Tag Archive for: nutrition

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gastric Cancer Treatment Approach

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gastric Cancer Treatment Approach from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What factors should be considered when choosing a gastric cancer treatment approach? Dr. Yelena Janjigian outlines key considerations that help determine the best treatment for an individual patient.

Dr. Yelena Janjigian is Chief of Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

See More From INSIST! Gastric Cancer

Related Programs:

How Is Gastric Cancer Diagnosed and Staged?

How Is Gastric Cancer Diagnosed and Staged?

An Overview of Current Gastric Cancer Treatment Options

An Overview of Current Gastric Cancer Treatment Options

How Do Biomarker Test Results Impact Gastric Cancer Treatment Options?

How Do Biomarker Test Results Impact Gastric Cancer Treatment Options?


Transcript:

Katherine:

Are there other decision factors involved in deciding on treatment options? You mentioned age, comorbidities. What else do you look at? 

Dr. Janjigian:

Yeah, the other important factor as I said is nutrition. Being able to stay fit and stay independent is very important. Some of my patients ask me, and then they feel like what they eat is so important that as soon as they get their diagnosis, they restrict their diet. And then they start losing weight. And that’s not good. The number one negative prognostic factor is if you lose more than 10 percent of your body weight within the first few months of the diagnosis – because you get really weak, and then you can’t tolerate the chemotherapy. So, I tell the patients, “Your body will take from you whatever it wants. The cancer will take from you, from your body. So, you need to support yourself nutritionally.” So, if you don’t feel like eating a salad, but you are craving a cookie, it’s okay.  

Have that cookie; just don’t lose weight. And I think that’s the number one. And also, the other factor is how do you communicate your diagnosis and your prognosis to your family and your friends? Because then everybody’s asking and making you in some ways anxious, your job. And what I tell patients is, “It’s on need-to-know basis.” If you find love and support, then you can tell people.

Otherwise, you can just loosely kind of mention that you need some help, and you’re going through treatment without specific details. And the great part about these combination immunotherapies is that a lot of our functional patients actually continue to work through this. And so, we fill out whatever forms they need for their jobs and so forth. But we have lawyers that are continuing to work, teachers, and sometimes even construction workers. So, really, I would say make decisions as they come up.

Don’t run too far ahead and sort of assume that you’re going to not be well. But if you want to take some time off, that’s okay too. And so, I think the treatment paradigm for this disease has evolved so much that there’s a lot of misconceptions. And I think the job of a good oncologist is to let the patient live their life in as normal a fashion as possible.

So, we work the chemo schedules around their schedule. Some of these immunotherapies you can give once a month. So, I have patients who will fly into see me, for example, get the dose, and then go back home. So, I think don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. 

Expert Advice | Strategies for Managing MPN-Related Fatigue

Expert Advice | Strategies for Managing MPN-Related Fatigue from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Fatigue related to myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) can be overwhelming and may have an impact on other parts of your life. So, what can be done about it? MPN specialist Dr. Naveen Pemmaraju shares advice for understanding and managing this common symptom, including lifestyle choices that may be beneficial. 

Dr. Naveen Pemmaraju is Director of the Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN) Program in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Learn more about Dr. Pemmaraju

 

Related Programs:

Understanding MPN Treatment Options _ What’s Available for MF, PV, and ET

Understanding MPN Treatment Options | What’s Available for MF, PV, and ET?

MPN Essential Testing | How Results Impact Care & Treatment Options

MPN Essential Testing | How Results Impact Care & Treatment Options

Understanding and Managing Common MPN Symptoms and Side Effects

Understanding and Managing Common MPN Symptoms and Side Effects


Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Well, it’s obvious that there’s some symptom overlap along with this.  And so I’m wondering what the strategies are for managing these. Let’s start with fatigue first.  

Dr. Pemmaraju:

Let’s do that.  

Katherine Banwell:

How do you manage that?  

Dr. Pemmaraju:

This is one of the tougher parts of what we do. I’m glad you’re pinning me down to say it, because really this is the majority of what we need to be talking about in the clinic. I’m going to just be honest, you know, with all the scientific breakthroughs and everything, some of these are limited. The fatigue, this is some of the strategies I use and some of the experts in the field. I think one is managing the underlying disease. So, as you mentioned, if you have high-risk, intermediate to high-risk myelofibrosis, one of the great findings of our field is the JAK inhibitor class generally helps to improve symptom burden.  

So, that is the splenomegaly, the fatigue, the pruritus. Maybe not so much the itching, but some of these other things. So, I think treating the underlying disease, that’s okay. Number two is many clinics, onc centers around the country are starting to open up a supportive care or fatigue center clinic. So, I am referring several of my patients there, we’re talking about diet, nutrition, exercise. We used to never talk about these things. Ruben Mesa has found that doing yoga and meditation can genuinely actually help the pathobiology to reduce the cytokine storm and improve the fatigue and quality of life. 

Dr. Angela Fleischman, our colleague at UC Irvine, has done work suggesting that possibly an antioxidant diet such as the Mediterranean diet can help the overall general fatigue, well-being, wellness. And then of course I mentioned earlier, but I’ll mention here too, sometimes fatigue is outside of the MPN. Have you had your TSH or thyroid checked? What about your vitamin D levels? How are you doing on these PCP general checks? Things that may be contributing to the life and the happiness.

And finally, let me make a plug for mental health. I don’t know how much we were emphasizing before the COVID pandemic, but after, the last three or four years have been tough. Healthcare providers, caregivers, patients themselves, mental health checkup, that can also be contributing to fatigue, not getting out of bed, in addition to the organic medical problems. So, let me advocate a multifactorial approach, scientifically summed up as treating what you can with the underlying MPN, fine, treating the side effects and symptoms of the MPN, as you said. 

And then, other, which can be a huge bucket, particularly as we get older, to not forget about that. Again, checking the thyroid level. And then when you’re on these different treatments, you can personalize it. Interferon, obviously, has its own separate set of side effects and then of course the other agents. So, I think that may be the best way to approach it. Maybe a three-bucket approach. The MPN itself, and then the treatment itself, and then the other, something like that.  

Katherine Banwell:

And as you’ve mentioned, it’s all going to be personalized and individualized.  

Dr. Pemmaraju:

Hugely.   

Katherine Banwell:

Right, because what’s going to work for one person is not necessarily going to work for another.  

Dr. Pemmaraju:

Hear, hear, well said to that. You know, you think you make a great diagnosis in the clinic, someone’s having fatigue, they’re on therapy for your MPN. You check the TSH, it’s wildly abnormal. Okay, you refer them to endocrine. Six months later, the thyroid level is completely normal now on thyroid medicine. And yet, the fatigue, brain fog, everything is still not clear.  

The MPN is under good control. What gives? That’s the difficult part of these diseases. So, I really love what you said about the personalization and to keep looking and keep trying. 

The Role of Nutrition in Supporting People with Cancer During Treatment

Living with cancer is often a challenging experience. You may find you face various hurdles that are physical, psychological, and emotional in nature. Part of the key to navigating these is to have an effective set of tools at your disposal. This isn’t just a practical way of addressing issues, but it can also help you feel more in control of your well-being at a time when you might feel you don’t have much agency.

These tools can take a range of forms. Certainly, the medications and treatments you utilize can impact your health. You might also be seeing a therapist or counselor who can introduce you to strategies to manage the psychological symptoms of your experience. But one of the most important elements that can influence your everyday wellness is your dietary choices.

Boosting Overall Wellness

People’s experiences with cancer can vary. Nevertheless, it’s important to focus on your overall health and wellness so you’re in the best possible position to navigate the challenges of your diagnosis. Nourishing your mind and body plays a key role in this regard.

Certainly, this involves maintaining a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and nuts can all be important in promoting good health when you are living with cancer. Protein sources such as eggs, seeds, and lentils can contribute to a strong immune system. You should also focus on your hydration by committing to regularly drinking water.

Alongside balancing the good food you put into your body, you should also avoid food and drink that can have negative impacts. In particular, alcohol can have detrimental health effects in both the short and long term. Its effect on your central nervous system can contribute to and exacerbate mood fluctuations, not to mention that chronic alcohol use is a cause of immunodeficiency. It is therefore healthier to cut out or significantly reduce alcohol consumption, at least as you navigate cancer treatment.

Using Substitutions and Supplements

Directly gaining nutrition from food isn’t always practical as a person with cancer. This is especially relevant when treatments can have an impact on your appetite. Not to mention that some drugs — like chemotherapy — may reduce certain protein and vitamin stores in your body. It’s vital to consider how some supplements and dietary substitutions can bridge the gap in your nutritional needs.

It’s important to be mindful when introducing supplements into your diet when you’re being treated for cancer. Take a targeted approach. Speak to your oncology team about what specific vitamins you may be deficient in or those that might have a strengthening or protective impact. You should also be aware that some supplements can be detrimental to the efficacy of treatment. For instance, botanicals like garlic, ginseng, and echinacea can disrupt how your body metabolizes chemotherapy drugs. So, be sure not to make changes without advice from your specialist.

 

One good approach to your nutrition is to find substitutions for difficult-to-digest or generally unhealthy food. For instance, while you may crave sweet foods, processed sugar can be detrimental to cognition, mood, and overall wellness. It is usually best to find substitutions in the form of healthy and naturally sweet food, such as fruits, nuts, and homemade snack bars. This can be a helpful strategy when you’re navigating the difficulties associated with treatment. Not to mention that natural foods may be more palatable when you’re experiencing nausea.

Mitigating Treatment Side-Effects

Navigating the reality of cancer in itself can be challenging. While treatment is a powerful tool in your management and recovery, it can also contribute to the difficulties you experience. The side effects of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and a range of other elements can affect your quality of life. It’s well worth exploring how your nutritional choices can empower you to address these.

Appetite changes and nausea are among the most common side effects of cancer treatment. One helpful approach to this is to consume smoothies as opposed to solid foods. This may be easier on your digestion while helping you get the servings of fruits and vegetables you need.

In addition, some people with cancer find they live with diarrhea and other bowel or bladder issues as a result of treatment. You might find it better to minimize fried, spicy, or fatty foods, particularly in the immediate days after treatment. You could adopt a clear-liquid diet, involving broth, gelatines, and some fruit juices. Bananas and potatoes can also be positive components, which also serve to replace some potassium that diarrhea can deplete.

Conclusion

Nutrition has a vital role to play in empowering you to support your cancer treatment. There are some generally helpful approaches. Maintaining a balanced diet, using substitutions, and choosing food that helps you navigate symptoms are all essential steps.

Nevertheless, it’s also important to recognize just how nuanced a cancer diet can be. Collaborating with medical professionals on building a dietary plan is vital to not only meeting your nutritional needs but also to avoid mistakes that can negatively affect your treatment. Even something as simple as the frustration of not being able to eat your favorite foods is worth discussing with dietary experts. They may be able to direct you to ways you can safely incorporate flavor profiles you enjoy.

There’s no denying that your cancer treatment will be a challenging process. But with some planning, knowledge, and expert guidance, you can find nutritional approaches that bolster your experience.

Can Mobile Health Apps Lower the Burden of MPN Symptoms?

Can Mobile Health Apps Lower the Burden of MPN Symptoms? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can the burden of myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) symptoms be lessened through the use of mobile health apps? Blood cancer patient Lisa Hatfield shares common MPN symptoms that patients experience and explains wellness strategies and mobile app study results that decreased the symptom burden for patients.

Download Resource Guide

See More from MPN TelemEDucation

Related Resources:

How Can MPN Patients Continue to Use Telemedicine and Overcome Barriers

How MPN Providers Want You to Prepare for Telemedicine Visits

How MPN Patients Can Best Prepare for a Telemedicine Visit

How MPN Patients Can Best Prepare for a Telemedicine Visit

Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:  

As an MPN patient, you might experience symptoms like fatigue, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, abdominal discomfort, bone pain and others. However, early data using integrative approaches for the treatment of MPNs are promising, including aerobic activity, yoga, meditation, and strength training, to reduce the symptom burden and improve inflammation. With the evolution of smartphone technology, mobile apps have been increasingly popular to document wellness strategies. With this in mind, the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine developed and successfully piloted a global wellness mobile app, My Wellness Coach (MWC), to guide MPN patients on self-management strategies for their symptom burden. 

The app had patients set at least two wellness goals with clear action steps within these seven areas: nutrition, movement, sleep, resilience, environment, relationships and spirituality to work on over the course of 12 weeks. Within the app, there were links to curated resources and tips. Participants were sent 24- to 72-hour interval reminders before and after each action step and a goal deadline to encourage action throughout the intervention. At the end of the study, improvements were observed in inactivity, impaired concentration, dizziness, numbness, sexual dysfunction, night sweats, bone pain, and quality of life. 

If you’d like to implement something similar to what the participants did, try the following: 

  • Reflect on why you want to change your symptom burden so you feel motivated  
  • Determine which of these categories: nutrition, movement, sleep, resilience, environment, relationships, and spirituality would you like to set goals in 
  • Create two goals from those categories and make them SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 
  • Utilize resources available to you through support groups or online tools 
  • Set reminders on your phone or calendar for each step you need to take to complete your SMART goals

Mobile-based apps are another example of how MPN patients can use telemedicine in their day-to-day life and improve care.


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How Can Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients Use Integrative Health?

How Can Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients Use Integrative Health? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients benefit from integrative health? Experts Dr. Krisstina Gowin, Dr. AnaMaria Lopez, and patient Lisa Hatfield discuss common symptoms of MPN patients, integrative health techniques, and benefits of including integrative medicine.

Download Resource Guide

See More from MPN TelemEDucation

Related Resources:

What Telehealth Tools Impact Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care

Is Technology Accelerating Progress in Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care

How Is Telemedicine Influencing Personalized Medicine for MPN Patients

Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield: 

So I have multiple myeloma, and, of course, that comes with side effects from the different therapies and symptoms of their own. We have a great integrative health center at our cancer center here locally where I live, and I’ve used it for acupuncture for some of my symptom management. I’ve also watched you on different platforms, through webinars and patient support groups where you describe different integrative health techniques and that type of thing. So I’m wondering…two questions. The first part is, what symptoms do MPN patients face the most? And then how can they use integrative health to do that, particularly as it relates to telemedicine? Are there telemedicine options for integrative health? I suppose things like acupuncture, maybe not, but other types of, of integrative health, and can they get a consult for integrative health? Can they even go as far as getting a consult? So if you can answer those questions, the symptoms they face, how to use integrative health, and if they can get a consult for integrative health, that would be great. We’d appreciate that.

Dr. Krisstina Gowin: 

Yeah. Well, Lisa, I want to take a moment just to validate your journey that you’re going through and to congratulate you for your self-advocacy to go look for those integrative therapies to support yourself. And for MPN patients, I will say that it’s a really unique group, and so all cancer patients experience symptoms. But in myeloproliferative neoplasms, it’s really kind of this heterogeneous what we call a symptom burden. And so most patients will experience fatigue about 80 percent of MPN patients. But then beyond that, there’s really a whole slew of different sequelae that can be associated with the disease, which you may or may not think about when you’re thinking about MPNs, such as psychosocial issues, sleep issues, sexual issues.

And then we have kind of the classical issues that happen with MPNs, such as dizziness, but we talked about the fatigue, bone pain, itching, abdominal discomfort from an enlarged spleen and early satiety, or feeling full quickly. It’s really a huge symptom complex, if you will. And we now have validated measurement tools to better understand those. It’s the MPN symptom assessment form, which has really, I think, revolutionized how we look at MPN. It’s no longer just treating the blood counts. We’re treating the patient as a whole, and even within our NCCN guidelines, kind of how we as oncologists go through the algorithms of how to change therapy and how we look at patients. We now have symptoms in there. So even if blood counts are controlled, we may change therapies or even do a bone marrow based on symptoms alone. So symptoms are a huge thing in MPN. So getting to your second question for integrative health.

So I think that MPN…the patients in the community are really early adopters for digital engagement, which is fantastic. Everyone’s very engaged, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on meditation apps, yoga apps, a wellness-based app here from the University of Arizona, and patients just really accrue fast. Everyone’s so excited. And most of these, though, were very small kind of pilot trials, looking at feasibility, can’t we really do these things? But most of them as well are showing some impacts on depression, anxiety, sleep, and total symptom burden. So I do think that these modalities through digital platforms certainly can make a difference on the symptoms. And we’ve seen that with meditation. We’ve seen it with yoga, and we’ve seen it with a seven domain wellness app. And is it the digital engagement? I don’t think so.

I think it’s likely the integrative therapies that they’re receiving through that platform, right? We know meditation works, we know yoga works, perhaps not so well in MPNs. We need to build that evidence base, but other solid cancers, we know those interventions really work. But it’s wonderful to get that kind of early data, say it not only works, but it also works when you’re doing it at home, when you’re doing it on a digital platform. And so I would encourage all patients listening to this to, yes, look at what’s around you, what are the resources, what are the clinical trials? Looking at these different digital modalities for integrative medicine, but also to go get an integrative consultation.

And as Dr. Lopez already had mentioned, she does all of her integrative medicine via telemedicine now, which is fantastic. And so you, it’s really, it’s that, you know, your fingertips. You now have access to wonderful oncologists like Dr. Lopez to guide you in this journey. And the journey is not only allopathic Western medicine, but it’s treating you as a person, you as a whole symptom complex. And that’s really what integrative medicine aims to support you through. 

Lisa Hatfield: 

And you mentioned that Dr. Lopez also does her integrative health via telemedicine. So I’m going to ask, Dr. Lopez, can you speak to that a little bit more? How do you do that with patients? Do they just contact you and set up an appointment for an integrative health consult or appointment? And do you conduct some of that yourself, or do you send them to particular resources in the community?

Dr. AnaMaria Lopez: 

Sure. So, yes, patients can make an integrative oncology appointment directly. I really like to do the consults through tele simply because I can…as I was mentioning, it’s like a virtual house call to really get a sense of the patient. Often a partner, significant other, caregiver might be present as well, and as we know there’s the survivor and there’s the co-survivor. So including both can be very helpful to some people, and I think the initial intake…again, as Dr. Gowin was saying, it depends so much on what the person wants to do. So the first opportunity for coming together is simply, “Where are you? What are your goals? What’s important to you? And of the panoply of options, which might be the easiest or the one that you are most interested in?”

And so depending on what it is, we might work together, we might also bring in others if the person is really interested in making lifestyle changes, let’s say related to nutrition. The person might work closely with a nutritionist for some period of time and then come back, and we’d come together and reassess. You mentioned the acupuncture, and you can’t do acupuncture at a distance, but you can certainly teach people about the points and consider acupressure for certain points. So there are so many ways to engage and interact, but yes, I think like a lot of medicine, it’s a team-based approach.


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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.

See More from Rx for Community Wellness

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.