When I began seeing blood in my stool, I hadn’t been to my primary care physician for 10 or 15 years. I read that the cause could be internal hemorrhoids — not unusual for a 47-year-old man. Fortunately, I didn’t ignore the signs and instead decided to call my doctor.
It’s no secret that being overweight or obese can affect your overall health. When you’re overweight, you increase your chances of stroke, diabetes, heart disease and depression, but did you know being overweight increases your risk for cancer? In 2014, obesity increased the risk of 13 different types of cancer, which together accounted for about 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. In the same year, about two out of three adults in the United States were considered obese, but only half of Americans were aware of the link between cancer and obesity. It’s predicted that in just a few years, obesity will surpass smoking as the most preventable cause of cancer.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. There’s significant emotional, as well as physical, stress that comes with managing this disease, from receiving a diagnosis, reviewing treatment options, managing medications, and coping with symptoms.
Amid all this, managing nutritional needs can become challenging. There are countless books, news specials, magazine articles, and blog posts about food and cancer. Many of these make sensationalist claims but lack medical proof. It’s a registered dietitian that can help oncology patients and their families integrate good nutrition into their cancer care.
Most likely, you know someone who has gone through cancer treatment. And oftentimes, treatment includes radiation oncology (aka radiation therapy). This uses beams of high-energy X-rays or radiation implants to eliminate tumors. Thankfully, advances in radiation therapy make the lifesaving treatment quicker, safer, more comfortable and more precise.
If you live in Central Massachusetts, you’re lucky to have these advances right in your own backyard.