The purpose of "Surviving Cancer-"If I knew then what I know now" is to provide a how-to manual for cancer survivors and caregivers for every stage of their cancer experience. I am not a medical professional. The information below is what I have researched and utilized to survive my cancer since 1994.
I am a long term cancer survivor of an incurable cancer (multiple myeloma) who has undergone both conventional and non-conventional therapies since my original diagnosis in early 1994. I have been cancer free since 4/99.
Through my research and personal experience I have learned that conventional oncology addresses only a small portion of the challenges that cancer patients and caregivers face. If cancer patients want to cure their cancer they need to venture beyond what they learn from their conventional oncologist.
Surviving Cancer-"If I knew then what I know now..." uses the same methodology as PeopleBeatingCancer.org does. Every blog post and article is supported by one or more studies or articles combined with my personal experience as a cancer survivor.
There is a great deal of information in Surviving Cancer-"If I knew then what I know now..." It is written to follow a cancer survivor's experiences, chronologically, and deals with general cancer issues. If you want to ask me or PBC members specific questions about your own or someone else's diagnosis, please do so by commenting in a discussion or by asking a question on PeopleBeatingCancer.org or contact me through the contact button in the upper right corner of the page. I will answer your post within 48 hours. There is no such thing as a stupid cancer question.
Look for Surviving Cancer-"If I knew then what I know now..." to become an e-book in early 2013.
a) 10 diagnosis terms every patient should know-
b) staging and prognosis
c) recommended reading for the newly diagnosed cancer patient-
a) 10 therapy terms every patient should know-
b) conventional therapies- surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
c) alternative therapies- exercise, nutrition, supplementation, detoxification,
d) integrative therapy-
e) mind-body therapies- relaxation, Positive Psychology, habit
a) 10 remission terms every patient should know-
b) partial remission (PR)-
c) very good partial remission (VGPR)-
d) complete remission-(CR)
e) definition of cancer "cure"-
4) Side Effects-
a) 10 "side effects" terms every patient should know-
b) Cancer lifestyle or the new normal after achieving remission-
c) short term- physical exhaustion, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, constipation,
d) long term- peripheral neuropathy, skin sensitivites, cataracts, irritable bladder,
e) late stage- chemo-induce heart damage,
f) permanent- nerve damage, A-fib, chemo-brain,
5) Mental health-
a) 10 mental health terms that every patient should know-
b) the five stages of grief- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance-
c) positive psychology- explanatory style-
d) the importance of creating positive habits-
6) Caregiver Issues- spouse, family, friends-
7) Palliative Care-
8) End of life issues-
9) General Issues-
a) 10 "cancer issues" terms every patient should know
b) ethics in cancer care-
Five cancer facts that all cancer survivors and caregivers should know-
1) 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.
2) Approximately 1.6 million cancer cases were diagnosed in 2011. Approximately 500,000 people died from cancer in 2011. In 2012, there are approximately 14 million cancer survivors alive in the United States and this group grows by about 10% annually.
3) The majority of cancer patients die not from cancer but with cancer, often from-
b) cachexia or
c) a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis or DVT)-
4) Secondary cancers- cancer due to one's original cancer therapies is the sixth leading cause of cancer in the United States.
5) The 12 most common cancers comprise over 85% of all newly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. annually- these cancers are prostate, breast, colorectal, lung, bladder, kidney, melanoma, non-hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, thyroid, endometrial, and pancreatic cancer.
The first rule for newly diagnosed cancer patients is to stop, take a deep breath and learn all you can about your situation. Knowledge is power.
The list of topics below serve as a list of basic areas of study for the survivor or caregiver upon diagnosis.
1) Your first step is to learn about the
a) doctor-patient relationship-
b) the importance of a second opinion-
c) the cost of cancer care and your insurance-
d) the five stages of grief-
2) The next area of study is to understand
a) how cancer is diagnosed- blood tests, genetic tests and scanning methods such as x-rays, mri's, CAT scans and pet scans.
b) cancer staging-