebel, MD, an OB/GYN at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he describes specific advances in the treatment of breast cancer.
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    Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) is used to treat cancer. With internal radiation therapy, a radiologist places radioactive material inside the body. These “seeds” give off radiation to destroy nearby cancer cells. The seeds may be placed inside the body with needles, catheters or minor surgeries. Some of the seeds are permanent, and some are temporary. The permanent seeds stop giving off radiation over time. They do no damage by remaining in the body.
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    Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all, if you're being treated for cancer. Alcohol may contribute to dehydration, can lower the abilities of your immune system to fight infection and provides no beneficial nutrients.
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    Talk to your healthcare team before taking any vitamins or supplements. Some medications and cancer treatments may interact with vitamins and supplements. Choose food first as the main source for nutrients.
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    The “8 X 8 rule” is a good place to start. Aim to drink 8, 8-ounce glasses (for a total of 64 ounces) of caffeine-free fluid a day. Drinks that contain caffeine contribute to fluid loss. Here are some ways to make sure you stay properly hydrated:
    • Drink fluids throughout the day instead of waiting to drink when you feel thirsty.
    • Keep a glass, cup or bottle of water in sight at all times. It is much more likely that you will drink fluids when they are within reach.
    • Keep track of the fluids you drink to make sure you are getting enough.
    These beverages may be  counted toward your fluid goal:
    • water
    • milk
    • decaf coffee
    • decaf tea
    • fruit or vegetable juice
    • decaf soda
    • sports drinks
    • liquid nutrition supplements
    • hot chocolate
    • milkshakes
    These foods may be counted toward your fluid goal:
    • soup and broth
    • gelatin
    • ice cream
    • fruit ice
    • popsicles
    • sorbets
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    During cancer treatment, it is very important that you stay hydrated. Water is needed for regulating your temperature and for removing wastes and toxins. The human body is made up of about 60% water. Every organ is dependent upon water for optimal functioning.

    Dehydration occurs when your output of fluid exceeds fluid intake. Infections, high fever, bleeding or even something as simple as not drinking enough fluids can lead to dehydration.

    Side effects of cancer treatment such as vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration. If you have severe vomiting and can't keep fluids down try sucking on ice cubes and ice chips and taking frequent, small sips of fluids. This will be better tolerated than drinking large amounts at one time. If you are vomiting for 24 hours or more, contact your healthcare provider.