How do lifestyle factors influence breast cancer prognosis? In a review article published in the CMAJ, Dr. Ellen Warner and Ms. Julia Hamer identify which lifestyle changes can be recommended to patients as an adjunct to standard breast cancer treatments, to reduce their risk of distant recurrence and death.
Dr. Warner is a medical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Ms. Hamer is a Master of Medical Science student and lecturer at the University of Toronto.
Peggy Cumming, is a wife, mother, grandmother of 6, sister, niece, cousin and friend, as well as a teacher - retired after 34 years in the classroom - and an athlete. This is her last blog, a year on from her diagnosis of lung cancer.
My last CMAJ blog was written and posted in April, 2015, when I was anxiously waiting the results from a CT scan of my lungs, following surgical and oncology treatment for non-smokers’ lung cancer. I’m overjoyed and relieved to write that the CT scan shows that my lungs are clear, that there is no evidence of disease. Now, I am emotionally free to get on with my life, to try to overcome the residual side effects of chemotherapy, and to regain some of the strength and fitness that I have lost.
I wish it were just that easy! As happened thirty years ago, following treatment for breast cancer, I now find myself asking, “Why me?’ not the unanswerable Why Me? that one asks when first diagnosed, but the Why Me? that follows successful treatment ...continue reading →
Practice guidelines recommend that imaging to detect metastases not be performed in the majority of patients with early-stage breast cancer who are asymptomatic. In a research article published in CMAJ (open access), Dr. Demetrios Simos and colleagues found that, despite these recommendations, most Ontario women with early-stage breast cancer underwent imaging to detect distant metastases. Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, deputy editor for CMAJ, provides an audio summary.
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Peggy Cumming, is a wife, mother, grandmother of 6, sister, niece, cousin and friend, as well as a teacher - retired after 34 years in the classroom - and an athlete. She is now post-surgery and post-chemotherapy.
The waiting room for my Thoracic Surgeon is much like any other. The unspoken, unwritten ‘Waiting Room Rules’ seem to apply: No Eye Contact, No Conversation, Appear Calm. With unfocused eyes, patients flip through outdated, uninteresting magazines, or scroll through previously read emails on smart phones. Outwardly, all is calm, quiet and relaxed. However, a rapidly pulsing crossed leg says otherwise....
In a few weeks, it will be my turn to deal with my stress in this waiting room. I will be trying to follow the rules, but the reality is that my anxiety levels will be off the chart. My appointment will be to receive feedback/results/information from my most recent CT scan. ...continue reading →
Peggy Cumming, is a wife, mother, grandmother of 6, sister, niece, cousin and friend, as well as a teacher - retired after 34 years in the classroom - and an athlete. She is now recovering from thoracic surgery.
Several years ago I was at a café on Bank Street in Ottawa with two friends - Sarah, my long-time neighbour, and Amy, a breast cancer survivor, a ‘Pink Friend’. Our conversation drifted to memories of New Year’s Eve at the Millennium. Sarah reminisced about her New Year’s wedding, at which I was a guest. She remembered glowing candles in the church, twinkling fairy lights, her husband’s tuxedo, and her ball gown. Amy paused for a moment, and then contributed, “I remember that night; that’s the night my hair fell out!” Amy stated the bare fact, leaving the emotional content for me to paint for myself.
The re-telling of this story always produces laughter, although I only tell it in sensitive circumstances. But I remember that conversation for many reasons. I am not a philosopher, and thousands before me have poured their energy into the question of random universal events. But I do wonder if the Universe has a Poker Dealer who randomly flips down cards for the day: today – joy for you, and despair for you! ...continue reading →