Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Posted by Charles on December 12, 2016 with No Comments

Three questions to help you decide about any treatment.

  • Do the potential benefits outweigh the downsides?
  • Does the intervention seem to be the easiest and safest way to accomplish what you want?
  • Does the product appear to be too good to be true (such as curing all types of cancer)? If so, well, you know how the old saying goes.

Three essential sources for authoritative and helpful data on CAM.

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Evidence based answers (that means based on medical research) to questions about CAM for all diseases; their topic list has more than 300 types of CAM and diseases including acupuncture, botanicals, mind-body techniques, nutrition, pharmacologicals, and much more. Part of the National Institutes of Health, they answer basic and advanced questions. 800-422-6237 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm.
  • Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine(OCCAM). Its the same as NCCAM above but only for cancer. 800-422-6237 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm.
  • QuackWatch is a safe website that helps detect false medical claims and quacks. Note: Articles on this site often refer to weaknesses in certain treatments; they usually refer not to the treatments themselves, but to how practitioners advertise them.

Below you will find face to face classses and/or groups addressing or using mind-body techniques.

Mind/Body Techniques to Enhance Healing (Novant Health). This group helps people incorporate healing techniques into their lives. Open to anyone who has any type of cancer, the group members learn about and how to use meditation, imagery, stress reduction, relaxation, etc.  They meet every Monday evening from 7pm-9pm. Call 704-332-8394 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or 704-384-5223 Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm. 

Tai Chi and Qigong. Instructors help cancer patients learn to relax, increase energy, and harmonize body, mind, and spirit.  Members progress at their own rates without competition.  Check the listings at the website for more information. Call the Cancer Resource Center at LCI for more details at 908-442-1006 Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. 


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“The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

Companions, Visitors and Home Health Services

Posted by Charles on November 12, 2016 with No Comments

loveLove, INC. A Christian organization that coordinates church volunteers to provide a variety of services including 1) home visits to help caregivers, 2) Care Teams to adopt eligible seniors and those with disabilities, 3) ramps for housebound, 4) telephone reassurance calls, 5) monthly light housekeeping, and 6) transportation for grocery or medical trips. All services are dependent on the availability of their wonderful volunteers. Call to volunteer or request services at 704-536-5588 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.

Support Services of DSS. A wide variety of services including 1) menu planning, 2) budgeting, 3) shopping, 4) meal preparation, 5) very light housekeeping), 6) short term (a few hours to a few days) respite care, 7) nursing home and adult care placement, 8) assistance with personal family problems, etc. (They are a part of Just1Call.) Call with to ask questions and request services at 704-432-1111 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. 

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to help us bring you up-to-date information.
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“If we can laugh together, we can work together.”
Robert Orben

Clinical Trials

Posted by Charles on October 12, 2016 with No Comments

NCI Cancer Information Service. This National Cancer Institutes phone and web service provides assistance in English and Spanish covering just about everything having to do with cancer.  A very small sample of topics includes diagnosis and treatment, clinical trials, pain control, nutrition, talking with family, and complementary and alternative medicine.   Call an information specialist with any questions at 800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) on Mon-Fri 8am-8pm EST. 

We always appreciate your reporting errors
to help us bring you up-to-date information.
Thank you!

“The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.”
George Santayana

Cancer Navigators and Other Care Coordinators

Posted by Charles on September 12, 2016 with No Comments

Cindy’s Hope Chest. This small nonprofit provides support, education, and encouragement for women battling breast cancer. They work with women where they are at the moment; they focus on a global perspective rather than simply providing individually requested services. Call 704-529-2935 to leave a message for a return call any time any day.

Navigators at CMC (Levine Cancer Institute). Invaluable support from a trained nurse navigator who amswer questions, expedite schedule, educate and suport, work with teams of doctors, help find resources after discharge, and explore and assist with work-related or financial concerns.  They work at several hospitals in the region.   Call 980-442-2000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. 

Navigators at Novant Health Cancer Center. Trained nurse navigators help patients and families reduce confusion and anxiety by helping them to understand their cancers and treatment options at every step of the process. Contact them by filling out thewebform or by phone. Call the interdisciplinary clinic at 704-384-5373 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (leave msg if necessary). 

Hints for healing

Posted by Charles on September 12, 2016 with No Comments
For the person with cancer

hint-for-healingFind the best team for you.  Choose a doctor based not only on the recommendations of professionals, but also on the suggestions of other people with cancer.  If you have a choice, visit each doctor once before deciding which one will work best for you.

There is no such thing as a silly question.  Most people find it helpful to write down questions before a visit to the doctor. Bring a friend with you to see the doctor; your friend can help you ask questions as well as remember and understand new information.

Take your time.  When you have an important decision to make such as choice of a doctor, treatment, or surgery, think it out and confer with friends and others you trust.

Consider joining a support group.  The people there are likely to have had experiences similar to yours; they can give you reassurance as well as important facts based on firsthand experience.

Take good care of your body.  Find out about good nutrition, relaxation techniques, and anything else that helps your body heal.

Treat yourself well.  Celebrate triumphs, no matter how small they may seem.  Find any excuse to reward yourself with a massage, walk in the park, or something else which will give you peace of mind and will make your life better.  [Editor’s note:  Sometimes I celebrate Tuesday with a piece of chocolate.]

For friends and relatives 

Food is love.  When taking food to your friend (and to the family, too), ask what they would like and can eat. Use a dish that does not need to be returned.

Make trips fun.  Combine a required trip to a physician or therapist with a fun activity.  Make arrangements to go out to lunch, stroll a mall, or do whatever he or she would like to do.

Keep your friendship a two-way street.  Although you will no doubt spend time listening to your friend, talking about your own life (both good and bad) will allow your friend to feel needed and to contribute something in return.

Touch or hug your friend at every appropriate opportunity.  People who are sick rarely get enough hugs. Cancer is not contagious. Greeting cards are another way to express your love; avoid “Get Well Soon” messages unless that is is the case for sure.

Use the same language as your friend uses.  If he says cancer, you can say cancer.  If he says tumor or malignancy, use those words.

Everybody’s battery needs recharging. If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, take over his duties for an afternoon to give him a chance to do whatever he wants to do.  If you are the caregiver, give yourself adequate time off; leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time.