How to Cope With Post-Cancer Fear

Credit: Photo compliments of Robert Brown Robert Brown, a retired attorney, leans on a sign post at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, a resort area in the Alps near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. Brown has survived throat and bladder cancer and continues to live an active life that includes golf, backpacking and yoga.

You get cancer. You get it fixed. After treatment ends, you get something new: a black cloud that can follow you around for decades. Is this normal?

“There is no ‘normal’ end date for fears after a brush with cancer,” says Dr. Lidia Schapira, medical director of the Cancer Survivorship program at the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Stanford, Calif.

“Data from the National Cancer Institute show that up to twenty five percent of cancer survivors experience some symptoms of depression and forty five percent experience anxiety,” Schapira says. “To put that in perspective, about twenty percent of veterans that served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.” Read more….

Immunotherapy likely to become standard for recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancers


The standard treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancers is expected to change from chemotherapy to immunotherapy based on results of several randomized, phase 3 studies, according to a presenter at HemOnc Today New York.

It is still unknown whether a regimen of immunotherapy and chemotherapy could become the standard of care.

“The treatment of recurrent disease in head and neck cancers is very challenging and has remained challenging even though we have made significant progress over the last few years with checkpoint inhibitors,” Robert I. Haddad, MD, chief of the division of head and neck oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said during his presentation. “These patients have significant quality-of-life issues. They usually have a lot of pain, they can’t work, and many of them don’t socialize... so there’s a lot of reasons to look at this patient population and improve outcomes.” Read more here....

Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Share Tried-and-True Tips for Oral Care After Treatment

Treatments for head and neck cancer, especially chemotherapy and radiation, can trigger changes in your mouth that will require extra care.

We went straight to those who know best — head and neck cancer survivors — to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Keep reading to get tips from Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA) ambassadors.


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Diana Ayling

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  • On the subject of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    This is another area that the many in the medical profession and the ACC do not seem to acknowledge exists.  And, as the ACC are (in their most basic form) an insurance company, trying not to 'pay out' on claims, then there will always be that air of disbelief that the patient is 'faking it'.

    We have experienced this 'attitude' from both the medical professionals and the ACC - shameful but true.

  • I beleive that we would all agree that there are complications with any of the treatments on offer. Knowledge gained by medical professionals is seldom imparted to the patient , family or carers - but it must be given before the treatment begins - truthfully.  Dressing it up or concealing the facts is a cruel realisation to so many of us. Facts are all that need be given or should be given, then is it up to the individual to make the final decision - the choice must noever be taken from the patient.

    The other glaring problem is that the ACC don't seem to realise that these problems are not static, nor do they seem to beleive that they change and evolve over time.  Sometimes (as has been quoted inumerable times in the past) the cure is almost worse than the disease.

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