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Cancer Knowledge Network

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Breast Cancer Survivors: Menopausal Symptom Management

by Dr. Richard J. Santen, Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology
University of Virginia

How to cope with menopausal symptoms if you are a breast cancer survivor



Early diagnosis and more effective treatments have markedly reduced the death rate from breast cancer over the past 20 years. For this reason, the number of women surviving after a diagnosis of breast cancer is increasing, now reaching 3.1 million in the USA and 9.3 million worldwide. The majority of survivors have undergone menopause spontaneously or as result of breast cancer therapy. Estrogen, the major female hormone, falls to low levels at menopause and thereafter. While a lack of this hormone causes symptoms in 80-95% of survivors, effective methods to manage these problems are available.

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3 Steps Toward Getting Top-Notch Cancer Treatment

by David Palma, MD, PhD


I’m a radiation oncologist, a type of doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer. Radiation is a very useful treatment – in many cases, it’s part of a treatment package aimed at curing a cancer. But even when a cancer cannot be cured, radiation can be useful to improve symptoms related to the cancer, like pain or shortness of breath.


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From the Lab: Scientists Pinpoint Genetic Changes in Radiation-induced Meningiomas

GregoryAuneby Gregory Aune, MD, PhD, CKN Editor


Childhood Cancer Survivors have their own unique set of issues that often go unaddressed by health care professionals once treatment has ended and the child enters adulthood.  Although the last 20 years have seen growth in survivorship research, this research is rarely filtered down to the people who need it most – the survivors and their families.  Dr. Gregory Aune, Pediatric Oncologist, researcher, childhood cancer survivor and advocate, has taken on the position of CKN Editor, Knowledge Translation – Childhood Cancer Survivorship.  His goal is simple:  to help empower childhood cancer survivors to start a dialogue with their doctors by publishing short, easy-to-read research study summaries, like this one.


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David vs. Goliath

jonathanaginSMALLby Jonathan Agin, Childhood Cancer Advocate, CKN Editor


Childhood Cancer:  Changing the Rules of Engagement for Hope


Recently, I found myself drawn to author Malcolm Gladwell’s works.  The latest book that caught my attention is David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.  In the beginning of the book, Gladwell recounts the epic battle between the seemingly meek shepherd David and the giant Goliath, who was adorned in armor from head to toe, and accompanied by an aide carrying several weapons for use in the battle.  Following Gladwell’s description of the battle, which we know was devastatingly and decisively won by David, he then deconstructs this ancient story and shifts the reader’s perspective dramatically.  Rather than simply the triumph of an underdog over impossible odds, Gladwell believes that the more important lesson learned is that David created new rules for engagement.  Victory it seemed depended upon overcoming insanity.  Gladwell argues that Goliath, and all those gathered to observe the giant’s anticipated victory, expected David to engage him at close range with a handheld weapon, thus playing right into the giant’s strengths.  Instead, David utilized a destructive weapon with precision, surprise and deadly force and slayed the giant.  Accordingly, David’s victory was not at all miraculous; rather it was a result of his understanding that he had to approach the challenge and the problem differently and decisively to gain victory.  Continue reading

What I’ve learned from Kids with Cancer

by Khevin Barnes—Male Breast Cancer Survivor


Long before my own cancer diagnosis I received this life-changing lesson in courage


One of my favorite memories as a magician performing for kid’s cancer camps happened twenty years ago, long before my own male breast cancer was diagnosed.  It was my wife at the time as she battled stage 3 ovarian cancer who created this poignant moment; an event that was to change my life forever.

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Writing Reflections about a Cancer Journey

by Karen Y. Barnstable


Did you know that we have 50,000 to 70, 000 thoughts per day, and 35 to 48 thoughts per minute? Many of these thoughts are insignificant and fleeting, but many others are very significant and meaningful. They come from our values and beliefs, and form the core of who we are as a person. They guide our daily decisions. One of the best ways to recognize and capture the useful thoughts is to write them down. As soon as they are on paper, they are ‘trapped’ and can be edited and reframed. They can play a stronger role in helping us understand and make sense of our experiences in a positive way.

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