Many of cancer patients travel to their appointments alone -- which can be overwhelming for many reasons. The U-M Cancer Center formed its patient navigator program to add a layer of support and enhance the patient care experience by assigning a dedicated person to help each patient throughout the treatment process.
Defending with Discipline
Barbara Hilija Spiessl, a fifth-degree black belt in Taekwon-Do, was diagnosed with subcutaneous panniculitislike T-cell lymphoma, a rare subtype that accounts for less than 1 percent of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas. During her treatment and recovery, Spiessl called upon her Taekwon-Do training to find the strength and resilience to manage the long-term side effects from treatment.
Find the Target, Take Aim
Nancy Van Dyke was so healthy she had never taken an antacid. A gastrointestinal attack led to a trip to her local hospital. Soon after she was diagnosed with cancer -- that had metastasized to her liver and chest.
The Power of Words
Marcus Calverley was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in August 2014. He coped with this diagnosis by creating a blog to record his thoughts and experiences.
Heidi Woodward Sheffield looks back on the past two-and-a-half years of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and reconstruction with relief. She is cancer-free and feels fortunate to have had a sense of rebirth throughout the process. In retrospect, she shares her best bets on coping, accepting help and support systems.
The Nature of Cancer
Many factors determine the cause of cancer, including a person's health history, lifestyle, exposure to elements in the environment and how an individual’s DNA responds to all of it. Justin Colacino, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at the U-M School of Public Health provides his insights.
Diagnosis, Pause, Decision
It's only natural when you hear the word cancer to want to spring into action to get rid of it. It's also natural to think about people you know who've had cancer and the decisions they made to treat it. You're afraid. You have families and friends to think about. You need to decide on your treatment . . . but not so fast.
Laws of Survivorship
All cancer patients look forward to the day when they are done with treatment and firmly a survivor. But for many, the experience of cancer -- both emotionally and physically -- lingers long after treatment ends.
When Cancer Comes Back
Jennifer Kelley was unprepared for the rare diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma at age 52, especially since it was her third experience with cancer in a mere 30 months. She had the cancerous lump under her arm surgically removed and followed up with five cycles of chemotherapy as a precaution. Because Kelley's cancer had spread into a lymph node, he explained the cancer was categorized as stage 4 and expected to return.
Body Image Matters
Body image can play a major role in cancer treatment and should be addressed as early as possible. For Sherry Hanson, a single mom of a 3-year-old, she was completely unprepared for the changes in her body's appearance. With the help of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center's PsychOncology Program, Sherry adjusted to her body's changes and is now at ease with herself.