After Prostate Cancer, Start Walking: Walking Routine Improves Health-Related Quality of Life

“Walking at an easy pace for about three hours every week may be just enough physical activity to help prostate cancer survivors reduce damaging side effects of their treatment, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

” ‘Non-vigorous walking for three hours per week seems to improve the fatigue, depression and body weight issues that affect many men post-treatment,’ said Siobhan Phillips, lead author of the study. ‘If you walk even more briskly, for only 90 minutes a week, you could also see similar benefits in these areas.’

“Phillips is a kinesiologist and an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The paper will be published April 16, 2015 in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.

“This is one of the first papers to investigate how different intensities and types of physical activity affect the health-related quality of life of men after prostate cancer treatment.

” ‘This study shows that you don’t have to engage in high-impact, vigorous activities to improve your quality of life after a prostate cancer diagnosis,’ Phillips said. ‘Since many prostate cancer survivors might find vigorous activities hard to stick with, the good news is that simply focusing on walking more may be enough to make them feel better.’ “


ASCO: Oncologists Struggling to Meet Demand in Volatile Landscape

“More and more cancer patients are surviving their diseases as better treatments become available, and while that’s good news, it poses challenges for clinicians, says a new report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Many oncology practices are struggling to meet demand for post-treatment services while grappling with rising drug costs and pressure to adapt to new delivery and payment models.

“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added 10 new treatments to its list of more than 170 approved anticancer agents in 2014 while more than 770 therapies are in the research and development pipeline, ASCO reports in The State of Cancer Care in America: 2015.” New treatments have led to better outcomes, with more than 68% of patients living beyond 5 years past their diagnosis compared to 49% in 1975.

“However, with new diagnoses of cancer expected to increase by 45% by 2030—and rising levels of obesity contributing to an additional 500,000 cases—oncologists will face significant challenges in meeting the demand for post-care services, the report says. For example, as a group, oncologists are aging, with those 64 years or older greatly outnumbering new physicians entering the field.”


Mental Training Exercises Shown to Help Mitigate the Effects of 'Chemo Brain'

“UCLA researchers have developed a program that could improve the day-to-day lives of women with breast cancer by addressing post-treatment cognitive difficulties, sometimes known as ‘chemo brain,’ which can affect up to 35 percent of women after their treatments.

“An estimated one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes, and following treatment, a mental fogginess can prevent them from being able to concentrate, staying organized and completing everyday activities, such as sticking to a schedule or planning a family gathering.

“The new study, led by breast cancer research pioneer and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Patricia Ganz, builds upon her earlier research that found a statistically significant association between neuropsychological test performance and memory complaints among women with early stage breast cancer following treatment.

” ‘We invited the women to participate in a research study that assigned them to early or delayed treatment with a five-week, two-hour group training session, where a psychologist taught them strategies to help them with their memory and maintaining their ability to pay attention to things,’ said Ganz, director of prevention and control research at the cancer center. ‘These are activities we call executive function and planning, or the things all of us do in order to organize our day.’ “


Lost in Transition After Cancer

“ ‘You are being deported,’ a surgeon announced to me last fall. That’s a scary thing for a child of two immigrants to hear. But he was referring to the removal of my port, a medical device implanted just beneath my right collarbone — a gateway for the dozens of rounds of chemotherapy, antibiotics and blood transfusions that have entered my body since I received a leukemia diagnosis at age 22.

“I love a good pun, but I wasn’t in the mood for laughter or lightness that day. After three and a half years of cancer treatment, I no longer needed the port. My doctors had finally pronounced me in remission. I had thought I’d want to celebrate or dance a jig in my hospital gown or throw a rager when I got there. But it didn’t feel anything like the endgame I had imagined.

“It took me a long time to be able to say I was a cancer patient. Then, for a long time, I was only that: A cancer patient. Now that I’m done with my treatment, I’m struggling to figure out who I am. On paper, I am better: I no longer have cancer, and with every passing day I’m getting stronger. The constant flood of doctor’s appointments, blood tests and phone calls from concerned family and friends have trickled to a slow drip. But off paper, I feel far from being a healthy 26-year-old woman.”


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”


ASCO Releases First Three Guidelines on Cancer Survivorship Care

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued three evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and management of symptoms that affect many cancer survivors—neuropathy, fatigue and depression, and anxiety. The guidelines are the first three in a planned series of guidelines on survivorship care. The recommendations reinforce the need to care for the both physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors.”

“The release of these guidelines come at a time when the number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. Despite these important gains, cancer survivors still face a range of long-term challenges from their disease and its treatment.  Cancer survivors face an increased risk for other health problems, premature mortality and side-effects from treatment.  The transition from active treatment to post-treatment care is critical to optimal long-term health. If care is not planned and coordinated, cancer survivors are left without knowledge of their heightened risks and a follow-up plan of action.

“In addition to the guidelines, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, has updated information for survivors that is based on ASCO’s latest recommendations.”