To fast or not to fast

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT…DURING CHEMOTHERAPY To humbly paraphrase Shakespeare, the question is “whether ‘tis better to…ban sugar from your diet, or bulk up on high-protein meals…” The internet is full of raging debates, fervid testimonials and opinions about what you should or shouldn’t eat when you’re being treated for cancer.  One of the most…  Read More

Highlights from ASCO 2011

While there weren’t new blockbuster announcements for colorectal cancer this year at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Annual Meeting, there was plenty of focus on making what we already have work better and on choosing the patients who will benefit the most from treatments, as well as those who might not be helped at…  Read More

Effexor Reduces Pain from Cold

Colorectal cancer patients getting oxaliplatin quickly learn to avoid cold. Drinks with ice, chilly air, even opening the freezer can produce sudden, sharp pain, burning, or an unpleasant pins and needle feeling in their throat and hands. A small study has found that venlafaxine (Effexor) can completely eliminate acute neurotoxicity from oxaliplatin in about 1 out…  Read More

Cancer Patients Fatigued Before Treatment Begins

Cancer patients are often very tired, a bone-weary fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest.  Fatigue is the most common complaint from patients during chemotherapy.  However, a recent study found that one in four patients are already severely fatigued before treatment ever begins. Severe fatigue was most common in patients with gastrointestinal cancer, where almost one…  Read More

Several Studies Show Evidence that Chewing Gum Helps After Colon Surgery

Five randomized studies have shown that chewing gum after colon surgery reduces the time it takes for patients to pass gas and have a bowel movement. Patients in the studies chewed sugarless gum from 5 to 45 minutes, three times a day after surgery.  Control groups had similar surgeries but didn’t chew gum. There was a…  Read More

FDA Approves Oral Aloxi to Prevent Chemo Nausea and Vomiting

The Food and Drug Administration has approved an oral formulation of Aloxi® (palonosetron) to prevent nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.  A single 5 milligram capsule reduces the risk of nausea during the first 24 hours after chemotherapy and for up to five days afterwards.  The medicine is taken about an hour before chemotherapy starts.