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The Oncologist, the Patient and CKN — Sharing Knowledge

Turning Your Life Around – Part 1: Transition (With an Afterword by Dr. Jonathan Klein)

Turning Your Life Around is an ongoing series exclusive to the Cancer Knowledge Network.  It is written by Jennifer Luce, ovarian cancer survivor and young adult cancer advocate.  We hope this series will become a useful, peer-reviewed resource that will help to facilitate dialogue between cancer patients and their physicians with a view towards creating an individualized plan of action regarding treatment and therapy.

“Big changes require many small ones. Any change seems sudden, regardless of how much we prepare for it. We wait for it, ask for it, expect it, and resent its intrusion. Change is needed to stay young and vital and moving. Without it we stagnate, lose our keenness of thought, and too often fall into melancholy. Even in the best of times change takes a certain amount of adjustment. Our biggest problem with change is that we expect it to be bad rather than something that will make us happier. To a Tsa su ga, a flea, a dog is the whole world, says a Cherokee. As much as we like where we are, it isn’t the whole world. There are bigger things – and better. We have to be able to see beyond the dog.”

~ I have made myself what I am. ~  TECUMSEH, 1810

(A Cherokee Feast of Days, Vol. 2, by Joyce Sequichie Hiflier, p. 177)

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Resident Learning Topics: Adjuvant Therapy in Early Stage Breast Cancer

by Dr. Monisha Sudarshan

The resident learning series revolves around a recent journal article in medical, surgical or radiation oncology that is particularly relevant for resident learning and board exam review. The aim of the series is to provide residents with a quick review in a question-answer format based on key points from the article. For further elaboration and a detailed review of the topic, the reader is referred to the article and referenced works.

Our long term plan is to involve oncology residents from across Canada in this project, by writing questions and answers based on different articles. We hope to generate regular active discussion, but we can only do this with your help. Email us to find out how you can participate!

Part one in our ongoing series is titled Adjuvant Therapy in Early Stage Breast Cancer.  All the questions and answers listed here were written by Dr. Monisha Sudarshan.

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Empowering Patients Through Information

We asked our Current Oncology Section Editors how they would define the term “life after cancer” and how that theme presents itself in their chosen fields.  Below is a response from Dr. Fred Saad,Chief of urology, CHUM.

“Life after cancer” for my patients with prostate cancer varies tremendously. Historically, in the case of prostate cancer, it was almost taboo to admit the disease had struck – given all the misconceptions regarding virility and manhood that accompanied the diagnosis.

A lot of work had to be done on several fronts to dispel the myths surrounding this disease. It is rewarding to see that many men are now able to talk about their diagnosis and help others to open up. This evolution has allowed public awareness of the disease to increase tremendously.  The search for new information about prostate cancer has triggered an onslaught of information from many sources including the media, the web, books, etc. We have gone from rags to riches in this disease in terms of information.

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Considering The Needs of Patients After Cancer

We asked our Current Oncology contributors how they would define the term “life after cancer” and how that theme presents itself in their chosen fields.  Below is a response from Dr. Baukje (Bo) Miedema, Dalhousie University, Fredericton Family Medicine Teaching Unit.

Cancer is seen more and more as a “chronic disease” because of the good survival rate for many types of cancer. Thus there are now a lot of people that face “life after cancer.”  For some cancer survivors, life goes on as usual because they experience few problems and are able to put the disease behind them, albeit the fear of recurrence is never far away.  For others life after cancer is tethered to the physical cancer treatments or the psychosocial impact of the treatments for a long time.

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Turning Your Life Around – Introduction

Turning Your Life Around is an ongoing series exclusive to the Cancer Knowledge Network.  It is written by Jen Luce, ovarian cancer survivor and young adult cancer advocate.  We hope this series will become a useful, peer-reviewed resource that will help to facilitate dialogue between cancer patients and their physicians with a view towards creating an individualized plan of action regarding treatment and therapy.

I have a difficult time saying that I’ve been fortunate to have cancer, because it’s not something I would ever wish upon my worst enemy, but it has allowed me to experience things that I highly doubt I would have had an opportunity to try in my life. I also feel that I have learned so much in the short 33 years I’ve been here, so, instead of saying I’ve been fortunate, I’d rather say that I’m blessed to have not had the fear to step outside of my comfort zone and experience life to the fullest.

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The Fight Against Cancer Should Be Relentless

We asked our Current Oncology Section Editors how they would define the term “life after cancer” and how that theme presents itself in their chosen fields.  Below is a response from  Dr. Ricardo Moro, President, Principal Executive and Accounting Officer and Director, Biocurex, Inc.

I have been asked to write a short essay on “Life after cancer”. I could not find anything meaningful to say. I am a medical doctor who has dedicated several decades of his life to cancer research. It has been a while since I saw my last cancer patient and yet, their words and the look in their eyes keep prompting me to go to the lab to receive my daily doses of the mandatory humbling posed by the complexity of Nature.

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