Bleeding and bruising in cancer patients is mainly associated with the failure of various factors controlling blood clotting. Clotting is mainly affected by; weak blood vessels, low platelet count, poor platelet function, and low vitamin K in the body. Low platelet count and poor platelet function (thrombocytopenia) are the main reasons for bleeding and bruising by cancer patients.
The whole issue of bleeding in cancer patients could be quite mystifying. However, don’t worry because we have the condition covered under this blog. You can also find more information presented by Laura in our “bruising treatment video” on YouTube.
Reasons for bleeding and bruising in cancer patients
Patients may experience bleeding and bruising due to; cancer itself, cancer treatment, medicines like blood thinners and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and surgeries for tumor removal. Other causes could be angiogenesis (which involves the growth of new blood vessels in cancer tumors) and local tumor invasions.
Causes and Symptoms of bleeding and bruising in cancer patients
Below is a brief explanation of each of these bleeding bruise causes in cancer patients:
This results from a low platelet count in the patient’s blood. Malfunctioning of the platelets is also a form of the thrombocytopenia problem.
One of the thrombocytopenia causes is chemotherapy which involves damaging tissues inside the bone… but the damage doesn’t last forever.
Antibodies responsible for the production of proteins that kill viruses and bacteria may at times destroy healthy platelets.
Cancer that spreads to the bone or the spleen may affect platelet levels. That’s because cancer in bones means that the bone marrow won’t produce new platelet cells. Also, cancer inhabiting the spleen occupies space where extra platelets should be stored.
Note: Platelets are tiny blood cells produced in the bone marrow. They stick together during an injury to form a plug or a clot which should stop bleeding.
Here are some symptoms of thrombocytopenia:
- Prolonged bleeding when injured.
- Running nose and gum bleeding.
- Blood in urine, vomit, or stool.
- Heavy menstrual cycles.
- More bruises than usual.
- Muscle and joint pains.
Also known as coagulopathy factors, these may lead to poor blood clotting in cancer patients’ body systems. One of these includes liver problems when the liver doesn’t produce enough clotting factors. Therefore, this causes bleeding from the liver or other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Liver cancer is also another major cause of bleeding which you can notice by having blood in the urine.
Lack of vitamin K (VK) in cancer patients is also a common factor common. Medical procedures like chemotherapy cause nausea and lowers your appetite. Appetite loss could lead to malnourishment and low intake of enough VK-rich foods will lead to easy bleeding.
Treatment and Control
Here is how you can take care of cancer bleeding and bruising:
Thrombocytopenia – Treatment of thrombocytopenia could be challenging in case the patient has other underlying conditions. However, radiation therapy, reduced chemotherapy, and platelet transfusion are some of the recommended solutions. Additionally, medications like oprelvekin can help accelerate platelet production during itp treatment.
Vitamin K – You can easily prevent Vitamin K deficiency by taking a variety of foods, especially vegetables.
Our medical team at OncoPower can guide you through the management process and precisely walk you through every step. You can also get more insights from videos on our Oncopower app. Our associates specializing in cancer-related issues will advice you on how to handle the problem.
Stress on the Rise
In our day to day world we are constantly being bombarded with external influences. Work deadlines, paying bills, pressure to keep the family together – the list is endless. Naturally, as individuals our stress levels are at an all time high. It seems almost impossible to keep up with day to day life, let alone make time for ourselves.
Just from the pandemic alone, stress has skyrocketed around the world, and our mental health has taken a toll for the worse. Add the pressures of day to day life on top of receiving a cancer diagnosis – stress from cancer can wreak havoc on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
This is why it’s extremely important to cultivate a mindfulness routine to better cope with life’s stresses.
How Does Mindfulness Help?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress, especially when dealing with cancer treatment.
Mindfulness will help you with being present. When you practice mindfulness, you begin to rewire the subconscious mind. You become more aware of what is happening around you without feeling overwhelmed or reactive. Cancer and stress go hand in hand, mindfulness can help you find relief from your cancer diagnosis.
Mindfulness helps you connect back to yourself. We tend to put the needs of others before our own needs. Mindfulness helps you take a moment to yourself. It is very important to fill up your own cup before the cup of others.
Mindfulness can also take you out of a place of stress from cancer and into a state of joy. You begin to express yourself fully and focus on a life where your cup feels full, even while going through your cancer healing journey.
Pausing to practice mindfulness for just a few minutes at different times during the day can help your days be better, more in line with how you’d like them to be.
Where To Begin?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis, as well as going through cancer treatment, can definitely pile on massive amounts of anxiety on top of the pressures of day to day life.
At OncoPower, we understand the stresses that one goes through with going through a cancer journey, and realize how important a mindfulness routine can be. It’s our priority to make sure that each patient receives the top care they deserve.
OncoPower serves as a comprehensive source of support for those who have been diagnosed with cancer through the entire cycle of care.
Patients can use the platform to ask specific questions related to their cancer diagnosis, as well as, utilize the resources such as video content, guided meditations, and other tools to assist them on their healing journey.
If you would like to receive additional one on one support, make sure to contact Meditation Teacher and Expert, Natalie Thomas, to assist you in kickstarting your mindfulness journey and combating cancer and stress today. You can also check out our Meditation Suite on the OncoPower App to try our guided meditations.
Today we will discuss the skin problems from cancer treatment and unveil how you can manage them. That’s because patients often worry when the side effects of cancer treatment kick in.
Cancer treatment can result in various skin problems like itching, rash, dryness, pigmentation, light sensitivity, nail problems, skin sores, and other forms of allergic reactions. Fortunately, we have the answers to this cancer treatment issue.
In this blog, we will discuss these skin problems and also recommend ways to manage them as covered in our YouTube video on “How to manage skin problems from cancer treatment.”
Causes of skin problems in cancer patients
Skin problems can result from;
- Immunotherapy targeted therapy drugs
- Radiation therapy and
- Organ transplant therapy.
For instance, cancer rash is a common skin problem among cancer patients during chemotherapy. There is a possibility that patients may experience a cancerous rash or cancer effects on the skin.
Manage Skin Problems From Cancer Treatment
There is no need to panic over rash during cancer treatment. This is because many cancer patients experience chemo rash associated with chemotherapy treatment. The best way to find out what causes your rash is by contacting a doctor and discussing your symptoms.
Cancer, itchy skin, and chemotherapy usually go hand in hand. This is especially so if a patient is undergoing more than one cancer treatment. The reason behind this itchiness is that chemotherapy can cause the nerve cells in the skin to degenerate leading to adverse side effects.
Due to cancer treatment, the skin might also become itchy and necessitate scratching. Sometimes, in the process of scratching the skin, sores might develop. Cancer skin sores are usually triggered by the body’s immune system.
Cancer sores normally take a lot of time to heal, and this can be a major concern for cancer patients because postponing cancer treatment also presents a variety of health risks.
The patient needs to identify the root cause of the particular skin problem, whether it’s radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment, or something else. However, identifying the cause is just the first step toward managing the problems; it is important to know how to deal with them.
How to manage the skin problems
Treating your skin every day will also go a long way in managing skin problems.
Here are some tips that might help you deal with skin problems in cancer patients:
- Manage rashes; Avoid any irritants such as soap, detergents, and creams with fragrances, wash skin with warm water and use moisturizing lotion at least twice a day to help keep the surface of your skin moist and soft. Your doctor may give prescriptions on how to use the lotion and also prescribe antihistamine pills to relieve itching. We recommend using moisturizers with urea, salicylic acid, and lactic acid.
- To manage light sensitivity; Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or above to shield your skin from the sun. Use protective clothes and hats since the sun’s ultraviolet rays may make your skin problems worse and can cause serious damage to your skin.
- To manage itching; The doctor may prescribe a steroid cream, a medicine that may help to relieve itching or rash. Getting a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medications prescription may also manage the rash.
- To manage nail problems; Avoid wearing tight shoes, wear gloves while working and keep nails short and moisturized to mitigate any potential nail problems.
- For effective management of the condition; Carefully watch out for skin infections and contact your doctor in case you develop fever, swelling, and redness among other signs.
It is important that you keep in touch with your healthcare team and also let the doctor know of any moisturizers that you are using. You can also download the OncoPower App where our experts offer free consultation services. On the app you can seek any clarifications about conditions or problems experienced after cancer treatment. You will also learn more on what to do during and after cancer treatment from our medical team through the OncoPower Website.
Dizziness during cancer treatment can either be a symptom of cancer or a side effect of various cancer treatments. Most patients encounter dizziness and light-headedness which range from temporary and mild to severe dizziness over a longer period.
What is dizziness?
Dizziness is the feeling of lack of balance or what feels like the spinning of a room which gets worse when one stands up. Dizziness during cancer treatment is a side effect of the various medications a patient may be undergoing. That doesn’t rule out the fact that cancer symptoms and signs can show similar effects.
However, it is not just cancer that can cause dizziness and feeling of fatigue all the time. There are several other causes of dizziness. Some of these causes may be easy to manage while some may need the professional services of an oncologist to treat or manage.
Note: While this blog will focus on how to deal with dizziness caused by cancer treatment, it is equally important to know how to deal with dizziness from other conditions and what precautions can help manage dizziness.
What causes dizziness during cancer treatment?
There are several causes for dizziness and light-headedness that could come and go unpredictably, sometimes each visit to the doctor completely eradicates the problem.
It is common for patients who have undergone chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment to experience dizziness.
Dizziness after radiation primarily occurs if the beams are directed to the nervous system including the brain and the spine which are essential for body balance.
Cancer treatments and various other treatments may cause anaemia. Anaemia in turn leads to a deficiency of oxygen and nutrients which results in dizziness. Similarly, underfeeding, inadequate drinking of water, and vomiting may also lead to dizziness. Patients with tumors especially in the brain may also experience dizziness.
Additional causes of dizziness
Drug-related dizziness may go away after using medication for quite a while. It is for this reason that researchers have drawn a strong relationship between dizziness and cancer. It is important to understand that because there are several causes of dizziness, it can be difficult for doctors and patients to pinpoint the exact cause.
Besides, there is a possibility that other causes may co-exist therefore it is important to extensively understand the causes of dizziness and manage it.
Other causes of dizziness:
- Fluctuating blood pressure
- Fluctuating blood sugar levels
- Ear disease or injury
- Heart problems
Below are recommendations on how cancer patients can manage dizziness
It is highly recommended that you contact your healthcare team in case dizziness persists for days. Your doctor will help establish the cause of your dizziness and provide the appropriate directions on how to manage it.
This is important since some symptoms coupled with others may imply serious illnesses such as stroke which need immediate attention.
Doctors may also provide palliative care for cancer patients to tackle cancer weakness and dizziness among other side effects. However, it is important to know how to cope with dizziness and light-headedness.
Managing dizziness during cancer treatment
- Drink a lot of water (up to 10 glasses a day)
- Avoid drinks with high caffeine levels
- Do physical activities, such as walking and swimming but be cautious not to hurt yourself when doing these activities
- When going up or down the stairs, support yourself with handrails
- You could also consider using a walking stick for balance
- Refrain from driving in case your dizziness persists
- Avoid standing abruptly or changing positions too quickly
- Observe your diet and proper nutrition
Do you have questions regarding cancer disease or other health issues?
Our experts are at your disposal on the OncoPower app and the OncoPower website. Here you can ask any question and access free guidelines from videos, in the Education Library section, created to specifically cover any of your concerns in particular. How can you access this crucial cancer information?
- Download the OncoPower app for Android
- Download the OncoPower Apple app for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac devices
This blog does not fully cover all the possible causes of dizziness and how to manage them. However, if your dizziness lasts longer than normal, talk to a doctor or get fast insights into the problem from our application, read from cancer websites. You may also watch our “managing dizziness in cancer patients” YouTube video and subscribe to the channel for timely notification once new resources are uploaded.
What is an Oncologist?
An Oncologist, also known as an cancer specialist, is a doctor who
assists in treating cancer while providing medical care for someone diagnosed with cancer.
With a focus on three major areas based on treatment for cancer patients: medical
oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology, the role of an oncologist is by no means
an easy feat.
Stress & Oncology
With long working hours, around the clock patient care, and dealing with the stress &
anxiety that a cancer diagnosis can naturally bring, many oncologists are tired, anxious, and
riddled with stress. Left untreated or not looked after, burning the candle at both ends can
lead many oncologists on the path of depression and additional ailments/disease within the
With mental health conditions on the rise across the globe, this is not an exception to
oncologists. Burnout is one of the leading causes of medical error and decreased quality of
patient care, along with compassion fatigue and overall physical, mental, and emotional
exhaustion. Constant worry and stress, coupled with a heavy workload, can leave havoc on
both the body and the mind for any oncologist.
Taking Care of Your Health
The role of an oncologist is one to be admired. Dedicating their time
to helping cancer patients heal, all while providing emotional support, is a role that is not
easy. Oncologists are true life savers and healers in this world, which is why it is extremely
important that they, too, take care of their overall health and wellbeing in order to thrive
both personally and professionally.
Here at OncoPower, we know how difficult it can be for oncologists to
manage their schedule, provide emotional support, all while maintaining balance in their
personal lives. We have developed a Daily Check-In on the app where you can keep track of
your mental health and see which areas of your life need improvement in order to achieve
optimal wellness. Along with the daily check in, we have dedicated a section to our
Mindfulness Suite, where we have specific meditations and breathing
exercises to assist oncologists with stress relief.
How Does Meditation Help Oncologists?
Meditation is one of the leading tools to assist people with handling life’s pressures and
finding balance and equilibrium in everyday life. Not only is it scientifically and clinically proven that meditation alleviates physical and psychological suffering in cancer patients, but
it has the same results for oncologists as well.
Through finding silence and stillness, oncologists can use meditation to calm their
sympathetic nervous systems, while decreasing cortisol levels within the body. With a never-
ending ‘to do’ list, caring for many patients at once, and an over thinking mind, the practice
of meditation will assist oncologists in lowering their heart rate and blood pressure, regulate
emotions, reduce stress, improve self-awareness, and enhance concentration and mental
clarity (to name a few).
Meditation and breathing exercises shift your awareness into a
new way of thinking and be-ing. You begin to view the world from a different lens. Little
things that would once trigger you seem to disappear. The heaviness of work seems to
dissipate. With consistent practice, meditation increases memory, cognition, and attention
for oncologists as well. It is also scientifically proven to help with symptoms of PTSD and aid
Practicing Meditation on OncoPower
As mentioned above, we have a Meditation Suite dedicated to assisting Oncologists with
relieving stress and anxiety from their day to day lives. The easy to use guided meditations
are also a great resource for oncologists to share with cancer patients who are looking to
relieve the stresses that a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment can bring.
Make sure to visit our OncoPower app to access our meditations for
oncologists and meditations for cancer healing. Here you can also find additional resources and access to a large community of oncologists and cancer patients.
And if you are interested in a 1:1 consultation with a Meditation teacher, make sure to reach
out to Natalie Thomas, our dedicated Meditation cancer care and oncologist specialist at
OncoPower, who can assist you on your mindfulness journey.
Meditation For Cancer Patients
Meditation is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. Meditation consists of quieting your thoughts to bring the mind, body, and soul into equilibrium. Even though Meditation has been around for thousands of years, it is only recently that it is gaining popularity and recognition in the western countries, particularly the United States.
While there are many connotations to assume that Meditation can be “woo-woo” or overly religious, please know this is certainly not the case. Meditation comes in many different forms, for it is, in fact, the art of essentially doing nothing. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? In a society where we are expected to work over time and are praised for being “busy”, quieting the mind, let alone spending time in silence, seems foreign, uncomfortable, and counter intuitive.
However, with mental illness on the rise, and cancer diagnoses continuing to grow, what is going on in our day to day lives that is bringing us to a place of ill health? The answer lies in stress from our external environment. This is why Meditation for cancer patients is extremely important.
Healing Through Meditation
There are now many studies showing that by practicing Meditation for cancer, you begin to heal – both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, Meditation lowers your blood pressure, decreases your heart rate and metabolism, improves your cardiovascular health and immune system, and much more. Mentally, you are better able to manage pain, can recover from depression and negative thinking, and helps with insomnia. Emotionally, Meditation guides you to a deeper connection within yourself, helps you manage your emotions, and prompts you to cultivate a deeper sense of love for yourself and others (to name a few). All of these benefits from Meditation go hand in hand with assisting you on your cancer healing journey.
Getting To The Root Cause
There is much belief and research that cancer can be caused by aberrant mental processes. This is why it is very important to get to the root cause of stress, anxiety and depression when treating cancer. When used along with standard medical treatment, Meditation for cancer patients assists you in gaining balance and equilibrium in the body.
Without Meditation and/or mindfulness practices, the stressors you might have once endured before being diagnosed with cancer (whether it be a trauma, emotional pain, mental illness, etc.) will still be present within the body. This is why it is extremely important to address the core wound, whether physical, mental, or emotional, in order to fully heal from cancer. Standard medical treatment is crucial and extremely important, but it is also highly beneficial to train the body and mind to release stress, and in turn, allow the root cause to be released from the body.
Decreasing Stress-Causing Hormones
Through practicing Meditation, you begin to merge your left brain with your right brain. Naturally, cortisol and other stress causing hormones that are being pumped into the bloodstream start to decrease after consistent practice of Meditation for cancer healing. Many people do not even realize they are living in fight-or-flight mode, which leads to extreme havoc on the body. Cortisol and additional stress hormones in the body can also lead to physical illness, which includes cancer.
The good news is that you can begin your Meditation for cancer journey anywhere and at any time. I also recommend checking out the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay for some additional affirmations and information about how illness is connected to the mind.
Mind Shifts Through Meditation
Please know that the benefits of even five minutes of Meditation are life-changing. Like working a muscle, you will begin to see over time improvements on your overall mood, health, and wellbeing. You will notice little shifts in your day to day life that will inspire you and give you the hope and strength to keep moving forward when dealing with your cancer treatment.
Meditations For Cancer Patients: Resources
Make sure to check out our Meditation Suite on the OncoPower app to begin the Meditation Course: Meditations for cancer healing, and for additional cancer support. With each meditation and breathing exercise, you will become one step closer to healing from cancer and feeling your absolute best.
If you are interested in a 1:1 consultation with a Meditation teacher, make sure to reach out to Natalie Thomas, our Meditation cancer care specialist at OncoPower, who can assist you every step of the way. Healing IS possible. And it all starts with taking a deep breath and going within.
Cancer is a disease that affects people differently. Some constipate, others face severe diarrhea problems, and all these side effects must be managed carefully for the patient’s wellbeing. There are different kinds of cancer depending on where the uncontrollably abnormal cell division(tumor) occurs. When treated early as any other illness or condition, one can actually be cured. However, cancer treatment can have some side effects depending on the individual’s immune response. Here we have constipation in cancer patients as a side effect of cancer and its treatment to see how we should deal with it.
What causes Constipation in cancer patients
Constipation is an irregular pattern of bowel movement that happens when the stool is difficult to pass as it becomes painful, less frequent, and dry. This can be quite an uncomfortable condition because the body absorbs more water and signals food to pass through the bowels. Constipation in cancer patients can go hand in hand with various treatments meant for the disease. A cancer patient may experience constipation due to the following reasons:
- A lack of enough fluids in the digestive system.
- Minimal to little physical exercise and body activities as it affects digestive ingestion patterns.
- Tumors in your pelvis, belly or allergenic reactions to various types of cancer treatments.
- Cancer medication may also lead to constipation issues. Pain medicine for instance may cause muscle slowness in the digestive system leading to more difficulty when passing stool.
Other medications used to prevent nausea, dizziness, vomiting, high blood pressure, diarrhea may affect the digestive track as well. These include chemotherapy drugs, iron supplements, and other drugs.
How do you know that you are constipating?
Sometimes we may not distinguish between when one is experiencing constipation due to cancer or other conditions. However, the body reaction and symptoms are similar in either case. Here are ways to know that you are constipated:
- Feeling nausea and vomiting
- Hard pellet-like bowel movement
- Frequently stomach gas passing
- Stomachaches or crumps
- Having irregular bowel patterns
Remedies for Constipation in Cancer Patients
For any health condition, one needs to figure out basic aid remedies that they can use to stay healthy and ease colon cancer constipation. These are basic tips you need to know:
- Drink lots of fluids. Dehydration is the cause of most constipation cases and taking fluids can make one feel better and stay hydrated. It’s recommended that you take at least 8 glasses of water daily.
- Keeping your body active as much as possible can real make a difference on your immune system. Walk, run, work errands, or engage in any other sort of exercise to change your ingestion patterns.
- Intake of high-fiber foods. Constipation is generally reduced by eating and taking substance with high fiber, but this may also be an issue in case you have gone through intestinal surgery. Remember to consult Rachel Spenser, our Registered Dietitian on OncoPower. Here are some tips on how to use nutrition to manage constipation,
- Avoid taking wrong medicines. Some constipation medicines may have severe impacts on cancer patients by causing bleeding and other side effects. Therefore, it is always a good idea to learn about your medicine.
Since cancer is a serious illness, applying these remedies should always be after consultation with your healthcare provider. Make sure they let you know how to keep track of your bowel movements, steps you can take to feel better, prescriptions, and any other essential dos and don’ts because they understand your condition better. You can watch a educational video on cancer-related constipation and oncologist’s recommendation to manage it on OncoPower app.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding or ‘Earthing’ is a term that has now gained popularity in the mindfulness space. Grounding is a therapeutic technique that includes activities and/or practices that ‘ground’ or reconnect you to the earth. This theory connects back to science and physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have a positive and healing effect on your body, essentially aiding in cancer treatment.
Grounding your energy is one of the fastest and simplest ways of releasing anxiety caused from cancer, bringing yourself back to a calm, centered, and balanced state. Grounding or ‘Earthing’ can be practiced anywhere and at any time. In fact, the more you practice grounding the better you will become at managing your mental and emotional states.
Through meditation techniques, visualization, walking in nature, or gardening outside (to name a few) you can begin to ground your energy. By learning and practicing to direct your own energy to connect with the Earth, it guides you towards a sense of balance and serenity. This is a great method that goes hand in hand with cancer treatment.
Five Ways to Ground:
- SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Spending time in nature to connect to the Earth rejuvenates the mind, body and soul. Taking time to visit the beach, go on a walk/hike, garden, or simply put your bare feet onto the earth will work wonders. A mere 20 minutes will leave you feeling more refreshed, calm, and clear minded.
Stretching and practicing Yoga on your mat helps to relieve any stiffness in the body while clearing your mind from thoughts and worries. The practice of Yoga grounds your energy while also detoxifying the body and organs. Emotions get released through Yoga which allows healing energy to flow more freely through you.
If you are interested in learning more about Yoga, make sure to try our yoga stretches on the OncoPower App. Your number one app for cancer support.
If you do not have access to going outside, you can use meditation and visualization to ground. Through meditation and breathing exercises, you train your mind to become more still. Start by visualizing yourself in the middle of a beautiful place. See the imagery around you and feel the ground beneath you. What does it feel like to be in this lovely place? Can you feel the nature around you?
Make sure to try our meditations located in the OncoPower app. On the app you can also be connected with Natalie, our Meditation teacher and cancer care specialist.
Journaling / writing is a fantastic way to ground and assist with cancer treatment. Through journaling, see if you can let your emotions flow onto the power. Any top of journaling will allow your creativity to flow. Sometimes a single thought can turn into a few pages of expressing and releasing. This all aids in grounding your energy.
- EPSOM SALT BATH
Epsom salt baths assist you in dissolving negative emotions that are being held in the body – from your own experiences to interactions with other people. Epsom salt baths not only ground you, but leaves you feeling more calm, lighter, and balanced.
Grounding helps with cancer treatment, chronic fatigue, anxiety & depression, sleep disturbances, and cardiovascular disease.
Make sure to download the OncoPower App for guided meditations, affirmations, and deep breathing exercises. On the app you can also find cancer care specialists, treatment recommendations, and a cancer support community. Our Mindfulness coach and Meditation teacher, Natalie Thomas, is also available for 1:1 support.
Metastatic Ovarian Cancer, also known as stage four ovarian cancer, is an advanced malignancy originating from the ovary and spreading to distant body parts, including the liver, lungs, spleen, and intestines, among others.
The spread occurs once cancer cells have detached from the primary tumor in the ovary and then move through a passive mechanism (with the help of physiological movement of peritoneal fluid to the peritoneum and omentum). This point suggests that the peritoneum is the first point of metastatic ovarian cancer metastasis before it reaches other distant body parts. Once diagnosed, it is important to understand metastatic ovarian cancer prognosis and if the disease is curable.
Doctors use a five-year survival rate to estimate the metastatic ovarian cancer prognosis of their patients. According to research, most women diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of about 17 percent. Note that this data is based on studies of other people, so it cannot be used to predict an individual’s survival rate.
Moreover, there are several other factors that influence an individual’s ordeal with metastatic ovarian cancer. Such factors include the woman’s general health, how her cancer responds to treatment and if they have other underlying health conditions, especially HIV.
Generally, concerning the metastatic ovarian cancer life expectancy of the entire globe, about 3 in 4 women live for at least one-year post ovarian cancer diagnosis. Moreover, about 45 percent of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer at its early stages can survive for more than two years before the cancer starts to metastasize. Metastatic ovarian cancer life expectancy also depends on the patient’s age since it has been found that women under 65 years live longer with it compared to those who contract it after 65 years.
Symptoms and Treatment
Patients usually experience metastatic ovarian cancer symptoms, which include abdominal distention and discomfort, persistent bloating, urgency and frequency of urination, as well as a loss of appetite. These symptoms are the general ones that nearly all patients would experience.
However, some symptoms can be specific to an individual and according to the secondary site of metastatic ovarian cancer metastasis. Also, note that some of the symptoms above can manifest for another type of disease, so it does not necessarily mean that you have metastatic ovarian cancer. However, if you are experiencing anything linked to metastatic ovarian cancer symptoms, you are advised to see a gynecologic oncologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
The liver is the most affected site of stage four cancer metastasis, not only for metastatic ovarian cancer but also for other carcinomas. Metastases to the liver are easily notable since their symptoms are typically unbearable. These symptoms include the ones listed below;
• Itchy skin
• Loss of appetite and vomiting
• Bloated belly
• Leg swelling
• Pian in the right upper part of the abdomen
• Yellowing and whitening of skin parts (jaundice)
According to autopsy studies on people who died of ovarian cancer, 42- 73 percent of the whole population had their cancer spread to the liver. Overall, ovarian cancer metastasis to the liver life expectancy is about 30 months for patients with single liver metastasis and with treatment. Those without treatment can live for just eight months or less. This number comes from follow-up studies on liver metastasis which showed that tumors on the liver take between 60-200 days to grow. A doctor can predict one’s life expectancy based on their circumstances.
Metastatic Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Is it possible to cure metastatic ovarian cancer? Here is a response from Dr. Ruchi Garg, a gynecologic oncologist on OncoPower. Metastatic ovarian cancer treatment focuses on controlling the disease for a long time while relieving one from pain and other controllable symptoms. Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Before deciding on a treatment plan, the doctor would consider many options, for instance, once, general health and how they might respond to some therapy. However, the most common metastatic ovarian cancer treatment plan involves chemotherapy before, and after surgery, a method doctors call interval debulking surgery (IDS). Also, one can undergo chemotherapy after surgery. Alternatively, some patients can just undergo chemotherapy without any surgery. This happens when the tumor is not so advanced. Note that there are some targeted cancer drugs, for instance, bevacizumab which is meant for very advanced cancers and is taken together with chemotherapy. You can also consult an oncologist and other specialists 24/7 with OncoPower Ask-A-Doc service to get guidance on how monitor and manage metastatic ovarian cancer.
Metastatic colon cancer is stage four colon cancer that has advanced and spread to other parts of the body, typically the lymph nodes and liver but may also spread to distant body parts, including the brain. It is the third most common cancer in the United States, excluding skin carcinomas. Doctors can easily treat colon cancer during its early stages, but upon metastasis, it becomes very hard to do away with the disease. According to research on metastatic colon cancer prognosis, the five-year survival rate of patients with metastatic colon cancer was 14 percent. As much as this percentage looks frightening, it still does not cover other factors influencing metastatic colon cancer life expectancy, including the person’s age, type of treatment they undergo, their overall immunity, and presence of an underlying chronic health condition like HIV. However, this data describes results from the past. With the improved technology and research, there is a chance that healthcare personnel will come up with ways to improve the above survival rate.
Treatment for metastatic colon cancer needs a tailored approach and largely depends on the person’s symptoms and degree of progression. Knowing where cancer spreads and its specific symptoms are vital when beginning metastatic colon cancer treatment therapy.
Symptoms and treatment
A person with colon cancer might not show any symptoms at its early stages. However, symptoms begin to show once the cancer has metastasized to other areas. Some general metastatic colon cancer symptoms include weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, unintended weight loss, rectal bleeding, dark red stools, and melena. In addition to the above symptoms, other symptoms come when cancer has adapted to a secondary site. These secondary symptoms vary depending on the part of metastasis.
Spread to the liver
The liver is the common site of Metastatic colon cancer spread. The doctor can find liver metastasis when diagnosing a patient with metastatic colon cancer. Also, liver metastasis can come about while one is undergoing treatment for stage four colon cancer. Some individuals with metastatic colon cancer spread to the liver usually don’t show symptoms. Others may show symptoms including blood in stool, epigastric pain, swelling on your belly, tiredness, weight loss, and feeling sick. An oncologist would look at your liver functions to confirm that metastatic colon cancer has affected your liver. Diagnostic tests for colon cancer spread to the liver include CT scans, liver biopsy, MRIs, and positron emission tomography.
Even though colon cancer has spread to the liver, the tumor in the liver is still made of colon cells. Therefore, the doctor would treat it as colon cancer, not liver cancer. Treatment options include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgeries to remove the colon and some parts of the liver. Colon cancer may block the intestine; in this case, a doctor would insert a tube called a stent to open up the blockage. Patients with just one tumor in the liver have the highest survival rates than those who seek medical attention when their conditions worsen. Some patients may become unlucky when metastasis to the liver comes after colostomies.
Spread to the lungs
Just like colon cancer spreads to the liver, doctors treat colon cancer metastasis to the lung differently from lung cancer. They usually prefer surgical excision using minimally invasive techniques in combination with chemotherapy to do away with colon cancer tumors in the lungs. It is important to note that lung metastasis is tailored down to an individual patient. The therapeutical method depends on which part of the lung cancer has been affected, the patient’s individual health, and other factors. Moreover, the patient can choose the type of treatment they prefer.
Newer methods of treating colon cancer metastasis to the lung include radiofrequency ablation, stereotactic therapy, and cryotherapy, among other traditional methods. Common metastatic colon cancer spreads to the lung symptoms include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest infections, and pleural effusion. Due to the above side effects of metastasis and treatment techniques, metastatic colon cancer life expectancy was very low, with a mean survival rate of just nine months when one receives the best supportive care. However, with 5-FU/LV, the average survival rate improved to 12 months. Furthermore, with a combination of 5-FU/LV and irinotecan or oxaliplatin, metastatic colon cancer life expectancy improved to between 14 and 19 months. You can also consult an oncologist and other specialists 24/7 with OncoPower Ask-A-Doc service to get guidance on how monitor and manage metastatic colon cancer.