Exercise Can Help Patients Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms

Fatigue, poor sleep, and reduced appetite are common complaints among people undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma. But new guidelines from Australia suggest that there is a powerful, natural way to address many of these problems: exercise. In an official position statement published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the country’s Clinical Oncology Society encourages cancer patients and their doctors to see physical  exercise as a vital part of staying healthy and managing symptoms during treatment. In the COSA statement, the authors point to the significant amount of clinical research showing that exercise is “a safe and effective intervention to counteract the adverse physical and psychological effects of cancer and its treatment.” The authors say the intention of the statement is … Continue reading Exercise Can Help Patients Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms »

Medical Marijuana No Longer Tabu Among Mesothelioma Doctors

A new survey suggests that medical marijuana is gaining acceptance among doctors who treat malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer, opening the door for more patients to explore its potential to manage their disease. The survey of 400 oncologists conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that as many as 80 percent of the 237 respondents have discussed medical marijuana with their patients. The survey found this was usually because a patient brought it up. Unfortunately for mesothelioma patients, the survey also revealed that fewer than one in three doctors felt knowledgeable enough about medical marijuana to make a recommendation. “We need to bridge this gap so oncologists have the unbiased information they need to assist with … Continue reading Medical Marijuana No Longer Tabu Among Mesothelioma Doctors »

Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals

A study of more than 400 patients and their families shows that people coping with cancers such as malignant mesothelioma do better when their medical caregivers show them kindness. The study was originally published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and identifies six specific types of kindness that can help to ease the pain and challenges of mesothelioma treatment. High Tech Must Be Balanced by “High Touch” In the introduction to the report, Dr. Leonard Berry, a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M University, says high tech therapies for mesothelioma and other cancers  should be balanced by “high touch” from caregivers. “Simple kindness can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals »

National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival

Given the aggressive and treatment-resistant nature of malignant mesothelioma, it can be frustrating for patients to hear news about experimental therapies that may be decades away from clinical use. But patients are far from powerless, as the stories of mesothelioma survivors like Paul Kraus prove. At 20+ years post-diagnosis, Kraus is the longest-living mesothelioma survivor in the world and credits his longevity, in large measure, to dietary and lifestyle changes. During this year’s National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and DIetetics is reminding everyone of the power of nutrition to impact health and wellbeing. This year’s theme, “Go Further with Food”, is a fitting slogan for mesothelioma patients and those with other cancers. Nutrition and Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma … Continue reading National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival »

Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy

New evidence suggests that a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to them might help patients recover after pleural mesothelioma treatment. Experts in pulmonary cancers at several French institutions recently published what they called a “real-life feasibility study” of home-based rehab in patients who had received chemotherapy for either lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma. Previous research has shown that these patients are typically less physically active and experience a lower quality of life as a result of the cancer and/or the treatment. Managing Mesothelioma Rehabilitation at Home In the new French study, patients who had undergone chemotherapy for lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma were screened to see if they would be good candidates for a rehabilitation program offered in their … Continue reading Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy »

Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma

federal support for mesothelioma victims

A new report suggests that too many mesothelioma patients and their families may not be coping as well as they could be with the implications of their diagnosis. Italian researchers in environmental health, occupational disease, and psychology conducted extensive interviews with 10 mesothelioma patients and 9 of their caregivers. In a report in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the team concluded that families with malignant mesothelioma are often more focused on their symptoms than on how their illness will impact their lives and that of their loved ones. The Subjective Experience of Mesothelioma Although several national and international reports have emphasized the importance of managing the psychological and social implications of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the Italian researchers say not enough … Continue reading Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma »

Should Mesothelioma Patients Give Up Asparagus to Boost Survival?

The news this week that a compound found in asparagus and other foods may contribute to the spread of breast cancer has some wondering if patients with other types of cancer – such as malignant pleural mesothelioma – should stop eating asparagus. The study appears in the journal Nature and suggests that asparagine may fuel the mechanism that helps certain kinds of breast cancer cells metastasize to other parts of the body. But what does the news mean for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma? What Did the Study Show? In the new study conducted by an international team of scientists, researchers found that mice with higher levels of asparagine had faster-growing triple-negative breast cancer tumors. The good news is that researchers … Continue reading Should Mesothelioma Patients Give Up Asparagus to Boost Survival? »

Managing Taste and Smell Changes During Mesothelioma Treatment

If you are a mesothelioma patient dealing with changes in how you taste or smell your food, you are not alone. A new study of lung cancer patients in the same situation suggests that healthcare professionals could be doing more to help. Treatment-related changes in taste and smell are common among people with malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer. Chemotherapy can change a person’s ability to recognize certain familiar smells and tastes. Mesothelioma patients often report no longer liking the flavor of certain foods that they have always found appealing. Others may begin to gravitate toward foods (such as spicy or sweet things) they they did not like in the past. Radiotherapy treatment for mesothelioma can also interfere with … Continue reading Managing Taste and Smell Changes During Mesothelioma Treatment »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with Mistletoe Extract

Mesothelioma researchers are calling for more study of compounds extracted from European mistletoe after a German pleural mesothelioma patient survived for more than four years with no other treatment. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Although many different types of new mesothelioma treatments are under investigation, there is no cure. An Alternative Mesothelioma Treatment? Most mesothelioma patients receive some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. But a new report in the Journal of Thoracic Disease suggests that long-term mesothelioma survival might be possible with an alternative treatment modality called viscum album extracts (VAE). VAE is extracted from the European mistletoe plant and is known to stimulate the immune system, downregulate cancer genes, and inhibit the … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with Mistletoe Extract »

Six Resolutions Mesothelioma Patients Should Make in 2018

The New Year is often a time to set new goals and make plans. While it is important for mesothelioma patients and their families to fully embrace the present, there are also some goals worth setting, even if the prognosis seems grim. The following six New Year’s resolutions can help ensure the best possible quality of life and treatment outcomes for people battling malignant mesothelioma in 2018. Resolution #1: Seek out a cancer center with experience in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer, affecting just 2,500 people in the entire US each year. As a result, many physicians have never even seen a single case and may be unfamiliar with evolving best practices in the … Continue reading Six Resolutions Mesothelioma Patients Should Make in 2018 »

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