Cancer.Net Feature Articles
Cancer.Net Feature Articles are designed to provide in-depth information on topics of interest, as well as practical information on cancer care and treatment.
Many women who plan or undergo a unilateral mastectomy (removal of a breast) have the option of reconstructive surgery to reshape the breast, or a breast prosthesis (an artificial breast). This article examines the option of using a breast prosthesis after surgery.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of computed tomography (CT) scanning because it uses a form of radiation. Recent research suggests that the use of CT scans may slightly increase cancer risk in the U.S. population. But, a person diagnosed with cancer or suspected of having cancer can safely receive a CT scan because the benefits always outweigh the risks.
Dehydration occurs when a person does not take in enough fluid or loses too much fluid. Without enough water, the human body cannot function properly. In particular, people undergoing cancer treatment may be at a higher risk for dehydration due to treatment side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting. Learning how to stay hydrated, and recognizing and treating dehydration before it becomes severe, are important steps for good health.
ASCO member Evan J. Lipson, MD, launched a website that offers people with cancer and their families an opportunity to record and preserve audio interviews as a way to share their personal stories with others. Here, Cancer.Net talks with Dr. Lipson to learn more about why he created this website, SeizetheDays.org.
A person with cancer may have more than one option for treating the disease, and it may be difficult to choose among them. In making this choice, patients often ask for the opinions of family members. And, in some cases, family members may disagree with each other and with the patient, creating conflict when they need each other’s support the most. This is particularly complex when the patient is a child or an adult who is medically unable to make decisions. This article provides suggestions on how to keep the lines of communication open and work together to make treatment choices.
Physical therapists are valuable members of the cancer care team. To explain their role, Cancer.Net welcomes Jean O'Toole, PT, MPH, CLT-LANA who has 40 years of experience in physical therapy and has worked at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston since 1992. She has a particular interest and experience in physical therapy for people with cancer.
Many people with cancer experience occasional sleep difficulties; for some, quality sleep is a nightly challenge. First, discuss any sleep concerns with a health-care provider and address any medical issues that could affect sleep. Then you can review any special recommendations for improving sleep with nonmedical approaches. This article provides specific strategies that can be used easily at home.
For various reasons, people with cancer and their families may decide to travel to receive care. Some—particularly those who reside in rural areas—may have limited access to oncologists and treatment facilities in the local area. Others may elect to travel to consult with a specialist, seek a second opinion on a diagnosis or proposed treatment plan, or undergo a therapy that isn’t widely available, such as radioactive iodine therapy or proton beam therapy.