Cancer Survivorship
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Rescooped by Tambre Leighn from Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Evidence Based Lifestyle and Self Help Strategies After Cancer

'Together Against Cancer' Conference October 2013. A PowerPoint presentation entitled "Evidence based lifestyle and self help strategies after Cancer". By Pr...

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Yes, yes, yes...a pathway to wellbeing - nutritious food and physical activity!

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, April 13, 2015 2:16 AM

This is an informative presentation (46 mins) delivered by Professor Dr. Robert Thomas, a Consultant Oncologist at Addenbrooke's and Bedford Hospitals, a visiting Professor at Cranfield University and a clinical teacher at Cambridge University.

 

He talks about the benefits of lifestyle, exercise and diet in relation to cancer.

 

You may want to recommend to your doctor to watch this.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s comment, April 13, 2015 12:28 PM
The results of the UK NCRN Pomi-T study referred to by Professor Dr. Robert Thomas can be seen here published in Nature Magazine - http://www.nature.com/pcan/journal/v17/n2/full/pcan20146a.html
Beth A. Williams's curator insight, August 4, 2015 1:49 PM

Yes, yes, yes...a pathway to wellbeing - nutritious food and physical activity!

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The Cost of Cancer Drugs

The Cost of Cancer Drugs | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Lesley Stahl discovers the shock and anxiety of a cancer diagnosis can be followed by a second jolt: the astronomical price of cancer drugs.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

More evidence of the far reaching impacts cancer diagnosis and treatment has on survivors, their families, and our economy. When we bankrupt people and add things like financial stress, job loss, navigating complex insurance environments, and more to an already heavy burden of life threatening and, often, chronic disease we are causing injury to our communities and our country.

 

Survivorship coaches know very well how many aspects of life survivors struggle with - career, intimacy, fertility, fears of recurrence, relationships, physical energy. We must begin to address the whole person and provide tools and resources for all of the major challenges - and addressing the sticker shock when it comes to the escalating cost of treatments is an essential area to focus on.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:49 AM

Perhaps we need to start treating the cost of cancer drugs almost as a financial toxicity side-effect of cancer. Watch this 60-Minutes broadcast to learn more. I have summarized below for those who prefer to read.

The investigator for this report was surprised to find:
- just how expensive cancer drugs were, and
- that many oncologists receive a commission when they prescribe cancer drugs

Most cancer drugs are targeted at extending life rather than curing cancer. That life extension likelihood is sometimes suggested as days rather than years. So for patients it may be difficult to decide whether life extension for an additional 42 days is worth the high cost of the drug – such as Zaltrap (for advanced colon cancer) discussed in the report.

The pharmaceutical companies do make a significant contribution to the treatment of cancer. They are entitled to make a profit which continues to fuel innovation. However the high cost of these drugs can result in bankruptcy of the patient’s family. A cancer diagnosis is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy today. It is not unusual for patients to take 2 or 3 different drugs for their cancer treatment, each costing $100,000. An entry-level cost of drug treatment probably is around $250,000 in costs.

We may be in a situation where people’s fear and anxiety is being taken advantage of by the cancer industry. Many oncologists believe the cost of the cancer drugs are too high. Drug companies assert that the cost of bringing a new drug to market is $1 billion. So prices reflect the cost of innovation.

Dr Leonard Saltz, Chief of Gasto-Intestinal Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, compared the clinical trial costs of Zaltrap (mentioned above) approved in 2012 to those of another drug already on the market – Avastin. Both drugs target the same patient population, work essentially in the same way, and deliver the identical result of extending median survival by 1.4 months (42 days) when given as chemotherapy. The two drugs look to be the same. Although the Zaltrap study showed it to be a little more toxic than Avastin. So why does Zaltrap cost more than $11,000 per month which is more than twice the cost of Avastin at $5,000 per month?

Together with Dr. Saltz, Dr. Peter Bock, Sloan Kettering’s in-house expert on cancer drug prices, decided to reject Zaltrap based on its high price. This was reported in the New York Times. This raised the issue that the drug companies are permitted to charge whatever they want and there are no controls on this as part of the approval process. The pricing system for drugs is dictated by those who make the drugs. The prices seem to be decided on their own views only, and according to Dr. Brock are based on how brave they are and how little they want to end up being criticized in the New York Times or on 60-Minutes programs.

Media criticism does seem to work. Right after the New York Times article reporting on Zaltrap, the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Zaltrap, Sanofi, cut the price of their drug by half. This was irrefutable evidence that the original price had no basis, and was only profit oriented to meet the company’s financial greed. As a consequence all those arguments heard for decades from the pharmaceutical companies – we have to recoup our money, we are good for society, trust us to set the right price, etc – simply no longer had any credibility. Sanofi lowered the price of Zaltrap in a way that doctors could get the drug for less. But patients were still paying as if it was high priced. According to Dr. Bock, doctors were buying the drug for $11,000 and the company sent the doctors a cheque for $6,000. Then the doctor gets to bill the patient’s insurance company as if it costs $11,000. This made it extremely profitable for the doctors. Basically doctors could double their money if they used Zaltrap.

The commission based approach provides an incentive for the doctors to choose and recommend the most expensive drugs for patients. While this may be advantageous for the drug companies and doctors, it is a system that should be carefully considered in terms of its morality and fairness to patients.

All of this is currently accepted industry practice. John Castellani, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) – the Trade and Drug Industry’s lobbying group in Washington - comments that the price of the drug needs to reflect the cost of development, and the value it can provide. When asked how it can be that a patient can be taking a drug that is no better than another drug on the market, yet costs twice as much, Castellani responded that “we don’t set the prices; what a patient pays is determined by the patient’s insurance company.”

Another drug example is Glevec, from Novartis, which treats a common blood cancer and requires patients to keep taking the drug indefinitely. This is the top-selling drug for Novartis, bringing in more than $4 billion per year in sales, and $35 billion since the drug came to market. There are several other similar drugs that compete with Glevec. Such competition would normally bring down the prices in a typical marketplace. But the price of Glevec has tripled from $28,000 per year in 2001 to $92,000 per year in 2012. So drug companies are also raising their prices on their older drugs, not just the new ones.

According to Hagop M. Kantarjian, Professor at Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, the drug companies are setting prices that are unreasonable, unsustainable and immoral. He believes that the law needs to change that currently prevents Medicare from negotiating for lower prices, which now results in American patients paying two to three times more for the same drug compared to the cost for the same drug in other countries.

To complete the picture, the single biggest source of income for private practice oncologists is the commission they make on prescribing cancer drugs. They buy the drugs wholesale from the pharmaceutical companies and sell them retail to their patients. This fuels the incentive for oncologists to use more expensive drugs for their own financial gain.

Dr. Saltz believes that the challenge is knowing where to draw the line between how long drugs may extend life and how much they cost. We as a society have been unwilling to discuss this topic, and as a result the only people that are setting the line are the people selling the drugs.

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Exercise Found to Increase Tumor Fighting Effect of Chemotherapy

Exercise Found to Increase Tumor Fighting Effect of Chemotherapy | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
believes it could be in part because exercise increases blood flow to the tumor, bringing with it more of the drug in the bloodstream.

Via Graham Player Ph.D., Tambre Leighn
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Great information that, once again, exercise makes a difference...but what resources and support are being put into place to support behavior change during a time of high stress for most? Information doesn't always = action.

 

Coaching helps patients create strategies, set goals, have accountability, and work through any blocks by aligning choices with values and priorities. For a white paper on coaching as the missing piece in survivorship, email tleighn@iPECcoaching.com

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 19, 2014 1:54 PM

A study by University of Pennsylvania scientists found that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone. Exercise has long been recommended to cancer patients for its physical and psychological benefits.

Previous studies had shown that an exercise regime prior to receiving chemotherapy could protect heart cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. But few had looked to see whether an exercise regimen during chemotherapy could also be beneficial. The researchers believe that the benefit could be in part because exercise increases blood flow to the tumor, bringing with it more of the chemotherapy drug in the bloodstream. If this is the case then a smaller dose of chemotherapy may be able to be used together with exercise, and reduce side-effects of the chemotherapy.

Tambre Leighn's curator insight, September 20, 2014 11:34 AM

Great information that, once again, exercise makes a difference...but what resources and support are being put into place to support behavior change during a time of high stress for most? Information doesn't always = action.

 

Coaching helps patients create strategies, set goals, have accountability, and work through any blocks by aligning choices with values and priorities. For a white paper on coaching as the missing piece in survivorship, email tleighn@iPECcoaching.com

Beth A. Williams's curator insight, September 21, 2014 12:54 PM

We've been told about the benefits of exercise for many years, and this research adds another benefit -- reducing tumors faster during chemotherapy treatments, which may also lead to using lower doses of the drugs and lowering related side effects. So we can get on with our lives with less rebuilding perhaps?

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Using the Body’s Own Immune System as a Cancer Therapy

Using the Body’s Own Immune System as a Cancer Therapy | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Increasingly, doctors are using their patients' own immune systems as valuable weapons against the disease.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Breakthroughs like this are fantastic news...however, I would like to see just as much, if not more, emphasis on prevention.  There are many lifestyle choices that studies show impact the immune system as well as studies that indicate many medical professionals are not comfortable dealing with obesity and other issues that lead to chronic illness.  If people can experience greater quality of life and a much lower cost than going through chronic illness, we need to start giving medical professionals the training they need to communicate with their patients.  For more information, go to www.iPECwellbeing.com

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:21 AM

The focus of cancer research has been on exploring ways to treat the tumor. It is always enlightening to see research that focuses on treating the patient rather than only the tumor.

Scientists have long tried to understand how to get the immune system—the body’s natural defense mechanism—to recognize cancer cells as the enemy, and destroy them. This has led to the introduction of immunotherapy, which induces, enhances, or suppresses an immune system response to help treat the disease condition. Its focus is on using the body’s own immune system. In terms of cancer this is an interesting and growing area of study.

Cancer immunotherapy is used to provoke the immune system into attacking the tumor cells. Cancer cells have subtly different molecules on their surface that can be detected by the immune system. The focus of immunotherapy in treating cancer is based on cell-based therapies, antibody therapies, and cytokine therapies.

Oncologist Dr. David Maloney is one of the oncologists on the forefront of the next major advance in immunotherapy. He infuses lymphoma patients with their own T-cells, re-engineered to produce a chimeric antigen receptor (or CAR T-cells) that, once triggered, can eliminate cancer. Unlike antibodies, which are broken down by the body over time, CAR T-cells may continue to multiply, serving as a “living therapy” throughout a patient’s life— staying on guard for any subsequent relapses.

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Chemicals Common in Everyday Life Linked to Breast Cancer

Chemicals Common in Everyday Life Linked to Breast Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Some of the biggest sources of mammary carcinogens in the environment are benzene and butadiene, which can come from vehicle exhaust, lawn equipment, tobacco smoke and charred food.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

And THIS is why StupidCancer.org founder & CEO Matthew Zackary is angered by the current bill.  Read more here...

http://www.rollcall.com/news/new_house_chemicals_bill_angers_cancer_survivors_commentary-231387-1.html

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, May 25, 2014 2:30 PM

Research done by the Silent Spring Institute, a 20-year-old organization made up of scientists who focus on the environment and women's health, lists 17 chemicals woman should avoid that have been shown to cause breast cancer in lab rats and are likely to do the same in women.

The chemicals are found in gasoline, diesel and other vehicle exhaust, flame retardants, stain-resistant textiles, paint removers, disinfection byproducts in drinking water, tobacco smoke, charred food, cleaning solvents like methylene chloride, pharmaceuticals used in hormone replacement therapy, nonstick coatings, and styrene used to make Styrofoam.

"Every woman in America has been exposed to chemicals that may increase her risk of getting breast cancer," according to the co-author of the study Julia Brody. "Unfortunately, the link between toxic chemicals and breast cancer has largely been ignored. Reducing chemical exposures could save many, many women's lives."

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iPhone App That Detects Skin Cancer

iPhone App That Detects Skin Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
The DermoScreen app, developed in Houston, works with a dermoscope attachment. The lens scans unusual looking lesions and highlights at-risk patients.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Putting more control into the hands of individuals...technology that may eventually help people take responsibility and have more opportunity to save their own lives.  Looking forward to hearing outcomes of the current testing at MD Anderson!

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, May 9, 2014 8:10 AM

An app for the iphone has been developed to detect skin cancer, and is now being evaluated at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre.

Early testing has found the device to be accurate 85% of the time. This is more accurate than family doctors who were found to have an accuracy average of 50% to 70%. Specialist dermatologists typically have an accuracy rate of 90%.

The app relies on the connection of a special magnifying lens attached to the iphone.

Rescooped by Tambre Leighn from Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Inadequate Sleep Can Promote and Speed Cancer Growth

Inadequate Sleep Can Promote and Speed Cancer Growth | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it

Poor-quality sleep marked by frequent awakenings can speed cancer growth, increase tumor aggressiveness and dampen the immune system's ability to control or eradicate early cancers, according to a new study published online January 21, 2014, in the journal Cancer Research.


Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Get your zzz's...part of a healthy immune system for prevention.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, April 25, 2014 1:38 AM

Many health problems are associated with lack of sleep. A new study shows that inadequate sleep can speed the growth of cancer.

According to the study, on an animal model, published in the journal Cancer Research, poor-quality sleep marked by frequent awakenings can speed cancer growth, increase tumor aggressiveness and dampen the immune system's ability to control or eradicate early cancers.

The study director David Gozal, MD, chairman of pediatrics at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, commented that "fragmented sleep changes how the immune system deals with cancer in ways that make the disease more aggressive."

This study provides biological credibility in terms of the association between compromised sleep and cancer outcomes.

Rescooped by Tambre Leighn from Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Breast Cancer Survivors Benefit From Yoga

Breast Cancer Survivors Benefit From Yoga | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Study shows that as little as 3 months of yoga practice can reduce symptoms of fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

As a relatively recent convert to yoga, I believe many, not just cancer survivors, could benefit...but great to see this kind of evidence. 

 

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, January 31, 2014 11:13 PM

At the end of 12 weeks of yoga classes, a group of women who had completed breast cancer treatment, including surgery and radiotherapy, showed an average reduction in fatigue of 57% and up to 20% reduction in inflammation, compared with a similar group that had not received yoga instruction.

Many studies have shown that yoga can benefit cancer patients. For instance, in 2010, another group from the US reported how 4 weeks of yoga reduced fatigue and improved sleep quality in cancer survivors who also reported taking less sleep medication and improved quality of life.

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Story Of How A Fire Breathing Dragon Saved My Life

Story Of How A Fire Breathing Dragon Saved My Life | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it

30 Days Of Thankful - Thankful For Being Sick
My 30 Days of Thankful post today (http://blog.curecancerstarter.org/30-days-of-thankful/ ) was about being thankful for being sick and how a fire beathing dragon saved my life. .

Tambre Leighn's insight:

I don't see it as finding the "silver lining" in cancer...or the "gift" but it can be an opportunity to re-evaluate priorities and values.  The sword emerges stronger from the fire.  This is a great story of transformation...be inspired!

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Death from Cancer May be Largely Avoidable

Death from Cancer May be Largely Avoidable | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
The latest status report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) shows that most cancer deaths are avoidable.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

"Half of all cancer deaths are avoidable by reducing exposure to the sun, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. One third of cancer deaths in the U.S. is caused by tobacco, and another third are associated with obesity, a still emerging risk factor for cancer that much of the public has yet to appreciate."

 

We can't control every factor...but there are some choices that can make a difference.

 
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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 17, 2013 9:03 AM

Deaths from preventable disease continue to plague not just the U.S. but populations worldwide.

 

Half of all cancer deaths are avoidable by reducing exposure to the sun, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, according to the latest status report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

One third of cancer deaths in the U.S. is caused by tobacco, and another third are associated with obesity, a still emerging risk factor for cancer that much of the public has yet to appreciate.

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Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Shampoos

Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Shampoos | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
The most updated news about cancer news, features, and medical information about medications and treatment.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Labels carry important information...read yours!

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 6, 2013 3:40 AM

A chemical compound which helps make bubbles, and thickens liquids, used in many shampoos, called cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), was added on June 22, 2012 to the California Environmental Protection Agency list of CHEMICALS KNOWN TO THE STATE TO CAUSE CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY. The compound is a chemically modified form of coconut oil.

A recent study found that 98 shampoos, soaps, and other personal care products sold by major national retailers contained cocamide DEA. So be aware when buying products, and always read the labels.

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New 3D Mammograms Significantly Increase Your Radiation Exposure

New 3D Mammograms Significantly Increase Your Radiation Exposure | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
3D Tomosynthesis is a "new and improved" type of mammogram, which is basically a CT scan for your breasts.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Latest not always the greatest...do your research!

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 28, 2013 11:05 PM

It is important to educate yourself regarding the benefits and risks of mammograms. This is a good article to help you. In it you will learn the following.

Mammograms are often referred to as the best way to prevent breast cancer death. However studies suggest this may not be the case. The multi-millions of dollars spent on creating these invasive machines may have been better utilized for educating women about cancer prevention; and developing less dangerous technologies, such as ultrasound and infrared imaging; and inventing completely new and safer technologies.

One of the latest approaches introduced is a “new and improved” type of mammogram called 3D tomosynthesis, which is basically a CT scan for your breasts. Two of the greatest mammogram risks are high radiation exposure and compression of breast tissue, which potentially causes cancer cells to spread. 3D tomosynthesis does not reduce or eliminate either of these risks! In fact, radiation exposure using this new method is significantly greater than from standard mammograms.

The 3D mammogram requires multiple views in order to achieve three-dimensionality, so your total radiation exposure is considerably higher than from a standard 2D mammogram. With mammography, each breast is X-rayed at least twice—once from top to bottom and once diagonally from the outside in. With tomosynthesis, the X-ray tube rotates around the breast. Twenty-five exposures are taken, with up to two pictures per second. The multiple images result in higher radiation exposure.

3D mammography is not a stand-alone diagnostic test—it’s typically an add-on to the standard mammogram. So, not only do these 3D images prolong your exposure to radiation, but if you’ve already had a regular mammogram, they further compound your risk. This makes breast cancer screening even more dangerous than before.

A study published in Radiology Today states that – “Because the digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) exam requires two additional exposures over a standard mammogram, the total radiation dose from the combined 2D and tomosynthesis examination is three times that of a standard mammogram."

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Stress Fuels Cancer

Stress Fuels Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Daily Mail
Stress DOES have an impact on cancer: Anxiety switches on a gene that speeds ...
Daily Mail
Stress fuels cancer by triggering a 'master switch' gene which allows the disease to spread, according to new research.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

More evidence that identifying stress triggers and reducing stress are an incredibly important part of wellbeing.  For more information on how coaching using iPEC's (The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) Energy Leadership(TM) Model can put you in the driver's seat of reducing your own stress, check out wellbeyondordinary.com and search "stress".  This is work I've been doing with cancer survivorship, caregivers and healthcare professionals for several years now.  Check out testimonials for insights into how cancer survivorship and caregiver (both personal and professional caregivers) can help.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 24, 2013 1:01 AM

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that our own bodies help turn cancer against us by turning on a 'master switch' gene known as ATF3 which is expressed in response to stressful conditions in all types of cells.

Cancer cells somehow coax immune-system cells recruited to the site of a tumor to express ATF3 which promotes the immune cells to act erratically and give cancer an escape route to other areas of the body.

Tambre Leighn's curator insight, September 7, 2013 3:30 PM

One of the key components we address when working with clients using the coaching paradigm created by iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) founder, Bruce D. Schneider, is to help them understand the impact stress is having, what triggers it and how to reduce it.  

 

The Energy Leadership Index (tm) Assessment is a simple online assessment tool that shows an individual's stress reaction in a quantifiable, measurable way.  Stress impacts our health, wellbeing, ability to perform, our success and our ability to create new behaviors when we want to make lifestyle behavior changes.  Stress reduction needs to become a top priority to help support prevention, wellbeing and the opportunity for people to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

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Some Key Facts About Your Immune System and Cancer

Many people ask me about the immune system. So here are a few key facts for your information.


Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Interested in prevention? Consider starting with your immune system as a first line of defense.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, October 17, 2014 4:35 AM

Your Immune System


Your first line of defense against pathogens.

Your own inner personal ‘military-force’ to deal with unwanted invaders.

Its objective is always to fight, fix, repair, promote detoxification, and maintain your health

Inflammation is one of the instruments used by the immune system to regulate health, usually in acute situations. However chronic and uncontrolled inflammation can have devastating effects on the immune system and your health. Contributors to chronic inflammation include chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals, emotional state, depression, stress levels, certain foods, pathogens, improper lifestyle, inadequate nutrition, etc.

The immune system is a learning system and able to recognize previous infections and eradicate them in the future.

People who have never been ill throughout life with the typical infections we all get from childhood onwards and other disease states, will have a less prepared and ready immune system to fight off future disease.

Many doctors may worry more about the people who have never been sick, due to their potentially less developed immune systems.

We are designed to fight infection, to stay healthy into old age, and to keep brain function into old age. If we treat our body correctly our immune system will work well to ensure we function well as designed.

We need to put the right fuel in our bodies so that our immune system can function optimally. The body and its immune system needs the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals, proper hydration, sleep, exercise, and attention to healthy emotional state, social interaction and lowered stress levels.

We need to remove the stressors that impede our immune system from working optimally.

When the immune system becomes disrupted that’s when bad things can begin to happen that compromise our health, including cancer.


Immune System and Cancer:

We all produce cancer cells everyday as part of our normal metabolism. Our healthy immune system identifies and removes these cancer cells quite adequately.

You cannot have cancer if you have an in-tact optimally functioning and healthy immune system.

If you have cancer then by definition your immune system has been compromised, and your immune system has missed dealing with the cancer.Many people see cancer as a disease of the immune system. A weakened immune system allows cancer cells to grow better. A consequence of chemotherapy and radiation is a weakened immune system.

Conventional cancer treatments, chemotherapy and radiation, compromise the immune system.

Conventional cancer treatment is focused on killing cancer cells, and not addressing the cause of cancer.

Cancer is an ‘obligate glucose metabolizer’, meaning it thrives on sugar (carbohydrate, glucose). Sugar compromises the immune system. A recent study showed that within 15-minutes of eating a predominantly carbohydrate meal (pizza, pasta, etc) the leukocyte index (the number of pathogens a white blood cell can destroy in 1-hour) fell from the normal 16 to 1.9, and maintained that lower level for many hours afterwards. That means a reduction to 10% of normal immune capacity for several hours.

A century ago sugar was a delicacy, and the average person consumed 5 pounds of sugar per year. Today in the US people consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar per person per year.

Cancer cells have certain characteristics – they only survive on sugar (glucose); they are anaerobic (do not need or thrive in an oxygenated environment); and they thrive in an acidic environment (as opposed to an alkaline environment).

Sugar contributes to free radical damage, damage to the mitochondria, and weakens our body’s innate immune system resulting in an environment where cancer cells can continue to grow and strengthen without being checked.

Normal cells go through a process called ‘oxidative phosphorylation’ which means they use oxygen and sugar and make 32 molecules of ATP (our body’s energy-currency). If cells use anaerobic metabolism (don’t utilize oxygen – i.e. cancer cells) they cannot produce 32 molecules of ATP, and perhaps produce only 2. That is the reason cancer cells with their altered metabolism need more sugar – so they can continue to produce some ATP for their own survival.

The anaerobic metabolism of cancer cells produces a lot of waste products, particularly lactic acid.

Reduce the intake of sugar (carbohydrate, glucose) and you will reduce the food supply of cancer cells, and reduce compromising your own immune system.

42%-46% of cancer patients die of cachexia (malnutrition). Conventional therapies for cancer don’t address this adequately.

Excessive sugar intake has been linked to increased risks of obesity, inflammation and chronic diseases. Chronic inflammation is one of the main contributing factors to many of the chronic diseases in our society today. It also is one of the causes of metastases of cancer that spreads throughout the body to form tumors.


Cells of the Immune System

The largest number of immune system cells in the body are neutrophils, representing from 50%-70% of your body’s army of immune cells. Neutrophils cannot detect cancer. Natural killer cells are constantly surveying all the cells in the body for intruders and other problem abnormal cells, and destroying them.

The immune system can be regarded as having two arms – specific and non-specific. In the non-specific arm there are neutrophils, macrophages, and eosinophils which are basically front-line defenders whose purpose is to identify all cells as belonging to self (i.e. friendlies). In the specific arm there are B-cells and T-cells. B-cells borne from the bone marrow, make antibodies against antigens, develop into memory B cells after activation by antigen interaction, and release cytokines (proteins), which are used for signaling immune regulatory functions. T-cells mature mainly in the thymus (some in the tonsils), and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. There are several subsets of T-cells, each with a distinct function – including helper, cytotoxic, memory, regulatory (suppressor), and natural killer T-cells.

80% of your immune system is in the mucosal lining of our intestinal tract. If you don’t have a healthy intestinal tract and are feeding your body a lot of the wrong things it will compromise your immune system. If we add excessive burdens to our immune system it prevents it from doing its important function of protecting us.

In 1 cubic-centimeter of tumor there is approximately 1 billion cancer cells. 65% of those cells are usually dormant (in the resting phase of the cell cycle), and 35% are active (in the synthesis phase of the cell cycle).

99% of all cancer cells are non-cancer-stem-cells. Meaning about 1% of cancer cells are cancer-stem-cells. Cancer-stem-cells survive in the blood stream, are immortal, and not usually affected by chemotherapy and radiation. Non-cancerous stem cells cannot metastasize. Only cancer-stem-cells can metastasize. The immune system cannot recognize cancer-stem-cells because they have a protein on their cell surface that shields them from the immune system.

There is a small list of substances that have been shown scientifically to attack cancer-stem-cells. These include metformin and ellagic acid (found in berries and green tea extract).
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Skirt Size Increase Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

Skirt Size Increase Linked to Breast Cancer Risk | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Women who go up a skirt size every decade between their 20s and their 60s may be at increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, a new...

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

How might your skirt be a metric for your risk for post-menopausal breast cancer? Find out - and then make a commitment to living a life of wellbeing and prevention. While not everything is preventable, why not do everything you can to impact your health and longevity.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 28, 2014 12:35 PM

Many studies have looked at the impact of a woman’s weight on breast cancer risk. However a study published in the journal BMJ Open looked at the risk that gradual changes in weight have on breast cancer risk. To do that the study gathered data from 92,834 postmenopausal women. The indicator used to determine weight increase was the progressive increase in their skirt size over the years from when they were in their twenties. Skirt size increase may be a good guide of the increase in abdominal fat.

What they found was that an increase of one size every 10 years led to a 33% rise in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, while an increase of two sizes per decade let to a 77% rise in risk.

The published study full results can be accessed here - http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/9/e005400.full.pdf+html?sid=041103ce-656f-47ba-8c89-0efac85846eb  

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For Many Cancer Sufferers a Second Cancer is the Price of Survival

For Many Cancer Sufferers a Second Cancer is the Price of Survival | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Yet another reason why coaching for cancer survivors is SO imperative. To face cancer twice without the tools of how to be empowered, a strong self-advocate, how to reduce stress created by the impact of cancer and improve quality of life is unfathomable. 

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 19, 2014 2:21 AM

Often the price of cancer survival comes with an increased risk for a second cancer. Oncologists and primary care doctors are seeing a significant upsurge in patients with second cancers as survivors age. For some patients, their increased risk appears to be driven by genetic susceptibility; for others, the risks are strongly related to the treatment they underwent for their primary cancer.

Several decades ago, individuals with a second cancer accounted for less than one in 10 cancer diagnoses. Figures presented at ASCO indicate that today these second cancers occur much more frequently, representing 19% of all new cancer diagnoses, nearly one in five, said Lindsay Morton, PhD, a cancer epidemiologist with the NCI.

Investigators do not understand precisely why this happens, but they have identified several risk factors. There are the obvious factors, notably primary cancer treatments, including radiotherapy and, to a lesser extent, chemotherapy. Women appear to be at higher risk for developing second cancers, particularly breast cancer. And patients who were younger at the time of their first diagnosis or who received radiotherapy at a young age also were at higher risk.

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Cancer Treatments Should be Aligned with Patient Priorities

Cancer Treatments Should be Aligned with Patient Priorities | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Cancer patients deserve to be educated - or choose to have a health advocate such as a loved one or caregiver on their behalf - and to share their personal values and priorities as part of the treatment decision process.  That is where truly patient centered care begins.  Without the information being communicated between patient and physician, there is no true full choice available and no real partnership in creating the course that will deliver what the patient wants.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, July 22, 2014 4:08 AM

If cancer patients better understood their disease stage and treatment options, they would make smarter—potentially less-expensive—choices, a panel of experts said during a discussion on cancer value and costs at the annual meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

In determining value for patients, physicians need to think about clinical benefits, toxicity of treatment and costs, said Paul Celano, MD, a medical oncologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

The oncology community needs “to ensure [that] patients understand what their treatment options are, and that the care meets their personal goals and preferences, especially in the metastatic setting,” said John Fox, MD, the associate vice president of medical affairs at Priority Health, a health plan in Michigan. He cited a 2012 study showing that 81% of patients receiving chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer and 69% of patients receiving chemotherapy for metastatic lung cancer thought they were getting curative treatment.

Often, he added, patients get chemotherapy because that’s what their doctor told them they should do, “when, in fact, they might have been perfectly happy with other alternatives that were less expensive and less toxic.” Treatments should be aligned with patients’ priorities and preferences, he said. “If we’re investing $100,000 to prolong somebody’s life by two months, but that’s not what the patient wanted—if the trade-offs of life prolongation were offset by side effects and hospital time—then that’s a waste.”

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Study Finds Link Between BPA Levels and Prostate Cancer

Study Finds Link Between BPA Levels and Prostate Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
The highly controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked with yet another adverse health condition: prostate cancer.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

THIS is why we need stringent laws regarding toxins.  If we are asking individuals to be proactive in living lifestyles focused on prevention, our businesses and our government must also provide an environment that reduces the toxin overload.  No one can afford the price we're paying, individually or as a country.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, May 24, 2014 8:25 PM

In a small study published in PLOS ONE, scientists observed the presence of high levels of BPA in men with prostate cancer; they also found that BPA exposure disrupts cell division, potentially affecting cancer’s development.

Researchers looked at normal and cancerous prostate cells, as well as biomarkers associated with cancer development. Normally, when a cell divides into two “daughter” cells, the DNA chromosomes are divided equally between the new cells.  But exposing cells to BPA led to abnormal DNA distribution.

BPA is used to manufacture hard, polycarbonate plastics and is found in many food product containers such as cans, receipts and plastic water bottles.  It has been linked to cancers, neurological defects, diabetes and obesity. BPA exposure in the U.S. is widespread, with more than 90 percent of the population containing some levels of the chemical. Widespread use of BPA began about 50 years ago.

“The BPA level found in cancer patients is about two- to four-fold higher than the median level found in larger population studies in America,” according to lead study author Shuk-mei Ho, director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center and professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

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Chronic Inflammation Resulting from Typical Lifestyle Choices Promotes Cancer

Chronic Inflammation Resulting from Typical Lifestyle Choices Promotes Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Chronic inflammation has started to become a buzzword in the health world as research builds indicating that it may be the cause of many serious illnesses, from heart disease to cancer.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

...and MORE data about the role of nutrition and physical activity in cancer prevention...

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, April 25, 2014 2:52 AM

There is direct connection between chronic inflammation and the development of cancer, as well as many other disease states. Many factors can contribute to chronic inflammation including stress, toxins, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise and diet.

Many doctors today recommend people take daily anti-inflammatory medicine, such as aspirin, to reduce their chances of developing chronic long-term inflammation. While this may be the case, research indicates this practice may be causing more harm than good for some people.

One byproduct of inflammation is an increase in C-reactive protein in the body, and it is good practice to have this checked during routine medical checkups. Research indicates that foods high in magnesium (e.g. almonds, spinach, cashews, black beans, kelp, pumpkin seeds, etc.) can help reduce inflammation and elevated levels of C-reactive protein.

Maintaining a proper balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can also help to reduce the risk of inflammation. The typical western diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and has excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Research has indicated that excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promotes many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

One study found that a ratio of 2.5/1 (omega-6 / omega-3) reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 had no such effect. Studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary by disease.

The bottom line is that reducing the level of chronic inflammation, assisted by a diet with a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases including cancer. To learn more see here - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

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Weight Increase Linked to Higher Ovarian Cancer Risk

Weight Increase Linked to Higher Ovarian Cancer Risk | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it

A new report finds a probable link between being overweight and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.


Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Wow...the last four articles on my scoop it newsfeed all highlighting healthy lifestyle behaviors as prevention....nutrition, reduced stress, sleep, healthy weight.  Choices that support a healthy lifestyle, increased immune health = opportunity, responsibility to ourselves to follow through.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 18, 2014 11:51 AM

A report published by the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund, analyzed several ovarian cancer studies conducted globally and found a probable link between being overweight and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The report found the risk of ovarian cancer rose 6% for every increased 5 BMI units.

Thomas Krivak, director of clinical research in gynecologic oncology at West Penn Allegheny Health System, called the findings "enticing," but "not earth-shattering." He said ovarian cancer prevalence has not increased at the same rate as obesity, and that although the number sounds high, a woman's lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1.5%. A 6% increase puts her risk at 1.59% over her lifetime.

Nevertheless being overweight is generally considered to increase one’s likelihood of chronic disease including cancer.

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Exercise Benefits Older Breast Cancer Survivors

Exercise Benefits Older Breast Cancer Survivors | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
A study suggests that older breast cancer survivors should follow ongoing resistance and impact exercise programs to protect bone density and build and maintain muscle strength.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Physical activity is one of the foundation principles for healthy living for everyone, however, it is even more important for cancer survivors.  Read on for more on the value of being active for older breast cancer survivors and help someone you know to get moving today!

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, December 14, 2013 10:45 AM

According to researchers it can be challenging for older breast cancer survivors to maintain a healthy body composition after suffering the effects of cancer, treatment for the disease and reduced physical activity. They explain that treatment for cancer is linked to loss of bone density, a reduction in lean body mass and weight gain.

This means older breast cancer survivors are at higher risk of developing diseases related to obesity, frailty and fractures, and breast cancer recurrence. Lead researcher Jessica Dobek of the Oregon Health and Science University commented that "Exercise programs aimed at improving musculoskeletal health should be considered in the long-term care plan for breast cancer survivors."

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Redefining The Word 'Cancer'

Redefining The Word 'Cancer' | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Whoever controls the definition of 'cancer' wields tremendous power over patients.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

This is a slippery slope, in my opinion.  Even WITH the current definition of what determines something to be a cancer, there is a huge population that fails to implement healthy lifestyles choices either as a cost-efficient method of prevention of cancer or prevention of recurrence. 

 

ACS statistics show very high percentages of preventable cancers through nutrition and physical activity.  Apparently fear of cancer or recurrence isn't enough to motivate most people to make these changes, so how then will reducing the scope of what is identified as a cancer support the need for healthy lifestyle behaviors?  Cutting the number of cancer diagnosis by changing the definition will not change the costs associated with chronic illness and unhealthy lifestyle habits.  We can hit a number but it won't mean there isn't eventually a cancer diagnosis later.  Could this not lead, instead then, to higher deaths from cancer if we're less vigilent about prevention?

 

This one is a head scratcher for sure...and not the path I'd be choosing to reduce the number of cancer diagnoses.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 30, 2013 10:36 AM

In an attempt to reduce “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” of cancer the government is proposing to redefine the term “cancer”.

The National Cancer Institute suggests that the term “cancer” be reserved for lesions with a reasonable likelihood of killing the patient if left untreated. Slower growing tumors would be called a different name such as “indolent lesions of epithelial origin” (IDLE). Their justification was that modern medical technology now allows doctors to detect small, slow-growing tumors that likely wouldn’t be fatal. Yet once patients are told they have a cancer, many become frightened and seek unnecessary further tests, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

By redefining the term “cancer,” the National Cancer Institute hopes to reduce patient anxiety and reduce the risks and expenses associated with supposedly unnecessary medical procedures.

Rescooped by Tambre Leighn from Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Obesity and Endometrial Cancer Link

Obesity and Endometrial Cancer Link | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Sweet, starchy foods like sugar and white bread probably cause endometrial cancer, while coffee probably protects against it, researchers...

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Coffee but not coffee cake...more and MORE evidence that what you eat matters and it's you who chooses.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 11, 2013 2:36 AM

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund International say that being obese is probably the greatest cause of the cancer. According to researchers sweet, starchy foods like sugar and white bread probably cause endometrial cancer, while coffee probably protects against it.

AICR estimates that most cases of endometrial cancer (59 percent, or about 29,500 every year) could be prevented in the U.S. if women were active for at least 30 minutes a day and maintained a healthy body weight.

Women who are obese have two to three times the rate of endometrial cancer. People who are more active regularly tend to have a decreased rate of endometrial cancer.

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Breast Cancer Risk & Its Relationship with HRT, BMI, & Breast Density

Breast Cancer Risk & Its Relationship with HRT, BMI, & Breast Density | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Breast cancer risk associated with use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among postmenopausal women was variable when analyzed by race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and breast density, according to a new study published September 3 in the...

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

Yet more evidence that personalized care MUST be the approach and survivors and caregivers need to be informed and ask the questions from a "how does this apply to me".  Even those with similar diagnoses can have completely different responses to treatment.  Know your body and insist that your uniqueness be factored into medical decisions.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, September 4, 2013 3:29 AM

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been previously reported as associated with increased risk of breast cancer. A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has analyzed the relationships between hormone replacement therapy (HRT), body mass index (BMI), and breast density.

Reported findings indicate:
- A greater than 20% increased risk in breast cancer when associated with HRT use among white women and Hispanic women, but not black women
- HRT use was more strongly associated with breast cancer risk in women with low or normal BMI, but no association was observed among women with a high BMI
- Women with denser breasts had an increased likelihood of breast cancer among those who reported HRT use
- HRT use was not associated with breast cancer for women with high BMI with low breast density
- HRT use was associated with a statistically significant higher risk of breast cancer for women with low or normal BMI and high breast density

Comments have been made that these findings could indicate HRT may be used for some women without increasing breast cancer risk, and could be used to help identify women who may use HRT to relieve postmenopausal symptoms without increasing their risk of breast cancer. However can only be speculation at this stage, as details on HRT type and duration of use were not available in the study.

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Stress Fuels Cancer

Stress Fuels Cancer | Cancer Survivorship | Scoop.it
Daily Mail
Stress DOES have an impact on cancer: Anxiety switches on a gene that speeds ...
Daily Mail
Stress fuels cancer by triggering a 'master switch' gene which allows the disease to spread, according to new research.

Via Graham Player Ph.D.
Tambre Leighn's insight:

One of the key components we address when working with clients using the coaching paradigm created by iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) founder, Bruce D. Schneider, is to help them understand the impact stress is having, what triggers it and how to reduce it.  

 

The Energy Leadership Index (tm) Assessment is a simple online assessment tool that shows an individual's stress reaction in a quantifiable, measurable way.  Stress impacts our health, wellbeing, ability to perform, our success and our ability to create new behaviors when we want to make lifestyle behavior changes.  Stress reduction needs to become a top priority to help support prevention, wellbeing and the opportunity for people to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s curator insight, August 24, 2013 1:01 AM

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that our own bodies help turn cancer against us by turning on a 'master switch' gene known as ATF3 which is expressed in response to stressful conditions in all types of cells.

Cancer cells somehow coax immune-system cells recruited to the site of a tumor to express ATF3 which promotes the immune cells to act erratically and give cancer an escape route to other areas of the body.

Tambre Leighn's curator insight, August 24, 2013 2:40 PM

More evidence that identifying stress triggers and reducing stress are an incredibly important part of wellbeing.  For more information on how coaching using iPEC's (The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) Energy Leadership(TM) Model can put you in the driver's seat of reducing your own stress, check out wellbeyondordinary.com and search "stress".  This is work I've been doing with cancer survivorship, caregivers and healthcare professionals for several years now.  Check out testimonials for insights into how cancer survivorship and caregiver (both personal and professional caregivers) can help.