MCA Staff Writers

MCA Staff Writers

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stress awareness for caregivers

When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, a spouse, parent, or close friend often takes on a caregiver role. Since they are not paid, they are called informal caregivers or family caregivers. Most caregivers are women (60%), middle-aged, and have a full time job (59%).

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Stress awareness tips for cancer diagnosis and treatment

A cancer diagnosis sends chills down most people’s spine and triggers much stress. The stress can appear as fear, brain overload, slowness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, worry about one’s life and loved ones, less interest in life, and occasionally nausea, and vomiting. Some people feel the stress as a hassled feeling of not enough time to get everything done, reliving regrets, and wanting to spend more time with family and friends.

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Dr. Brenda Buck examines rocks for naturally occurring asbestos Image Source: Dr. Buck & colleague examine rocks for NOA

The recent discovery of windblown asbestos dust near Las Vegas, NV has drawn new attention to the phenomenon of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). Dr. Brenda Buck, a UNLV geologist, was testing for arsenic and other toxic chemicals when she unexpectedly found a different, but equally dangerous, substance: actinolite, one of six minerals categorized as asbestos. She and her colleagues published a paper last year detailing their findings, which focused on the area around Boulder City, a small town 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

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2014 Winter Olympics AP Image

With a final bill expected to surpass $50 billion dollars, the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are going to be the most expensive of all time by several times. Russian President Vladimir Putin is intent on using the Olympics to advance the country’s standing on a global stage, and that, combined with endemic corruption leading to kickbacks and overcharging, has helped drive the tremendous expense of the games.

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2 0 1 4Jan28

5 Tips on Caregiving for a Bedridden Loved One

Caregiving for a bedridden loved one

For some cancer patients, their disease can render them bedridden at times. Treatments and physical effects of cancers like mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases can really limit a patient’s ability to perform normal physical activities. The role of a caregiver can often be a trying one, but can become especially so if the loved one they are caring for is bedridden.

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Spa Treatments

As any cancer patient knows, one of the many terrible things about the disease is how unpleasant the treatment can be. By design, chemotherapy drugs attack cells that rapidly divide. That includes cancer cells, but it also affects normal cells like hair, bone marrow, and fingernails. For that reason, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have a range of debilitating side effects, including:

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LungLeavin' Day 2014

The MCA's very own Heather Von St. James is spearheading an awareness effort on behalf of mesothelioma victims by sharing her personal holiday, LungLeavin' Day. LungLeavin' Day started out as a personal celebration in the beginning of February between Heather and her husband Cameron to recognize each year Heather remained cancer-free, but has now turned into a celebration of life and overcoming fears with many family members, friends and cancer survivors. LungLeavin' Day is not just for cancer survivors though, it is a day for anyone who desires to take control of their lives and throw their fears to the fire. Read our interview with Heather below, check out her new page and share with your loved ones!

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2 0 1 4Jan06

Eat to Defeat: Cleansing in the New Year


For some, the turn of the New Year brings resolutions and promises to make positive lifestyle changes. With that fact, January is aptly named National Staying Healthy month. Popular New Year’s resolutions generally follow the trend of getting healthy and staying healthy like losing weight, getting fit, and quitting smoking. With so many health-focused goals, a good way to kick off your year is to start with a cleanse. We live in a world full of toxins-- in our foods, in our products and in the air-- so a great way to jumpstart the year is to cleanse your body of as many toxins as you can.

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2 0 1 3Dec23

11 Creative Ideas for Gifts that Give Back

11 Gifts that Give Back

This time of year is one for spreading good cheer and goodwill onto others, but it doesn’t have to come in the form of big wrapped boxes under a tree. For a cancer patient or caregiver, gift giving can create unnecessary stress because it is another task to think about, as well as the financial obligation that they may not be able to provide. On the other hand, patients and caregivers who have already gone through cancer treatment may want to pay it forward or give back to their family, friends and community who have helped them out during tough times in the past. Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes; here are some ways to give more without spending more this holiday season.

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2 0 1 3Dec16

4 Tips for a Happy Holiday for Caregivers

Happy Holidays for Caregivers

The holiday season is in full swing and, for some caregivers, their stress levels are in full swing too. While generally being thought of as a time for gift giving and fun parties, the holidays are also notorious for being tough to get through. When you're acting as a caregiver to a loved one with cancer, it can be difficult to keep things “normal” around the holidays. There is nothing that says you can’t create a new normal though! Read these tips to help keep the holidays jolly and bright as a caregiver!

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9 Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again-- the holiday season, where gift giving is on the minds of many. While the holiday season is supposed to represent a time of joy and giving, some people may not being feeling holly and jolly this year. If a family member or loved one has been recently diagnosed with cancer, they may not be feeling the holiday spirit. Finding a nice gift to give to your loved one may seem a little more daunting than it has in the past. But there are many gift options for cancer patients, even some that can’t be found in stores!

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Eat to defeat during the holidasy

The importance of a healthy diet becomes even more apparent when your health changes radically with a disease like cancer. With the holiday season here, eating healthy typically seems more difficult since big meals and treats are abundant. For someone going through cancer treatment, the traditional fare for holiday meals may no longer seem appealing as well. Despite the holiday season bringing indulgences, following a healthy diet doesn’t need to be confusing. The definition of good nutrition is balancing important ingredients like water, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to take in the essential nutrition needed to help your body function best. When you have a body and immune system compromised by disease, taking in a balanced diet is one of the best ways you can help your body stay strong and repair itself. Share these healthy eating tips with a loved one going through treatment this holiday season to keep healthy eating a priority.

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2 0 1 3Oct22

How to Survive Cold & Flu Season With Cancer

Cold and flu season with cancer

As the season changes and ushers in colder temperatures, cold and flu season begins too. The influenza virus, commonly known as the flu, presents many symptoms similar to the common cold; respiratory inflammation, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, fever, and aches are common symptoms for both. However, the flu generally presents more aggressive symptoms and some people may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea as well. For cancer patients, having an immune system that is already compromised makes cold and flu season especially precarious.

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Veterans & the Shutdown

In just over a week since the Federal government has become officially shutdown, another, perhaps more, upsetting side effect has come to light. From October 1 onwards, the family of any member of the armed services who dies in the line of duty will not be able to collect the $100,000 so-called “death gratuity” usually provided by the government to cover travel costs, funeral arrangements and other associated bills. Thankfully, the Fisher House Foundation from Bethesda, MD has stepped up to cover the grants until the government can reimburse the foundation.

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Coming to Peace with Cancer

Not only is the reality of a cancer diagnosis shocking, but also the tough discussions about what a patient can expect in the future can be even more daunting. Hearing the words ‘cancer battle’ doesn’t inspire confidence in a patient, even if their prognosis is favorable. With these negative emotions, finding peace with a diagnosis can help make life feel less ruled by doctor’s appointments and treatments. As with other problems in life, each person copes differently and in their own way. However, here are some tips for someone to consider when learning to cope with a cancer diagnosis.

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2 0 1 3Sep16

The Changing Definition of a Survivor

Definition of a Survivor

For cancer patients, the word survivor can bring up a range of reactions and emotions. Some claim the word proudly as a badge of honor that they’ve earned through treatments and experiences with their disease. Some find the word survivor to be a little uncomfortable and without a concrete definition. Others prefer another word, like warrior or champion, instead of survivor. Definitions aside, due to better diagnostic tools and effective treatments, there are more than 12 million people living cancer survivors in the United States. Below are some ways that survivorship can be defined.

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Asbestos and labor day

While many citizens enjoyed an extra day off and huge retail sales on Labor Day, it’s important to remember the real reason we observe this day. Labor Day was created to celebrate the hard work put forth by American citizens and to recognize their economic and social contributions to our country. Labor Day is also an appropriate time to recognize the dangers that many American citizens face in their respective industries. While there are many ways that workers can be injured or killed on the job, the number 1 cause of occupational-related cancer continues to be exposure to asbestos, even 30 years after the peak of its use. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma cancer after a long latency period of 20-50 years and for some industries, asbestos exposure was a regular part of the job.

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5 ways to helps someone with mesothelioma

Often times, when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, knowing what you can do to help and be supportive is not easy. A mesothelioma diagnosis, in particular, can be sudden and life-changing. Whether it’s finding the right thing to say, or figuring out what you can offer, you’ll want to be ready to help your loved one as best you can. We’ve put together some of the best things you can do for someone with mesothelioma that go beyond simply gift giving to offer genuine care and support.

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2 0 1 3Aug12

Beware of ALEC


“ALEC” is the American Legislative Exchange Council, and it may be the most powerful organization you (probably) never heard of. There’s a good chance ALEC already has impacted your life. And if it hasn’t yet, give it time.

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National Forgiveness Day

When a cancer diagnosis strikes, a difficult and damaging time begins in the patient’s life. Cancer is never convenient and can uproot families and future plans quickly. Cancer is the enemy and is often associated with a multitude of negative emotions. The process of fighting cancer, from the time of diagnosis through treatment and recovery, can be long and exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Mesothelioma treatment, for example, may require chemotherapy as well as surgery. The disease becomes part of the patient and, if the journey is long enough, it isn’t healthy to harbor hateful, negative feelings toward this new part of his or her life.

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