(February 4, 2023) - Today is World Cancer Day, a global observance that aims to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018 alone.
(January 17, 2023) - Life as you know it changes when your doctor says three words, “You have cancer.” According to Ron Williams, Coping with Cancer class facilitator at Clearview Cancer Institute, effective communication to friends, family and co-workers about a cancer diagnosis can be difficult and emotionally draining.
Williams, a licensed counselor, suggests spending time to truly comprehend the diagnosis yourself. He says to discuss the diagnosis with someone you trust in order to grasp the gravity of the situation. Take notes and bring a trusted friend or family member to listen to the information provided by your care team. Williams says note taking in one notebook is beneficial to keep thoughts and comments organized and in one place.
First, ask: What does this cancer diagnosis mean to me? Carefully consider what you will need to do as you begin your cancer regiment.
Secondly, ask yourself: Who do I need to tell first? Williams says to consider having a face-to-face conversation with those closest to you. Plan when, where and how you are going to have this conversation. Consider the following: will it be best to tell people face-to-face, on the phone, etc. Every situation in communicating your news to others will be different, just as your cancer diagnosis is unique from others.
Next, consider how to get the word out to others like friends, neighbors and close confidants. Be aware that you may be at times dissatisfied with and disappointed how the news of a cancer diagnosis spreads without your permission or dissemination.
Also, reactions about the news can vary widely. “Initially, you want to communicate that you have been diagnosed with cancer and their thoughts and prayers would be appreciated. You might also mention that you are just starting this cancer journey and you don’t know everything you need to know to answer any questions at this time,” said Williams. “You might add that you need everyone to be patient as you decide how to best relay information to those concerned. Thank them again for their friendship and concern as you conclude your initial news announcement.”
Consider several effective ways to inform others about the diagnosis:
Williams says something to remember is that you are not obligated to tell everything about your condition or even tell everyone the same amount of information. “You can be as selective as you deem necessary. Take control of your message, as you see fit.”
Again, telling people about a cancer diagnosis can be challenging. Williams says above all, take care of yourself. This is your diagnosis and your journey. Do what works best for you, and consider the recommendations above.
(December 24, 2022) - At Clearview Cancer Institute, every oncologist has a dedicated social worker focused on educating, advocating for and connecting patients to resources in the clinic and throughout the community. They can also help address financial challenges such as high prescription copay costs, transportation needs, and applying for disabilities, all of which can be more difficult during the holiday months.
"During the holiday season a cancer diagnosis can be especially tough for patients and their caregivers," CCI's social services director Brittney Dial said. "We as social workers can offer support and help address the unique financial challenge that arise during this season."
Brittney said her favorite part of being a social worker is the relationships formed with both patients and their caregivers. "One of my favorite things about being a social worker is the chance to get to know our patients, to really make a difference in their lives, and to invest in those relationships while they are here throughout treatment."
Our social work services are complementary for our patients. You may request a social worker by asking the physician, nurse, scheduler, or front desk.
(January 9, 2023) - If you’re a smoker, we know it’s not easy to quit. Addiction is defined as the “mental and/or emotional dependence on a substance”. Regarding tobacco usage, nicotine is the substance that creates this addiction. Nicotine (and other chemicals in tobacco) are easily absorbed into the blood through the lungs. It acts on the brain and nervous system to release dopamine and norepinephrine which gives the user a pleasant feeling and increases alertness and concentration. The release wears off a few minutes later and withdrawal symptoms can begin within 1-2 hours creating the desire to continue the behavior.
“Addiction is multi-fold. Understanding this is the best way to overcome addiction,” said Cyndi Lemery, a nurse of 18 years, she now serves as the Lung Screening program coordinator at Clearview Cancer Institute. “Developing a ‘quit plan’ increases a smoker’s chances of success.”
Biologically, people using tobacco have a physical reaction to nicotine. This involves the reduction of anxiety and stabilized mood. Nicotine relaxes smooth muscles, suppresses appetite, and increases blood pressure. It takes less than 10 seconds for nicotine to cross the blood brain barrier resulting in the effects we just discussed. In a nutshell, people get hooked on how nicotine affects their mind and body.
Psychologically, use of tobacco products become a habit. This habit is usually related to environmental cues such as your morning coffee, driving, after meals, or smoke breaks from work. Additionally, tobacco is used to cope with underlying conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression. People become hooked on the feeling of smoking.
Socially tobacco use may be a part of identifying with a group, or a part of social/cultural practices. People become addicted to the connections that smoking helps you make with other people. Often times you feel more at ease, or like you belong, with a cigarette in your hand. And surrounded by people that also smoke.
A trigger is defined as a situation or event that sets off the urge to use tobacco.
Most triggers fall into one of these four categories:
“Smokers can identify triggers by thinking about their day and what reminds them to reach for that cigarette or device,” said Lemery. “You must believe that quitting is possible. Leave behind any previous quitting attempts. Find your confidence and know that you can succeed,” said Lemery. “The long term benefits of quitting far outweigh the short term discomforts. You must bring together what you know in your head and heart with what you feel in your gut. When you make that connection, your confidence will grow as will your desire to stop smoking.”
Lung cancer, both small-cell and non-small-cell, is the second most common type. Cancer of the prostate is more common in men, while cancer of the breast is more common in women. Most people with lung cancer are over the age of 65 and only a small number are younger than 45. People are diagnosed, on average, when they are 70 years old.
Lung cancer kills almost a quarter of all people who die from cancer. It is by far the most common type of cancer-related death. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
In this article, let’s review lung cancer and its signs and symptoms, as well as some of the common treatments available for this disease.
Your lungs are two soft organs in your chest. When you breathe in, they take in oxygen and let out carbon dioxide when you breathe out.
People who smoke are more likely to get lung cancer, but people who have never smoked can also get it. The chances of getting lung cancer goes up the longer and more often you smoke. Even if you have smoked for a long time, quitting can make it much less likely that you will get lung cancer in the future.
On the bright side, the number of new cases of lung cancer keeps going down. This is partly because people are giving up smoking. The number of people who die from lung cancer also keeps going down because people are giving up smoking and early detection and treatment methods are getting better.
The first major type of lung cancer can happen to people who have never smoked or to people who have. About 80% to 85% of lung cancers are NSCLC. The most common types of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Even though these subtypes start in different kinds of lung cells, they are often treated the same way and have the same results.
Younger people are more likely to get it, and women are more likely to get it than men. Most cases of adenocarcinoma happen in the outer parts of the lung, and it is more likely to be found early before it has spread
Other tumors can grow in the lungs in addition to the main types of lung cancer.
When lung cancer is in its early stages, there are usually no signs or symptoms. Most symptoms and signs of lung cancer show up when the disease is already more advanced.
Some common symptoms and signs of lung cancer are:
You and your doctor decide on a cancer treatment plan based on things like your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.
Sometimes, you might decide not to get treatment. For example, you may think that the treatment's side effects will be worse than its possible benefits. When this happens, your doctor may suggest comfort care, which only treats the symptoms of cancer, like pain or shortness of breath.
Below are the most common treatment options for lung cancer. Keep in mind that these treatments are all for different stages of the disease, as well as location, and how you are experiencing the disease.
Are you or someone you love concerned about your risk of lung cancer? Here at Clearview Cancer Institute, our specialists are experts in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care. Give us a call at (888)374-1015 to schedule an appointment and possible screenings.