Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Life and Wellness

Find tips, information and resources on living with cancer, fighting it, surviving it and practicing a healthy lifestyle overall.

Tips for cancer patients: How to deal with information overload

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Information

A cancer diagnosis often comes with an overwhelming amount of information for patients to sift through and remember. Between appointments, meeting with various doctors and clinicians, and digesting treatment and nutrition information, it can be difficult to keep track of it all. There’s so much to focus on at a time when you’re dealing with an experience that has likely turned your life upside down.

How can flexible robotic surgery help head and neck cancer patients?

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Flexrobotics

Many head and neck cancer patients undergo treatments that end up disrupting their quality of life. For example, surgery to remove tumors in the head or neck area typically requires large incisions that may affect the patient’s ability to eat, speak and swallow. If the incisions were smaller, the lasting impacts may be less severe, experts say.

What I wish I knew: Live in the moment

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Live in the moment

Dan Cuccherini always considered himself a typical guy’s guy. “I was a pretty athletic, outdoors kind of a guy,” he says. The Virginia native had a busy life with a lot on his plate—he and his wife have nine children. In 2013, his stressful job as a safety director was taking its toll on him. “I was sick all the time,” he says. “As time went on, I just grew more and more fatigued.”

How to care for your wig

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care for your wig

Many patients who lose their hair after cancer treatment find comfort and a sense of style in wigs. Because wigs often look and feel like normal hair, they may help patients feel more secure as they navigate the cancer journey. But it may surprise some patients to learn that they have to take specific steps to care for their wig. “Wig care probably isn’t top of mind for most cancer patients, and that makes sense,” says Joyce Clements, an Esthetician at our hospital in Tulsa.

Treating cancer while protecting the heart

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Radiation

Chemotherapy and radiation may be essential to killing cancer, but while they’re attacking cancer cells, they often damage healthy cells and tissues, too. That may be especially problematic if those cells and tissues are in the heart. Even small doses of certain treatments may cause long-term harm to the heart, which may have serious consequences for patients’ overall health. That’s why doctors are increasingly turning to tools and techniques designed to protect the heart from unnecessary damage.

Busting myths: 7 common chemotherapy misconceptions

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chemotherapy

If you think you know all about chemotherapy, you may be surprised to hear that it no longer automatically causes severe nausea and vomiting. In fact, medical advances over the years have helped lessen chemotherapy’s impact on the body in a number of ways. “Chemotherapy has a very bad rap,” says Dr. Dennis Citrin, a Medical Oncologist at our hospital near Chicago. “While the cancer treatment itself has evolved for the better over the past few decades, its public perception hasn’t quite caught up. Educating patients about the facts is such an important piece of what we do every day.”

Managing menopause and more with gynecologic cancer

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menopause

With more and more gynecologic cancer patients living longer, cancer experts are putting an increasing focus on improving patients’ quality of life. For many, that means managing hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and other bodily changes most women don’t experience until later in life. That’s because for many women, even those in their 20s and 30s, gynecologic cancer treatments often cause a number of side effects—including symptoms of menopause.

Hormone therapy's role in cancer care

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Hormone

Hormone therapy in cancer treatment has undergone myriad advances since its 19th-century debut, when doctors found that removing ovaries had positive impacts on patients with advanced breast cancer. Today, blocking hormones or reducing their levels to stop them from feeding cancer cells is standard of care in treating several types of cancer. But what hormone therapy actually entails and how it works to slow or shrink cancer growth is still a mystery to many patients.