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About Cancer Aftercare
Aftercare is also called "Secondary Prevention." A concern shared by many people is Ė after the chemo, radiation and/or surgery what can be done to prevent cancer from coming back later in another part of the body? The sequence of events looks like this:
the patient is sent home, traditional medicine has done all they can do;
the patient returns to a loving and supportive environment of family and friends, but is this enough?
they wonder, is there another dimension or assessment that could add another piece to the puzzle in the dilemma faced by this person;
they seek help to measure and rebuild.
We know that chemo not only kills cancer cells, it also kills some of the positive immune modulators in the body at the same time. Therefore, the patient returns home with a suppressed immune function. One person was recently told, donít feed the dog, donít wash your own vegetables and donít be in crowds. Obviously, the immune response is lowered and the patient is vulnerable to common infections.
The physician must care for the ever-growing list of patients he or she must treat for cancer. There is typically no one in the physicians office to work with patients as they return home, when the immune response needs to be strengthened. New research reported in medical journals has some answers.
A new focus in care is an assessment of the oxidative stress markers, suppressed nutritional anti-oxidant levels, and toxic metals, which research has shown, can additionally lower immune function. Nutritional anti-oxidant levels have additionally been shown to build immune response and therefore decrease the likelihood of secondary infection as the patient heals.
Many people have chosen to use dietary supplement sources to maintain bone health in the form of plant sources (such as soy) or as hormone replacement. They need information on how these supplements are being utilized in the body. There is a debate as to whether the patient should consume dietary supplements during and after care. Dr. Richard Cutler, formerly of the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Aging created a blood and serum test which can assess the information needed to make these decisions. His original work was developed to assess proper stress and nutritional markers for the astronauts at the Johnson Space center. It makes sense that this data could also apply to other "well people" as the question is addressed. We ask, what are the vitamins I am taking doing in my body, a question asked by patients and their physicians?
Daily the confusion levels increase as the media reports isolated studies measuring the effects of such products as chocolate, coffee, raspberries, etc. Dr. C. Evertt Koop accurately stated in a conference on dietary Guidelines at Georgetown University, "The public is confused and we as healthcare professionals need to be providing data to answer questions and suppress the stress and anxiety created by conflicting reports released by the press." The purpose of the conference was to call together the heads of all the nutrition societies to form a consensus to inform the public of the truth.
After all, isnít truth what we are all seeking? Is truth for one person truth for another person? Knowing individual levels may be the answer to seeking that truth. Who is measuring the impact of all the dietary supplementation? We need conclusive answers. Does the current medical system allow for this information to be obtained? Probably not. Where do we go from here?
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The information contained within this website is not intended to take the place of medical advice from your personal physician. Readers are advised to consult their own physician or qualified health care professional regarding the treatment of their condition(s). Jan Hamilton, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your own research, and in partnership with your primary care physician. Our facility is not responsible for any possible consequence from any choice you make in treatment, action, or application of herbs, vitamins, minerals, or other supplementation. All content of this website is copyright Jan Hamilton, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., unless otherwise indicated.