Tag Archive for: nutrition

Is Whole Patient Care a Path to Health Equity?

As part of our Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) Path to Empowerment, whole patient support is included in the path for patients. Our advocacy program called Rx for Community Wellness focuses on culturally competent whole person healthcare that treats the whole patient in tandem with existing care while also looking at health equity issues. As we prepare to launch into another series of Wellness Rx Meditation and Wellness Rx Nutrition programs, here’s a look at the programs and resources that are already available. The intention of these resources are to improve cancer care for all patients by providing meaningful mind-body tools that maximize well-being.

Equity Rx Webinars 

Unfortunately, not every patient is starting from the same level in their healthcare. Health equity topics must be addressed to achieve equitable care for all, and the Equity Rx webinar series have provided an opportunity to address some of these issues. In the Equity Rx webinars, we pulled together a panel that included a cancer survivor, a naturopathic doctor, and a public health scientist. The panel members discussed the importance of culturally competent whole person cancer care to work toward improved cancer outcomes for all patients. Some of the topics covered in the Equity Rx webinars include: 

  • Ways that healthcare systems can better work toward whole person care
  • Solutions to help overcome trauma and lack of trust to work toward healing
  • Advice from a cancer survivor on how to work toward optimal patient care
  • The effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on physical health
  • How environmental conditions and personal experiences can impact health
  • Existing barriers to diagnosis and a patient’s experience as a Mexican American
  • Barriers to culturally competent care and how to address barrier issues
  • Factors that whole person care examines and obstacles healthcare systems   pose to patient care

Survey feedback about the Equity Rx and Wellness Rx Meditative and Nutritional Tools have been extremely positive with 90.2% of survey respondents believing this program has given them a better understanding of the need for health equity. As more people become aware of health equity issues, they can also advocate on behalf of others to improve care for all patients. 

In addition, 82.7% of survey respondents agreed they are very likely to share their story with others to raise awareness about the need for equitable care after the Equity Rx program. And through the process of sharing their personal experiences, patients can not only help educate others but may also be able to work through some of the emotional load of their cancer journeys.

One survey respondent also came away from the programs with motivation to add holistic care to part of their care team.

My hematologist is pretty responsive, but I don’t have a holistic doctor, and I’d like to get one. This program definitely raised my awareness of equity issues. Sasha was great explaining her issues. Thank you!

Another survey respondent shared how the programs instilled motivation to take a more active role in their care.

I will make more of an effort to get my team members to read information that has been shared on my tests and progress.

Equity Rx Crowdsourced Resource Guide

PEN recognizes the value of educational resources and in gathering input from a wide selection of people – whether they are patients, care partners, or patient advocates. In the printable and downloadable Equity Rx Crowdsourced Resource Guide, whole person care is described with an explanation of why whole person care is important in improving health outcomes for all patients. Equity Rx survey highlights are also shown in easy-to-read graphics in the resource guide along with crowdsourced solutions for working toward equitable healthcare.

Is Whole Patient Care a Path to Health Equity?

Wellness Rx Meditative and Nutritional Tools

Whole person care is a primary tenet of holistic medicine, and nutrition and meditation practices are two ways to incorporate holistic care. Holistic care is one way that can support patients in maintaining healthy minds and bodies. In the Wellness Rx Meditative and Nutritional Tools, we created educational videos and transcripts to improve knowledge about meditation practices and nutrition to boost patient health. Meditation topics that were covered in the series include breathing, abdominal breath, chest breathing, body parts, body scan, complete breathing, joy, whole body, heart center, and breath counting. While nutrition topics covered in the series include the benefits of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, protein, and plant-based diets. 

Access to health and wellness options are vital for all patients. We at PEN hope you can take advantage of the Rx for Community Wellness program resources and also share them with others to improve their care. Additional webinars and resources will be coming soon to help patients and care partners move toward improved empowerment, care, and support for their cancer journeys.

Benefits of Minerals

Benefits of Minerals from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Minerals are very important elements required in small amounts in the diet that are used in the body to promote various functions and to help form body structures. Watch now.

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Transcript:

Similar to vitamins, minerals are micronutrients that are essential to human health and can be obtained in our diet from different types of food.  

Minerals are inorganic elements from the Earth. Plants extract minerals from the soil they grow in and we humans obtain minerals directly from eating those plants, as well as indirectly from eating animal foods. We also get minerals from the water we drink.

Minerals are classified as either major minerals or trace minerals, depending on the amount needed in the body. Major minerals include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium help in the building and maintenance of healthy bones. Sulfur contributes to the health of skin, tendons, and ligaments. Sodium, potassium and chloride are important electrolytes that help maintain fluid balance. Sodium and potassium are also important for nervous system function. Trace minerals include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, fluoride, manganese, and molybdenum. Iron is required for red blood cell function and therefore oxygen delivery. Copper is important for iron absorption and the production of red blood cells. Zinc is required for healing damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system. Selenium and iodine are essential for thyroid function. Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant. Fluoride is protective against tooth decay.

While deficiencies are possible with minerals, consuming a varied diet significantly improves an individual’s ability to meet their nutrient needs to maintain health and wellbeing. 

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Benefits of Vitamins

Benefits of Vitamins from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Vitamins are very important compounds that are required in small amounts in the diet to support various functions related to growth, reproduction, and the maintenance of health. Watch now.

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Transcript:

Vitamins are essential micronutrients that are required for many bodily functions and therefore necessary to maintain health. Vitamins are traditionally categorized into two groups: water-soluble meaning they are dissolvable in water or fat-soluble meaning they are dissolvable in fat. 

Water soluble vitamins include a collection of B vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit and in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The collection of B vitamins all assists in various metabolic processes in the body and are found in a variety of unprocessed plant-based foods and animal foods. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods but can be easily obtained through fortified cereals and non-dairy milks for those consuming a plant-based diet.

Fat soluble vitamins include Vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and supports eye health found in leafy green vegetables like kale, orange and yellow vegetables like carrots. Vitamin D supports bone health and is obtained through exposing the skin to the sun, eating fatty fish and fortified foods. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes and is found in nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Vitamin K supports blood clotting and bone health and is found in green leafy vegetables and Brussels sprouts.

Unless there is a deficiency, it is recommended to primarily focus on getting vitamins from food sources vs supplementation. By eating a variety of whole foods from all food groups, you can ensure that you are getting all the vitamins needed to maintain health, protect against cancer and support recovery from cancer treatment.

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Heart Center Meditation

Heart Centered Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Learn about cultivating present moment awareness by focusing your attention on the heart center.

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Related Programs:

Body Scan Meditation

Body Scan Meditation

Body Parts Meditation

Body Parts Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation


Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be cultivating present moment awareness by focusing attention on the heart center. Before we start the practice, I want to state that focusing your attention on the body can have a grounding effect. Nonetheless, if you find this practice difficult for whatever reason, including health related or a traumatic history, please do not force it. I encourage you to be gentle and kind to yourself. Accepting yourself where you are in the process. Attend softly and your capacity will build over time.

To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. And you may make any arrangements to support your back if necessary. Or you may lie down on your back for this particular practice. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. Begin to feel into the weight of your body being supported by whatever you are seated on or lying on. Begin to bring your attention to the center of your chest area, the heart center. To support you in this practice, you may bring a hand to place over the heart center. Feel into the warmth of your hand. The tenderness of your hand over the heart center. Feeling, sensing, noticing. Anchoring your mind to the heart center. If the mind wonders about, gently bring it back to focusing your attention on the heart center. Feeling into the heart center without judgment. You may keep your hand over your heart for the duration of the practice or you may remove it at any moment you feel comfortable doing so. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Whole Body Meditation

Whole Body Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

 Learn about cultivating present moment awareness and staying grounded by attending to and being present with the whole body. Watch now.

See More from Rx for Community Wellness

Related Programs:

Body Scan Meditation

Body Scan Meditation

Body Parts Meditation

Body Parts Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation


Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be cultivating present moment awareness by focusing attention on the whole body. Before we start the practice, I want to state that focusing your attention on the body can have a grounding effect. Nonetheless, if you find this practice difficult for whatever reason, including health related or a traumatic history, please do not force it. I encourage you to be gentle and kind to yourself. Accept yourself where you are in the process. Attend softly and your capacity will build over time.

To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. And you may make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Or you may lie down on your back for this particular practice. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. Begin to feel into the weight of your body being supported by whatever you are seated on or lying on. Feeling into the heaviness of your body. Feeling supported. Being open to whatever arises without judgment of good or bad, without pushing anything away or grasping at anything. Just being present in your body to the best of your ability. Are you drawn to any part of your body? If so, allow yourself to go there with a soft attention without looking for anything in particular. Notice with curiosity and openness to your level of comfort without judgment. Feeling, sensing, noticing. Gently (bring) begin to come back to feeling the weight of your entire body being supported. Feeling into your whole body with a spacious curiosity and openness without judgment. Resting in your whole body. Your precious body. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Body Scan Meditation

Body Scan Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Learn about cultivating present moment awareness and staying grounded by scanning your body for sensations in a methodical fashion from head to toe. Watch now.

See More from Rx for Community Wellness

Related Programs:

Breath Counting Meditation

Breath Counting Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation


Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be cultivating present moment awareness by scanning the body for sensations. Before we start this practice, I want to state that focusing your attention on the body can have a grounding effect. Nonetheless, if you find this practice difficult for whatever reason, including health related or a traumatic history, please do not force it. I encourage you to be gentle and kind to yourself. Accept yourself where you are in the process. Attend softly and your capacity will build over time.

To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. You may also make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Or you may lie down on your back for this particular practice. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. Begin to feel into the weight of your body being supported by whatever you are seated on or lying on. Notice any sensations without judgment of good or bad, without pushing anything away or grasping at anything. Just allow yourself to notice to best of your abilities. If you do not feel anything it’s ok. No need to force it. Be open to whatever arises without judgment. Begin to softly bring your attention to the soles of your feet. You may wiggle your toes to help you go there. Attending to any sensations that may arise or not without judgment. Begin to move your attention from the soles of your feet up your legs like a scanning disc up to your knees. Softly scanning for any sensations without judgment. If you are not feeling anything it is ok. Just move along, not allowing your mind to get stuck. From your knees up your thighs to your hips. Scanning. From your hips up your torso; front, back and sides up to your shoulders. Bringing your attention to your hands. Feeling, sensing, noticing. From hands to your elbows. Elbows to your shoulders. From your shoulders up your neck to your head. All the way to the crown of your head, the very top of your head. Begin to work your way down from the crown of your head to the shoulders. Scanning, sensing. Down the arms to your hands. Back to your shoulders down the torso to the hips. From the hips down the legs to the soles of your feet. From here bring your attention back to feeling the weight of your body in your seat. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Body Parts Meditation

Body Parts Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Learn about cultivating present moment awareness and staying grounded by focusing your attention on different parts of the body.

See More from Rx for Community Wellness

Related Programs:

Breath Counting Meditation

Breath Counting Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation


Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be cultivating present moment awareness by focusing the attention on different parts of the body.

Before we start the practice, I want to state that focusing your attention on the body can have a grounding effect. Nonetheless, if you find this practice difficult for whatever reason, including health related or a traumatic history, please do not force it. I encourage you to be gentle and kind to yourself. Accept yourself where you are in this process. Attend softly and your capacity will build over time. To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. And you may make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Or you may lie down on your back for this particular practice. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. Begin to feel into the weight of your body being supported by whatever you are seated on or lying on. Notice any sensations without judgment of good or bad, without pushing anything away or grasping at anything. Just allow yourself to notice to the best of your abilities. If you do not feel anything, it’s ok. No need to force it. Be open to it. Whatever arises without judgment. Begin to softly bring your attention to your right foot. You may wiggle your toes to help you go there. Attending to any sensations that may arise or not without judgment. Begin to move your attention to your left foot. Attending softly without judgment. Moving your attention to your right leg. Feeling, sensing, noticing. Then bring your attention to your left leg. Moving to your right hand, attending softly without judgment. Then your left hand. Then to your right arm. Feeling, sensing, noticing. To your left arm. Bringing your attention to your head. Then your bringing your attention to your abdominal area, your belly area. Feeling, sensing, noticing. And then to your attention to your chest. From here bring your attention back to feeling the weight of your body in your seat. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Breath Counting Meditation

Breath Counting Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Learn about cultivating present moment awareness by focusing your attention on and anchoring your mind to the natural flow of your breath through breath counting meditation. Watch now.

See More from Rx for Community Wellness

Related Programs:

Abdominal Breath Meditation

Abdominal Breath Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Chest Breathing Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation


Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be focusing our attention on the natural flow of the breath as a form of meditative practice. Before we start the practice, I want to state that the quality of your breathing is intimately related to the qualitative experience of the mind.

In this session we will be taking advantage of this relationship between the mind and the breath by anchoring the mind to the natural rhythm of the breath. For this practice, I invite you to find a comfortable seat. By sitting you minimize the chance of falling asleep. A chair is perfectly fine. You may also make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. By closing the eyes you minimize visual distractions. Begin to feel the weight of your body in your seat. Begin to lengthen your spine. Relaxing your shoulders. Lengthening the back of your neck. Relaxing your jaw, and the musculature of the face. Begin to take notice of the natural flow of your breath. Maybe by attending to your torso, the abdominal or chest areas, or the movement of the air as it passes through your nostrils. Wherever you are drawn to is perfectly fine. Attending to the natural uncontrolled breath. On your next inhalation, silently to yourself began to count 1 and the on the subsequent exhalation 2, 3 on the next inhalation, 4 on the following exhalation, counting until you reach 10 and then start this process over again. If you lose count, its ok. Start over at 1. Continue this practice of breath counting as long as time permits. Wherever you are in this process. Bringing this practice to a close. Just notice the natural flow of your breath. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Health Benefits of Fats

Health Benefits of Fat from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Fats are necessary and play an important role in storing energy, providing insulation and protection, and regulating and signaling functions throughout the body. Watch now.

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Transcript:

Contrary to what you may have heard, fat is necessary for the body to function and therefore an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. Fat in the body plays important roles in storing energy, providing insulation and protection to tissues and organs, and helping the body to produce and regulate hormones. Large amounts of dietary fat is not required because the body can produce most of what it needs. Fat also plays unique roles in the diet, including increasing the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals, and contributing to the flavor and satisfaction of food. 

Triglycerides are the main form of fat in the body and in foods, where fatty acids are a major building block. Fatty acids are categorized as either saturated or unsaturated. The dietary guidelines for Americans recommends consuming fewer than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats. Above that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. An emphasis is placed on consuming monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats because of their health promoting benefits. 

Pecans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, avocados, olive oil, and peanut oil are some good sources of monounsaturated fats. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, corn oil, safflower oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds are good sources of polyunsaturated fats that include the essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Whole plant-based foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids also include other healthful nutrients, like fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are health promoting and protective against cancer. 

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Complete Breathing Meditation

Complete Breathing Meditation from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Learn how to cultivate a calm, soothing, and yet alert quality of mind through controlled complete breath by combining abdominal and chest breathing. A complete breath also enhances breathing efficiency. Watch now.

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Transcript:

Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be exploring active breathing as a form of meditative practice. Before we start the practice, I want to state that the quality of your breathing is intimately related to the qualitative experience of your mind. In this session we will be taking advantage of this relationship between the mind and the breath by manipulating the breath in order to manipulate and regulate the mind.

To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. You may also make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. By closing the eyes, you minimize visual distractions. Begin to feel the weight of your body in your seat. Begin to lengthen your spine. Relaxing your shoulders. Lengthening the back of your neck. Relaxing your jaw, and the musculature of the face. Begin to take notice of the natural flow of your breath. Maybe by attending to your torso, the abdominal or chest areas, or the movement of the air as it passes through your nostrils. I invite you to imagine your torso as a cylindrical tube made of a lower chamber, the abdominal area, and an upper chamber, the chest area. In this practice we will focus on both the lower and upper chambers, the entire torso. Begin by actively exhaling the breath out the nostrils, gently drawing your abdomen back towards your spine. Then begin to inhale smoothly and gradually through the nostrils feeling the expansion of the lower chamber in all directions without straining. Then begin to feel the expansion of the upper chamber by allowing your lower ribs to fan out in all directions without straining, then your mid chest to upper chest and back without straining. When the lower and upper chamber fills, gently and smoothly exhale out the nostrils allowing the chest to descend and then subsequently bringing the abdomen towards the spine. Continue this smooth and gradual controlled breathing in and out the nostrils as long as time permits. Allowing your next exhalation to be your final round and return to attending to the natural flow of your breath. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.

Benefits of Protein

Benefits of Protein from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Proteins are the body’s workhorses providing structure and many other functions necessary for life. They play an important role in the function of every cell in our bodies.

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Transcript:

There are over 100,000 various proteins in the human body that are made of different combinations of 20 amino acids, 9 of which must be acquired through the diet. Proteins are often referred to as the workhorses of the body because they are a vital part of every cell and are essential for the nourishment, renewal, and continuance of life. They are the primary building blocks for bone, skin, hair, muscle, hormones, and antibodies. They give tissues like bones and muscle strength and structure. They are necessary for digesting and processing food. They regulate various bodily processes as hormones. They are important in transporting substances throughout the body and are necessary for the function of the immune system. 

These properties of proteins are very important for cancer patients who might be having problems eating and are losing weight and who may experience hair loss as a consequence of some cancer treatments. After surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, extra protein is usually needed to heal tissues and help fight infection. Emphasis on acquiring proteins from plant based foods is highly recommended because of the additional substances in them like antioxidants and phytochemicals that are health promoting, protective against cancer and beneficial for healing. Good sources of protein can be attained by eating a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean meats including fish and poultry.

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Benefits of Carbohydrates

Health Benefits of Carbohydrates from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body’s cells, tissues and organs, particularly the brain. They are also a rich source of health-promoting fiber. 

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Transcript:

Carbohydrates are the most abundant nutrient (with the exception of water) in the diets of most humans around the world. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not only the key ingredient in desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, and many of the packaged snack foods. In actuality, carbohydrates are a part of all food groups and are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and even dairy. A healthy diet rich in carbohydrates would include those plant-based foods in their unrefined whole food form. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of our total daily energy intake. Every cell in our bodies can benefit from the consumption of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body’s cells, tissues and organs. The brain is particularly dependent on the glucose from carbohydrates for its fuel source. Unrefined carbohydrates are a rich source of fiber, which has many benefits including helping maintain digestive and bowel health as well as a healthy weight. Fiber also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. 

 Consuming nutrient dense carbohydrates in their whole food form are advantageous to meeting your body’s nutritional needs. 

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Benefits of Plant Based Diets from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

The benefits of a plant-based diet are positively correlated with reducing the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers like colon and breast cancer.

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Transcript:

A healthy, plant-based diet aims to maximize consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods while minimizing refined, processed carbohydrates, added fats, oils, and animal foods (including dairy products and eggs). A plant-based diet encourages eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, as well as health-promoting phytochemicals and antioxidants. However, vitamin B12 is deficient in plant-based foods and can be easily acquired by consuming foods fortified with it such as some plant-based milks or through supplementation.

The benefits of a plant-based diet are positively correlated with reducing the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers like colorectal cancer. The rich source of phytochemicals and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables in plant-based diets are protective against cancer and are supportive in recovery and management during cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.  

Though some may think that plant-based diets are more expensive than a more conventional diet, the opposite is actually true. Animal proteins and animal-based products like dairy make a bigger impact on a grocery budget, and incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet can provide savings on food costs.

Thanks for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. Please remember to ask your healthcare team what may be right for you.

Empowered #patientchat – Nutrition Trends: Fad or Fact? with the Wounded Warrior Project

You’re Invited! We hope you’ll join us for our next Empowered #patientchat discussion.In honor of Veterans Day on Monday, November 11th, Wounded Warrior Project (@wwp) will be co-hosting this special #patientchat on nutrition.

With the plethora of information on nutrition out there from social media, news articles, and peers, how can you determine what’s fad and what’s fact when it comes to nutrition? And how does this all play in to your health as a patient? Let’s discuss Friday, November 15th!

Guiding our discussion will be the following Topic (T#:) Questions:

T1: What role does nutrition play in your health? What comes to mind when you think about nutrition? #patientchat

T2: There seems to always be a new fad in nutrition, so how can you determine fad from fact? #patientchat

T3: Is there an optimal diet? What are some of the essential foods for building and maintaining health? #patientchat

T4: How does nutrition impact the day to day for patients? #patientchat

T5: Do you consider nutrition part of your treatment plan? What role does nutrition play in your disease management? #patientchat

T6: What are some general nutrition tips and resources? What disease-specific nutrition resources have you found helpful? #patientchat

We hope to see you Friday, November 15th on Twitter (or tchat.io/rooms/patientchat) at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern. Be sure to include the hashtag #patientchat in all your responses!


Empowered Patient Chats (#patientchat) are held every other Friday at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern and during the chat patients and advocates come to learn from each other and discuss topics of interest to empowered patients.

Click HERE to learn more about the Empowered #patientchat Series plus read tips on how to participate.

I'll be at the Nutrition Trends: Fad or Fact? #patientchat on Fri 11/15 1pm ET. Join me! Click To Tweet

Notable News: September 2018

Since smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death worldwide, reports about it don’t usually contain good news, but this month they do. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is convening in Toronto, Canada this week for the 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer #WCLC2018, and the importance of screening is being emphasized. Data coming out of the conference shows that CT screening reduces lung cancer deaths by 39% in women and 24% in men. Cdc.gov says the only recommended screening for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography (also, low-dose CT scan or LDCT). Yearly lung cancer screenings are recommended for people who have a history of heavy smoking, smoke now or have quit in the past 15 years, and are between 55 and 80 years old. So, if you are at risk, make sure you are getting screened! Also, you can find the cdc.gov fact sheet about smoking here.

Another study shows that smoking might not remain the leading cause of preventable disease and death, but something else is going to take it’s place. Right now smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer among women in the United Kingdom, but that is set to change, reports cnn.com. Thanks to a reduction in smoking and an increase in body weight, obesity will be the leading cause of cancer in women by 2043 if current trends continue. The news is particularly alarming because obesity can also cause some cancers, including breast cancer, to spread. Data collected between 1979 and 2014 was analyzed to determine the projections. Campaigns highlighting smoking risks are credited with the reduction in smoking-related cancers, and researchers are suggesting similar campaigns about the risk of obesity be implemented. More information can be found here. These findings aren’t unique to the UK; this report from November 2017 shows similar trends in the United States.

Obese or not, the quality of your food can increase your risk for cancer, reports medicalnewstoday.com. A study done in Paris shows that regular consumption of food low in nutritional value increases cancer risk. Of the 471,495 participants in the study, 49,794 had been diagnosed with cancer. More specifically, the findings showed men had an increased risk for colorectal cancer, cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract and stomach, and lung cancer. Women showed an increased risk for liver cancer and postmenopausal breast cancer. The research is being used to support the enforcement of a food-labeling system that would clearly state nutritional value of products. Learn more about the study and the food-labeling system here.

More good news comes this month in the form of new information. A study reported in cancer.gov reveals that cancer of the appendix, while usually given the same chemotherapy treatments, is actually quite different from colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. The study also showed that the type of gene mutations present in appendiceal cancers could serve as an indicator for a patient’s prognosis. While the study isn’t likely to change practice yet, the information does provide helpful information about a rare cancer, and it indicates a need to develop treatments based on each specific cancer subtype. Much more detailed and technical information about the study findings and appendiceal cancers can be found here.

Finally, there are a couple of stories that happened this month that are worth sharing because they emphasize the poignancy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in a way that little else could. The first is a love story about a couple that recently got married on the grounds of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The bride and groom are both childhood cancer survivors who met at St. Jude’s while undergoing treatment 25 years ago. They lost touch over the years, but they were reunited when they both accepted jobs at St. Jude’s, and they rekindled their childhood friendship. Their friendship blossomed into love, and this couple of survivors chose September 1, the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, as their special day. Read more about the couple’s big day here. Bonus: there’s a video!

The second story is a different kind of love story. It’s about two-year-old Brody Allen. Brody has terminal brain cancer, and he loves Christmas. Brody isn’t expected to make it to Christmas this year so his parents decided to celebrate Christmas early. They put up a tree, and they put up outdoor decorations. Then, their neighbors started to decorate, too. Soon, the whole town was in on it and, earlier this week, Brody’s hometown put on a full-on, life-size Christmas parade in his honor, complete with super heroes and Santa Claus. You can read more about Brody here and see clips from his parade here. Merry Christmas, Brody.

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