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The CTCA blog

Writing your way through cancer


A cancer diagnosis can be life-changing, but writing down your thoughts may offer you new perspective on the journey. Journaling can be an empowering tool—in sharing your story with the world, expressing your feelings privately and in coping with cancer.

Surgical options may help cancer patients better manage lymphedema

Daniel Liu, MD

Video: Overcoming Lymphedema - Surgical Treatment Options for Lymphedema

Overcoming Lymphedema - Surgical Treatment Options for Lymphedema

As a reconstructive surgeon, maintaining a patient’s quality of life is of the utmost importance to me. For patients, primarily breast cancer patients, there is the possibility of developing a condition called lymphedema. If you’re familiar with lymphedema, you understand it can be a painful and debilitating chronic condition that can result from the removal of lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment.

Regaining independence after cancer treatment


For many cancer survivors, resuming a more normal way of life is an important goal after completing treatment. Some are eager to return to work for the financial independence and regular schedule it offers. Others may need additional therapy to treat post-surgery weakness that interferes with their daily activities. Whether survivors are resuming full-time work or learning energy conservation techniques to combat fatigue, oncology rehabilitation may help get them to the next step of their recovery.

Heartache at home inspires physician's passion for helping patients battle sarcoma

Jeffrey M. Weber, MD

Having a family member with sarcoma has enabled my wife, Nancy, and I to experience the diagnosis, treatment and death associated with this awful disease from the other side of the coin. I have to admit that cancer has become a personal enemy—sarcoma, in particular, because of its vicious nature and aggressive course. The fact that it took our sweet, 24-year-old daughter, Annie, from us made it a particularly distasteful foe. 

Educated patients have lower risk of infection from home-based IV nutrition

Pankaj G. Vashi, MD

For many cancer patients who cannot consume food by mouth, the intravenous delivery of life-sustaining nutrients is essential to the treatment and recovery process, especially after patients are discharged from the hospital. And yet, this important element of home-based care, commonly called home total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, has gotten a bad rap, mainly because of the high incidence of catheter-related infection.

Diet and lifestyle changes can help prevent cancer


Anyone can get cancer. However, only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers develop from gene mutations passed down from one generation to the next, according to the American Cancer Society. For the other 90 to 95 percent of cancers, the lifestyle choices you make, the foods you eat and the amount of exercise you incorporate into your daily life can have an important impact on your overall risk. So being aware of lifestyle and diet choices are helpful tools for preventing cancer.

Dr. Mons: Restoring hope with a passion for reconstruction


Video: Dr. Mons, head and neck cancer surgeon

Dr. Mons, head and neck cancer surgeon

Inspired by the local family doctor in his small Oklahoma hometown, Dr. Bradley Mons grew up with a dream: to “deliver babies and fix broken arms.” Today, a respected surgeon in his own right, Dr. Mons has dedicated his career to helping others, like the man he always admired, though the dream took a bit of a detour. During his operating-room training at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he discovered he loved working with his hands. The revelation took his medical career in another direction.

Climbing up from cancer


Video: First Descents: Climbing Up From Cancer

First Descents: Climbing Up From Cancer

The power of saying “yes,” even in challenging situations, can be especially meaningful for cancer patients. The seven men in the above video found that out when an experience that took them wildly out of their comfort zone led them to a profoundly connected, spiritual place.

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