For most patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, hair loss, nausea, and exhaustion are common and expected side effects. However, both of these treatments can cause serious and uncomfortable skin conditions. Radiation can cause an irritation that looks and feels like a sunburn on any area of the skin the beam passes through to get to cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can cause extreme dry skin and lips as it indiscriminately damages all fast-growing cells, including healthy skin cells. For women, especially, dealing with the physical reactions of cancer treatment is an uphill battle to find inner confidence as well as strength to fight their disease.
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A cancer diagnosis is shocking news to recieve. No matter what disease you're facing, fighting with confidence is important. The process of undergoing cancer treatment can be draining and leave patients feeling unwell, exhausted, and less confident about themselves than ever before. However, it is possible and very beneficial to battle cancer with your head held high, shoulders upright, and to feel strong and beautiful while doing so.
We may be cruising toward the middle of January, but it’s not too late to create some healthy goals for 2013 to help better you. Embracing change and going through this year with a positive attitude can make 2013 one of your biggest years yet! Here are 6 ways to help you flourish and grow over the next 12 months.
It is essential for cancer patients to maintain a strong immune system. Cancer treatments can be destructive to the body and can leave the body even more susceptible to diseases, infections, and germs. One of the best ways to supplement your immune system during cancer treatment is to eat a well-balanced diet rich in immune-boosting superfoods.
Stress plays a significant role in today’s society. People are stressed about everything from work to their personal to-do lists, and stress does not discriminate. Those afflicted by cancer are part of the stressed population, and need to find ways to reduce their stress as much as possible.
Sadly, cancer touches so many lives and women are a large percentage of those affected by cancer. We interviewed several women who have overcome their cancer diagnosis and asked them 'What makes you feel beautiful?'
Hair loss can be one of the most difficult and feared side effects of chemotherapy. Upon learning we will lose our hair, we immediately begin anticipating our hair loss and its impact on ourselves and others. Feeling helpless in anticipation of our hair loss can cause or increase feelings of reluctance, fear, and depression. By researching options, making deliberate choices, and taking specific actions to determine our appearance without hair, we gain a greater sense of control over our changing appearance. A greater sense of control over our appearance may help motivate us to take control of other aspects of our lives that contribute to a greater quality of life during cancer treatment. Clearly, it is not "just hair."
Women who are dealing with cancer often stress over their physical appearance. Radiation and chemotherapy can leave a woman feeling emotionally shattered and physically unattractive. For many female cancer patients, the right products and beauty treatments can make a dramatic difference in their own self-image. By concentrating on how to change her outward appearance, a woman with cancer may regain her lost confidence.
"I cheated cancer," says Patricia Brett founder and designer of Veronica Brett a swimwear collection of sexy classic swimsuits for breast cancer survivors. Brett is the youngest girl in a family of 11 children. Sadly, she knows cancer all too well. Patricia Brett has escaped a cancer diagnosis, but her passion for women with breast cancer comes from seeing a family of strong women fight against this disease.
Image by: Julia Ordodi
Most women have days that they do not feel beautiful. Bloating, fatigue, stress, and many other factors can cause a woman to not look or feel her best. It may seem that, for a woman living with cancer, feeling beautiful is the least of her worries. However, women suffering from mesothelioma, breast cancer, or any other strain of this disease can find great joy in looking their best, no matter what their prognosis may be.
Fashion and beauty magazines paint a more varied picture of beauty than they once did, but that picture is still a tiny one in a rigid frame. Whether you're a blonde, brunette or redhead, you can be one of the beautiful people -- but only if you're tall and willowy. What about women who have lost their hair after cancer treatment? What about those who have lost limbs or other body parts following surgery? What about those whose fight has etched fresh lines on a once-smooth face?
The health benefits of aerobic and strength exercises are well known. Slightly less known, however, is the potential benefits of exercise for cancer patients before, during, and after chemotherapy treatment. Light exercises can often reduce symptoms associated with cancer treatment.
Survivors of cancer are diagnosed with diabetes at alarmingly high rates. While researchers have yet to determine any fact-based evidence to support this clinically, they do know that diabetes can arise for a number of different treatment-associated reasons. Luckily, some of these contributing factors are under the patients’ control. What is Diabetes? As explained by the National Institutes of Health, diabetes is the condition of having a high level of blood sugar. It indicates that the body isn’t producing enough insulin or isn’t using insulin efficiently. Some symptoms of diabetes are increased hunger, increased thirst and frequent urination. When prolonged, diabetes can have serious consequences such as vision loss, heart trouble and limb amputation. Some diabetes patients control their condition with daily insulin injections. Radiation and Diabetes A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (August, 2009) suggests that abdominal irradiation, cranial irradiation and total body irradiation increase the risk of a cancer patients developing diabetes by 90%. One explanation is that radiation damages the pancreas, which secretes the insulin needed to metabolize sugars. Another theory is that radiation alters fatty tissues to make them more insulin-resistant. New Dietary Habits Side effects of cancer like nausea, mouth sores and dry mouth can change a person’s eating habits. Watch your new diet carefully for sugar. For example, dry mouth is a common side effect of chemotherapy used in mesothelioma treatment. Many patients and survivors therefore drink a lot of fluids – and if that fluid is sugary soda or fruit juice, the sugars quickly pile up and make diabetes more likely. It’s a good idea to drink liquids that are high in citric acid. These stimulate saliva production and make your mouth feel more comfortable. Try drinking low-sugar lemonade or orange juice, water with a twist of lime, or tea with lemon. Sucking on ice or a low-sugar ice pop is another good alternative to drinking sugary beverages. Cancer and Diabetes: Similar Risk Factors Many mesothelioma patients developed cancer because of asbestos exposure or other hazardous materials. Still, it bears mentioning that diabetes and some cancers have common risk factors. Examples include obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity. Although cancer patients were once advised to “save their energy for healing,” people now understand that physical activity can help a person to overcome cancer and prevent relapses. Talk with your doctor about the best combination of rest and activity. Medication and Diabetes It’s possible that some cancer medications raise patients’ odds for developing diabetes. When it comes to new medications, not enough time has elapsed for researchers to give a definitive answer. It’s therefore an especially good idea to exercise and maintain a well-balanced diet even if you feel ill. A nutrition counselor can help you choose foods that won’t trigger discomfort.
Ever wonder how alternative treatments such as reiki, massage and acupuncture have assisted healing for cancer patients? Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about these complementary healing modalities. Be sure to check back often, as this is the first of many we will be featuring here on our blog. We are dedicated to providing our visitors with dynamic content on mesothelioma, asbestos exposure and related topics.