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- Nurse Barb
Our Featured Guest Writer Today is Laurie Andreoni, President, Waking Dream Designs
Alopecia, or hair loss, is a chemotherapy side effect that many of us fear more than any other aspect of treatment. With no hair and the high stress of cancer treatment how can you maintain confidence?
After losing my hair from chemotherapy for breast cancer, I panicked when my skin became too sensitive for wigs. A scarf tied behind my head reminded me of dusting cobwebs. I wanted something comfortable and poufy so I wouldn’t look as lousy as I felt.
This became a mission of creating something beautiful out of this chapter of my life. I learned to wrap big scarves, and the style was so unique that it drew compliments even from strangers. Since it was difficult to imitate, I snipped fabrics into a new pattern, produced short runs with a sewing contractor, and Titillating Turbans were born! (more…)
How many of you are confused by the seemingly endless rounds of recommendations about breast cancer screenings? I know that I am and so this post is designed to help answer the 6 essential questions that will help you decide what to do about breast cancer screening.
1. When Shouldbe Started?
In general, for women without a family history of breast cancer, According to the American Cancer Society, mammograms should begin at age 40. If there’s a strong family history of breast cancer, your health care provider may recommend earlier screening.
Nurse Practitioner, Kathy Trotter came up with an supportive idea to improve one of the ordinary trips to the doctor’s office for women with breast cancer . At Duke, when a breast cancer survivor comes in for their annual visit, instead of sitting in the waiting room they can be immersed into an inviting and supportive group setting.
They have the ability to “take their own blood pressure and write down their weight and pulse on their own chart.” This allows women to get to know each other and learn from others who have experienced what it takes to deal with the diagnosis and treatments for breast cancer first hand. (more…)
Consider radiation therapy that takes days not weeks
For women with breast cancer who need to have radiation in addition to or instead of surgery, the prospect of enduring radiation treatments for 6 weeks can seem like forever. Now there are new shorter course radiation treatments that deliver effective, high doses of radiation in a much shorter time frame.
Do you wonder if you’re at higher risk of developing breast cancer than your sister, friend or cousin? If you’re like most women, you have friends and/or family who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and you may be wondering, “Why them? What about me? Am I at high risk?
Breast Cancer is still the most common type of cancer in women. Each year approximately 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Early and better detection and research that’s led to advanced treatments are all improving the outlook for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and yet many of us wonder if we’re at high risk. There are lists of risk factors, but making sense of what to do with the information is daunting.
Yearly Fearly Mammograms
I have a mammogram every year because I’m at high risk for breast cancer. As many of you know my mom had breast cancer when she was 32. I was 5 at the time and remember being cared for by relatives as she recovered.
Fortunately, she recovered after having a radical Halstead mastectomy and was free from Breast cancer for the rest of her life. I’m fairly certain that I chose nursing as a profession in small part because of the glowing way she described the nurses who cared for her. Growing up with the knowledge that there were many women in my mom’s family with breast cancer, including my own mother who found a small hard lump in the shower in her early 30’s absolutely adds to my anxiety every spring when I have my annual mammogram.
I was just reading in a magazine about Robin Roberts, her friendship with Diane Sawyer and how Robin’s breast cancer changed their relationship. It was brave of Robin to share her experience with ABC Good Morning America Viewers. She’s recovering, optimistic and worked through her chemo. I love what she said about how her friends were part of the “cure.”
It reminds me of a dear friend, Kim, who would invite friends to her “chemo dates.” She wanted to be entertained, or distracted or just have someone with her if she was tired. She was always quick with a smile and liked to share her friends with other women who were there alone. (more…)
A recent study calls into question the wisdom or necessity of doing Breast Self Exams. When I read these I’m always a little worried, as sometimes the relevant and pertinent information is lost in the fine print at the bottom. It was found that even though recommended, a monthly self exam may do more harm than good in certain women in certain age groups. Self exams done often led to an increased number of benign and normal lesions being found, which resulted in more intervention and biopsies. (more…)
Every year when I have my , I dread the possibility that this year will be the year that I hear bad news. With a mother who had breast cancer and caring for so many patients who have developed it over the years, I always wonder, “Will I be next?
There are so many things that are out of our control, but as it turns out there is a way to lower your risk of developing (more…). And I’ll give you a hint, it’s just one word: Exercise.