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The CTCA blog

Recent evidence supports the importance of integrative approach to care

Christina Shannon, ND, FABNO

As a Naturopathic Oncology Provider, I see how an integrative approach to cancer care can make a difference in patients’ lives, no matter where they are on their cancer journey. From registered dietitians and acupuncturists to chiropractors and mind-body specialists, we form a team around each patient, collaborating on ways to help them manage the side effects that often come with the disease and its treatment.

Chemobrain study suggests mental exercises may help with symptoms

CTCA

Many chemotherapy patients know the feeling all too well: a mental fogginess that permeates the brain and can disrupt even the most routine tasks. It is popularly known as “chemo brain,” but doctors describe it as post-treatment cognitive difficulty, because it can occur after surgery or radiation, as well as chemotherapy. Whatever you call it, the changes can prove unsettling and, sometimes, debilitating.

Four steps to resuming a healthy sex life after cancer

Sean Cavanaugh, MD

A healthy sex life is important for many people, but it can prove difficult to attain, especially after a cancer diagnosis. Achieving and maintaining healthy sexual relations often require communication, education and, sometimes, the help of a trained professional. As Chief of Radiation Oncology at our Newnan, Georgia, hospital, I treat all parts of the body and specialize in pelvic malignancies. I am often asked how cancer patients can address intimacy challenges.

3D nipple tattoos offer a shot of realism after breast reconstruction

CTCA

Undergoing a mastectomy can prove instrumental in a breast cancer patient’s treatment plan. But the procedure often comes with its own challenges, especially for women struggling with body image after surgery. To help these patients recover a sense of normalcy, some reconstructive surgeons are turning to an age-old tool—the tattoo gun. The 3D nipple tattoo, or “nat” as it’s called in the trade, uses shadows and highlights to restore a sense of depth and detail to the reconstructed breast.

The skinny on probiotics and a healthy digestive system

CTCA

You’ve likely seen the TV commercials, or you’ve heard your dietitian talk about them. But plenty of confusion continues to surround probiotics, the live bacteria in your gut that helps the digestive system work. Are supplements good for you? How much should you be getting in your daily diet? To help clear up some of the mystery, Khara Lucius, ND, FABNO, a Naturopathic Oncology Provider at our Illinois hospital, answers some frequently asked questions about probiotics:

Jimmy Carter's treatment underscores importance of immunotherapy

CTCA

Sometimes it takes a national news event to shine an important light on key developments in cancer care and treatment. Such was the case last week, when former President Jimmy Carter announced he began targeted radiation and immunotherapy treatments for metastatic cancer that spread to his brain. The world-renowned peacemaker has become a symbol of resilience during his fight against stage IV melanoma, and now, his openness has shed light on the emerging science around immunotherapy.

Nuts about soy? Evolving research offers good news for breast cancer patients

It sometimes seems that as soon as a nutrition “truth” is revealed, it’s no longer true. One recent example is the scientific world’s view on soy and breast cancer. Our knowledge of how certain foods can help or hurt us continues to evolve as the body of evidence grows and changes. Some areas of research change little over time. Others, though, have changed radically in just the past couple of decades. Long before scientists began changing their minds about soy, they were viewing nuts with a new eye.

Managing and treating lymphedema

CTCA

 

For many cancer patients, the side effects that come with treatment can prove challenging. Lymphedema is one relatively common example that impacts some patients who undergo surgery or radiation. But advances in treating lymphedema offer new options for an improved quality of life.