House Calls

SPR 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2019 } 29 WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAS CANCER It's not easy to watch a loved one navigate a cancer diagnosis, but there are some surprisingly simple things you can do to bolster a friend or family member who's fighting cancer. • Respect any wishes for privacy: Let your loved one decide how and when to share information about their diagnosis with others, and honor their choice to speak openly about their illness or handle it more privately. • Tell them often that you love them and that you care. • Be a good listener: A diagnosis may bring financial concerns, increased stress, and feelings of anxiety or depression. Simply listening to your loved one may help them feel supported and heard. • Offer to help in concrete ways, such as dropping off meals on specific days or aiding with childcare during specific blocks of time. • It always feels good to be included, so continue to invite the person to special occasions or usual activities, letting them decide whether or not it makes sense for them to attend. he says). "I was shocked by how fast the recovery process was, and happy to be able to get back to my normal routine, which was something I was worried about prior to surgery." The introduction of more finely targeted radiation treatments, such as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), which can very precisely beam high doses of radiation at a tumor from several angles, has also translated to more positive outcomes and fewer side effects across the cancer-fighting scene. Roper St. Francis doctors continue to pioneer cutting-edge cancer treatments through clinical trials, or the supervised use of drugs not yet available to the general public. At any given time, Roper St. Francis Cancer Care affiliated physicians participate in multiple trials across many diseases and stages. If you or a loved one is battling cancer, ask your doctor if a clinical trial may be right for you. Reducing Your Risk for Cancer While these advancements make cancer treatment more effective than ever before, Dr. Akman stresses that the best way to stop cancer is before it starts. And the good news? "Anyone can make lifestyle adjustments to reduce their cancer risk— and they can start today," he says. Making healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco, consuming alcohol only in moderation, and exercising at least three times per week for at least thirty minutes are all known to reduce a person's risk for cancer. In addition to lifestyle tweaks, Drs. Akman and Baker suggest making time for some self-analysis, thinking through your personal potential risk factors. "Knowing your personal risk for cancer is essential and requires assessing many things, such as personal hormone history, body mass index, and family history," explains Dr. Baker. But family history isn't everything: "Absence of a family member with breast cancer does not eliminate any woman's risk," she adds. "Roper St. Francis provides a High Risk Breast Assessment program so women can determine their own risk and know how often they should do imaging." Ask your doctor about the best way to determine your risk of various cancers. Finally, Farrow DuRant urges everyone to get the recommended cancer screenings, as mammography likely saved her life. "I had no symptoms," she says. "Even when the doctors knew where the tumor was, they couldn't find it without imaging." Now, with her cancer in Dr. Elizabeth Kline remission, Farrow says she feels better than ever: "I'm back to exercising, I feel so much stronger, and I have energy back," she says. "I'm back to enjoying life with a new perspective." Bob Werner is entering this spring with a fresh outlook, as well. "I had been healthy all my life and felt indestructible," he says. "I felt shock, fear, and anger when I received the diagnosis, and didn't think I'd be able to exercise again after the surgery to remove the tumor." But now, less than six months after his operation, the 69 year old is back to his normal routine— teaching and taking spin classes, enjoying daily strolls on the beach with his pup, and spending time with his family, including a new grandson. "I feel great," says Bob. "I had no symptoms. Even when the doctors knew where the tumor was, they couldn't find it without imaging." —FARROW DURANT P H O T O G R A P H ( D R . K L I N E ) C O U R T E S Y O F R O P E R S T . F R A N C I S

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