After surgery, healing and returning to normal can be arduous. What are safe healing foods or drinks could help assist in recovery?

After surgery, healing and returning to normal can be arduous. What are safe healing foods or drinks could help assist in recovery?

Answer by Dr. Lisa Schwartz, MD- a board certified radiation oncologist and internist practicing integrative medicine.

A: Recovery from surgery sometimes involves a very gradual return to normal activities and patients can be frustrated by the amount of time this takes. Ask your doctor if physical therapy is appropriate. Don’t attempt to pick up where you left off with your exercise. Often you will have to start back at square one. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will again recommend well-balanced nutrition according to the Mediterranean diet. There are some patients that will have special nutritional needs especially if surgery has involved the GI tract. You may get a lot of benefit from seeing a registered dietician. Some patients try to load up on protein in the healing process but this is not appropriate for everyone and may even be detrimental in some cases. Vitamin C at about 2000 mg per day may help with skin healing but should only be continued for one week or so post op. Remember, vitamin C should not be taken with chemotherapy or radiation since it is an antioxidant. Any intervention that you would like to try should be cleared through your surgeon.

How do the original cancer cells in a human body start?

How do the original cancer cells in a human body start?

Answer by Robert Weinberg, PhD- a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ). He is also the first Director of the Ludwig Cancer Center at MIT.

As mentioned in a previous answer (http://talkabouthealth.com/how-do-cancer-cells-grow-and-replicate-so-quickly-do-they-reproduce-from-themselves-or-somehow-change-normal-cells-to-cancer-cells), cancer cells arise from normal cells in which damaged genetic information accumulates that perturbs the behavior of these cells. For example, when a smoker inhales, the mutagenic chemicals in the cigarette smoke damage genes in lung cells, and these cells, which now carry damaged genes including oncogenes, now begin to proliferate uncontrollably, leading years later to a lung cancer.

What is the typical first line of chemotherapy treatment for advanced endometrial cancer?

What is the typical first line of chemotherapy treatment for advanced endometrial cancer?

Answer by Don Dizon, MD (Oncology - Hematology/Oncology specialist)

A: The typical treatment is a combination treatment, usually using platinum based chemotherapy. Two regimens are used commonly: carboplatin and paclitaxel or the three drug combination of cisplatin, doxorubicin, and paclitaxel. Carboplatin is far more tolerable than cisplatin, so I tend to use carboplatin plus paclitaxel. The preliminary results from a Gynecologic Oncology Group trial presented this year at our Society for Gynecologic Oncologists Annual Meeting suggested they were equivalent.

His webpage:http://research.brown.edu/myresearch/Don_S_Dizon

Robert Maki, MD, PhD- Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Medical Director, Sarcoma Cancer Program, at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center is answering questions today.

Robert Maki, MD, PhD-:

Dr. Robert Maki is Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Medical Director, Sarcoma Cancer Program, at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is also Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Orthopaedics, and the Steven Ravitch Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Onocology. He has published more than 100 articles on sarcoma treatment and basic science research, having worked on studies related to sarcoma since 1985. He treats adults and children with sarcomas (connective tissue cancers of bone, cartilage, muscle, fat and other soft tissue) and has an interest in translational research and the biology that leads to different types of sarcomas.

After his MD/PhD at Cornell Medical College in New York City, he was a resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before a medical oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber, and was on staff at Dana-Farber before starting at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 1999. In March, 2011 he moved to the Mount Sinai Medical Center to develop the effort in adult sarcoma therapy and research.

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What can the patient expect at their first meeting with your department to discuss cancer prevention? What topics are typically covered?

What can the patient expect at their first meeting with your department to discuss cancer prevention? What topics are typically covered?

Answer by Dr. Therese Bevers, professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention and the medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center and prevention outreach programs at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. 

A: Up to two-thirds of all cancers may be prevented by avoiding tobacco and adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Regular screening exams can help detect many cancers in the earliest stages, when they can be treated successfully. MD Anderson was among the first comprehensive cancer centers to develop a clinical program emphasizing cancer prevention.

The Cancer Prevention Center offers a comprehensive cancer prevention program that includes cancer risk assessment, screening exams based on cancer risk, age and gender as well as personalized risk reduction strategies. It also provides the infrastructure and support for clinical and translational cancer prevention research. Services that are offered include:

Site-Specific Cancer Screening
Cancer risk assessment, counseling and screening for the most common types of cancer in adults without symptoms:

· Breast cancer: clinical breast exam and screening mammogram

· Gynecologic cancer: Pap and HPV testing

· Prostate cancer: digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen blood test

· Skin cancer: skin exam

· Colorectal cancer: convention or virtual colonoscopy

· Lung cancer screening: low-dose CT scan

Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction

· Genetic Testing and Risk Counseling: for individuals at increased cancer risk due to a family history of disease; services include counseling, testing and risk management.

· Chemoprevention: drug therapy to reduce cancer risk in high-risk patients; research studies are underway for patients at risk for oral, prostate, cervical, lung, colorectal and breast cancers.

· Nutrition Counseling: a dietary evaluation with personalized counseling for cancer risk reduction

· Tobacco cessation services for current smokers desiring to quit or recent quitters desiring assistance with relapse prevention.


Diagnostic Evaluation Services

· Undiagnosed Breast Clinic: comprehensive clinical and diagnostic evaluation of breast abnormalities, including a lump, other breast changes and abnormal mammograms

· Undiagnosed Dermatology Clinic: diagnostic evaluation of skin abnormalities, including a change in a mole or freckle or other skin changes

· Undiagnosed Gynecology: diagnostic evaluation of abnormal Pap smear or abnormal uterine bleeding

Thanks to the wonderful individuals at Montclair Breast Center for the newest videos on the TalkAboutHealth YouTube channel. 

Visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/talkabouthealth to subscribe to more videos like this.

Dale Bellisfield, RN, RH- Medical Herbalist, Integrative Medicine Specialist is answering questions today.

Dale Bellisfield, RN, RH:

As the new hybrid model of healthcare, my work is dedicated to integrating the many benefits of the medicinal foods and plants for our overall health. This is the place where good science and good traditional use meet. It is about incorporating the best of all integrative medicines for our healing, and is specifically targeted for each person.

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What are the chances of having a false positive with an MRI and then having a biopsy?

What are the chances of having a false positive with an MRI and then having a biopsy?


Answer by Chris Flowers, MD- Director of Breast Imaging and Research, is a radiologist at Moffitt Cancer Centeraffiliated with the Center for Women’s Oncology and the Diagnostic Imaging Program.

A: This is a rather open question, but both ultrasound and MRI screening for women at high risk have revealed the potential for increasing false positive exams; that is, having a recall or biopsy when the eventual outcome is not one of cancer. The rate of false positive MRI findings is dependent on a number of things, from whether you are already a high risk person, in which case the radiologist is playing it safe with a lower threshold than normal, your hormonal status (young or peri-menopausal), or the timing of the MRI with regards to the menstrual cycle. Radiologists who do not read breast MRI as part of their job are also much more likely to call a normal area of breast tissue as suspicious and require a biopsy. Best advice is to seek out the best center in your area that is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and find out about the experience of their radiologists. If they are not accredited, check out another provider to have this done.

Thanks to the wonderful individuals at Montclair Breast Center for the newest videos on the TalkAboutHealth YouTube channel. 

Visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/talkabouthealth to subscribe to more videos like this.

Connect with a trained survivor from SHARE Cancer Supportfor personalized guidance and support.

Connect with a trained survivor from SHARE Cancer Supportfor personalized guidance and support. 

This FREE program matches patients and survivors with trained peer supporters to help understand your health situation, deal with every step of the process, and think through your choices. 

For more details, visit:
http://talkabouthealth.com/static/trained_peer_support_program