Health Restoration and Quality of Life

posted Jun 4, 2012, 5:54 AM by Unknown user
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Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope
Nature of Cancer jpg

Risk Factos
"Health Restoration & Quality of Life"

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.


Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

 

CCI  Medical Directors:

 

Preston Dalglish, MD

Gemain Owen, MD

 

 

Health Restoration &
Quality of Life

 

 

The previous Cancer Insight articles presented glimpses into understanding and preventing cancer. However, in spite of one's best efforts, cancer may occur. One of the most valuable things a person can do to help him/herself is to regularly check for cancer, and to consult a doctor at the first suspicious sign.  Cancer has the best prognosis when detected and treated early. Early detection is facilitated by familiarizing oneself with the following:

Cancer's Seven Early Warning Signals (C-A-U-T-I-O-N)

                                                               

 Change in bowel or bladder habits

                   A sore that does not heal

                   Unusual Bleeding or discharge

                   Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere

                   Obvious change in mole or wart

                   Nagging cough or hoarseness

 

A tumor, which is a swelling or new growth, can be either benign or malignant. A malignant tumor is cancer. There is no such thing as a benign cancer. Cancer and malignancy are synonymous.   In this article, unless specified otherwise, the word tumor will refer to malignant tumor, cancer. Depending on the type of tissue involved, other names for cancer that are frequently seen are carcinoma or sarcoma.

The only way to accurately diagnose cancer is by a biopsy in which the suspected cancer cells are sent to a laboratory for examination by a pathologist. In the event of a confirmed diagnosis, it is helpful for the patient and family to be familiar with some of the terms that will suddenly be bandied about by doctors and others involved in his/ her cancer care.

The first task that will need to be addressed by the oncologist (cancer doctor) is to determine the type, grade, and stage of the cancer in order to treat it appropriately. There are several ways of classifying type, grade and stage, and, subsets to each, but in the interest of clarity and simplicity, this article will refer to the type of cancer as the organ of origin (e.g. prostate cancer, lung cancer, etc...), the grade as the level of aggressiveness of the tumor based on the degree of differentiation (well differentiated, moderately differentiated, poorly differentiated and undifferentiated) of its cells, and, the stage as a simple Stage 1, Stage2, Stage 3, and Stage 4, signifying the progression of the disease (how far it has advanced or spread).

 

 
 

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter has presented"Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" have ranged from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series has been to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the four Cancer Insights articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.   

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

 

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