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Conventional “Standard of Care” may cause brain tumors to become more aggressive

Posted by Sam on March 10th, 2013

A research team from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City identified cells in brain tumors called glioblastomas that have stem-cell like properties and help cancer cells survive chemotherapy. The surviving cells become resistant to the drug most commonly used to treat this type of brain cancer – Temozolomide, known by it’s brand name Temodar.

 

Glioblastomas have an almost 100% recurrence rate, and conventional medicine has no answer as to why. This new study may shed light on one of the  causes, but offers no options for treatment or alternatives.

 

Dr. Ronald Benveniste is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He explains that mice treated with Temodar tend to have a recurrence of the glioblastomas, and the recurring tumors act more aggressive and have developed resistance to the drug.

 

You can read the original article here:  Brain Tumor Drug May Help Spur Cancer’s Return

 

The unique, proprietary formula used by Camelot Cancer Care to combat gliomas and other brain tumors offers patients a non-toxic, natural treatment that has proven effective in many patients and without the brutal side effects of conventional chemotherapy.

 

Oncologists Conceal Toxicity Issues & Bias

Posted by Sam on February 27th, 2013

Reprinted from www.gordonresearch.com

What if oncologists are being lied to by big Pharma? What if they make so much money giving worthless treatments that they find it hard to tell the truth, even if they happen to know the truth?  This piece by Dr Sircus brings strong accusations against current cancer therapies with some powerful references to back up his concerns.

Try to help your patients understand that just because their insurance often pays 80% of the mainstream therapies – chemo, surgery, radiation – does not mean you get a bargain. If that therapy costs you $100,000 in one year and you are out of pocket $20,000, the “covered” treatment becomes a sad story as many of the documented useful therapies cost around $25,000 or so. Most of them do not make your subsequent cancer recurrence, should you fail to stay on my recommended lifetime preventive program, more resistant to later treatment. They fail to acknowledge that, if by the time you consult with an oncologist, if your cancer is already in more than one location in your body, you have a 2.5% chance of being alive after 5 years if you are foolish enough to follow their treatment plan.
Most fail to ask the key question: what is your 5 year survival rate if I take your treatment? And, by the way, I need to record your answer, as my family wants to know and I have a poor memory so please speak plainly into the microphone, as you tell me what my chances are of being alive in 5 years if I do as you say.
Sincerely,
Garry F. Gordon MD,DO,MD(H)
President, Gordon Research Institute
Oncologists Conceal Toxicity Issues & Bias
Conventional cancer treatments aren’t working for women with breast cancer. Women are falling into a cancer industry machine only to be spit out at the other end, permanently damaged and still with no reasonable assurance of long-term survival. Lord Maurice Saatchi is calling for the law relating to cancer treatment to be changed in England. He describes the current law as a “barrier to progress in curing cancer” and says doctors are deterred from trying new forms of treatment in case they are sued.
He said on public television, “The current treatments for women are medieval, degrading and ineffective. Women think of the worst part of treatment as hair loss but this is the good news. The less good news is the effect of the drugs—nausea, vomiting, fatigue—but this is still the good news. The really bad news is that the effects of the drugs on the immune system of women allow fatal infections to enter the body. Women are then as likely to die from the infection as from the cancer.”
There are laws that make it impossible for oncologists to go outside the established norms in treating cancer of any kind. In fact, punishment is severe and could mean lawsuits as well as the permanent loss of a job and/or license. Any deviation by doctors from what is standard procedure is likely to lead to being found guilty for medical negligence. This has led to the brutal treatment of women at the hands of predominantly male-oriented oncologists and radiologists.
When Lord Saatchi remarked about medieval methods he was not choosing his words lightly. In those days Christian torturers used to routinely target the breasts of women, often ripping them right off their chests. Surgeons at least use a knife and anesthetics but some women have their breasts removed for preventive reasons, so desperate are they to avoid breast cancer and the brutal treatments waiting for them.[1]
Dishonest Oncology
Orthodox oncology is not honest with itself so it is very difficult to believe or put faith in what oncologists say about breast cancer (or any cancer for that matter) because the results of drug trials to justify their treatments are regularly spun to conceal bias and make the drugs seem more effective or less toxic than they really are.
According to a study, “Bias in reporting of end points of efficacy and toxicity in randomized, clinical trials for women with breast cancer,” published in January 2013 in Annals of Oncology, researchers from the University of Toronto found that in 164 randomized Phase III clinical trials that a third were reported positively despite not meeting the primary objective, by emphasizing other, less important outcomes. “These reports were biased and used spin in attempts to conceal that bias,” the authors wrote. Some studies even changed the primary objective halfway through, possibly because early results suggested the trial would otherwise fail.[2]
The researchers also found evidence of bias in the reporting of toxic side effects of drugs used in two-thirds of the trials. In these cases, high toxicity findings were omitted from the abstracts and conclusions, and instead buried in the “small print” of the article. Medical scientists have been caught painting an overly rosy picture of their drugs for their own ends, which means for the end dictated by the companies that pay their bills.
In short, much of oncology is based on research fraud. In a study published in Nature in March 2012, researchers tried to replicate the results of 53 basic preclinical cancer studies. Of those 53 studies, only six were replicable. In his new book, Bad Pharma, Dr. Goldacre sounds a warning bell on the fact that drug manufacturers are the ones who fund trials of their own products. One of the most widely recognized and true tests of scientific proof is when these studies showing positive results can be and are replicated by independent researchers—not researchers chosen or paid by the drug manufacturer providing the original finding.
“Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analyzed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments,” writes Goldacre in his book. “When trials throw up results that companies don’t like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug’s true effects.”
This is a systematic flaw in the core of medicine.- Dr. Ben Goldacre
Erick Turner did a survey, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, of all the antidepressant trials filed with the United States Food and Drug Administration. There were 38 studies that produced positive results and 36 that produced negative results. Of the positive-result group, 37 of the studies were published. Of the negative-results group, only three were published.
Killing Yourself Slowly with Chemo & Radiation
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy aimed at killing cancer cells create cancer stem cells, meaning oncologists are causing cancer. Even Fox News reported on this saying that this might help explain why late-stage cancers are often resistant to both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. We know that cancer stem cells give rise to new tumors. These stem cells are ultimately responsible for the recurrence of cancers and the dangerous spread of a cancer throughout the body.
“Radiotherapy has been a standard treatment for cancer for so long, so we were quite surprised that it could induce stemness,” said study researcher Dr. Chiang Li, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
One young woman, Michelle Ruiz, diagnosed with breast cancer lamented, “I went through what my doctor called the Olympics of cancer treatment—a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy, and freezing my eggs just in case all that poison left me reproductively crippled. After losing my mother a few years earlier, I was angry at the universe. I’d always been soft and romantic, a total relationship person. I wanted a ring. I wanted to have babies. Who was going to marry me now? When you get diagnosed, you lose all control of your body. I couldn’t smoke anymore. I changed my diet. Your body is constantly being looked at, examined, picked at and positioned in scan machines. You’re objectified for that period of time because it’s really just survival mode and so you basically are at the doctor’s mercy.I felt like a test monkey pretty much. I just had to, in order to get through it, disconnect emotionally from my body.”
When women do survive such treatments they then face an increased risk of heart disease—so much so that at least some doctors are debating if it’s time to abandon a chemotherapy mainstay. Drugs called anthracyclines are a staple of breast cancer chemo despite the well-known risk: They weaken women’s hearts. “In the process of curing their breast cancer, we’ve exposed them to some pretty nasty things. And it’s not just one nasty thing, it’s a sequence of nasty things,” explains Dr. Pamela Douglas, a Duke University cardiologist.
“There’s no long-term benefit from using radiation to treat breast cancers because even though the cancer may not recur at the site of the radiation, the overall chances of survival stay the same or are slightly worse. And yet despite the fact that radiation helps so few women—and eventually kills many of those whom it helped in the short term—it remains the standard of care in medicine for women who have breast cancer,” writes Dr. John R. Lee, MD in his book “What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Breast Cancer.”
Don’t Regret the Choice of Treatment You Make
More than one in five women with early-stage breast cancer said they were given too much responsibility for treatment-related decisions—and those patients were more likely to end up regretting the choices they made, according to a U.S. study.[3] The findings, which appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, don’t mean that women should not be fully informed about their treatment options, researchers said, but rather that doctors may need to find new strategies to communicate with patients, especially the less educated.
“Some women may feel overwhelmed or burdened by treatment choices, particularly if they are not also given the tools to understand and weigh the benefits and harms of these choices,” wrote research leader Jennifer Livaudais and colleagues. Her team from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York surveyed 368 women who had just had surgery for early-stage breast cancer at one of eight New York City hospitals, and again six months later. The majority said they typically had trouble understanding medical information and less than one-third knew the possible benefits of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Livaudais and her colleagues found.
This book is about love in medicine but specifically it’s about providing a loving cancer treatment for women’s breasts as well as for other cancers involving sexual organs for men.
Oncologists are doing a poor job of informing American women with early-stage breast cancer about the disease or their options in terms of surgery. In a study published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, researchers found that, “Breast cancer survivors had fairly major gaps in their knowledge about their surgical options, including about the implications for recurrence and survival,” said study lead author Dr. Clara Lee, an associate professor of surgery and director of surgical research at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
Among the 440 patients who responded to the survey, less than half (about 46%) knew that local recurrence risk is higher after breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) than after mastectomy, and only about 56% of women knew that survival rates are equivalent for both options.
Many women did not recall being asked for their preference. The fact that less than half (48.6%) of the patients recalled being asked their preference was particularly concerning to Dr. (Clara) Lee. “It would be one thing if we were talking about decisions for which there is clearly a superior treatment, such as treatment for an inflamed gallbladder. In this case, it’s reasonable and actually better for the surgeon to make a recommendation. But here we’re talking about a decision where there is no medically right answer, and it really depends on the patient’s preference. In that situation, it makes sense to ask the patient what she prefers.”
Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P)
Director International Medical Veritas AssociationDoctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicinehttp://drsircus.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=25b08cc8b5ebaf472984d04d0&id=bec8e24da4&e=ba6f503af4
References:
[1] Study Explores Why Double Mastectomy Rate Is on the Rise; National Cancer Institute; Research Highlights Dec. 2012;http://drsircus.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=25b08cc8b5ebaf472984d04d0&id=b65998f698&e=ba6f503af4
[2] Bias in reporting of end points of efficacy and toxicity in randomized, clinical trials for women with breast cancer; F. E. Vera-Badillo, et al; Ann Oncol (2013) doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds636 First published online: January 9, 2013;http://drsircus.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=25b08cc8b5ebaf472984d04d0&id=9d018c623e&e=ba6f503af4

West Nile Virus: What it is and natural mosquito repellents to help prevent it

Posted by Sam on August 31st, 2012

West Nile virus is a type of virus that is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans; while some species of ticks have also been found to carry the disease, they are not a primary vector.

The virus has an incubation time of 2 to 8 days. Not all individuals who are infected will develop symptoms. The virus is usually mild in healthy adults, but can be quite serious for people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of West Nile include headache, fever, excessive sweating, chills, swollen lymph nodes, weakness, pain in the joint, drowsiness, and occasionally GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. The symptoms usually resolve in 7 to 10 days.

To protect yourself, try these natural mosquito repellents (look for these in the active ingredients on the label):

Picaridin. A chemical derived from pepper, picaridin (which may be listed on products as KBR 3023 or 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester) has shown the most promise as being an effective DEET replacement without any health affects.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus: Look for products containing 26% oil of lemon eucalyptus; it may may also be listed as para-Menthane-3,8-diol. Interestingly enough, the pure oil has not been found to be as effective as diluted formulations.

IR3535: A synthetic version of amino acids found in Vitamin B, this compound has been used in Europe for decades with no adverse side effects.

Some other useful ingredients include soybean oil, neem oil and geraniol – the oil found in geraniums. All were effective for up to three hours, but soybean oil lasted the longest, for up to 7 hours. Geraniol lasted almost as long, up to five hours.

Alternative or Conventional Medicine: Which Came First?

Posted by Sam on August 23rd, 2012

Just a point of view from a registered nurse with 34 years as an Infection Preventionist in Western Medicine, who has chosen to transition into naturopathy.

Now that I have awakened and finally moving into my destiny to help/assist others on their path, living according to the “laws of nature”, there are some questions rolling around in my mind and I’m wondering if anyone else thinks of these things…

When asked what I “do” for a living, I may share my transition into naturopathy. Here is a typical response; a wrinkled brow, a frown, a ”You are an RN, don’t you know better?” comment, or “Oh, you do that alternative/complimentary stuff”.  It is rarely received with any grace or enthusiasm when I share with colleagues in Western Medicine.  I find the hair on the back of my neck stands up on alert, as these comments may indicate a lack of understanding.  I smile and say: “Yes, I am a natural health professional”, and that pretty much ends the conversation.

What I might wish to say is ”Oh, do you believe that living according to the laws of nature is really the alternative?  Let’s see, which one really came first or second? And just how did any of this come to be considered as “alterative”? Here are some examples:

– We know that ancient Chinese medicine and herbal remedies have been around for centuries and they work!

-We know that healing modalities in vibrational/energy realms, including these mentioned below as examples, relieve pain and suffering…even promote healing….

-Healing Touch,

– Jin Shin Jytsu – (an ancient Japanese healing art)

– Cranial sacral therapy

-Acupuncture

-Several Biblical scriptures provide instruction on how to live according to the laws of nature. The Bible was written long before Western medicine developed, which gained momentum in the early 1800s.

-Food as nutrition…what a concept! If we eat only the things that our grandmothers would recognize as “food”, how much healthier as a nation we would be. What kind of impact could this have on the obesity epidemic now plaguing this country? Healthcare costs and spending for obesity-related/diabetic care are soaring.

-Pioneers in natural health include Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897).  If you check a Tabor’s medical dictionary, you would see that this German priest recommended lying in the dewy grass of the morning to ease the pains of rheumatism.  His work/research/books on water therapy claim cures to such things as TB, as well as many other ills. He is considered to be the founder of water therapy, or hydrotherapy to ease dis-ease as well as healing. Just plain water!  Nature has provided water, not Western medicine.

There are hundreds more examples from the world of natural health approaches. The topic could be an entire seminar to just mention all the wonderful ways we can apply the laws of nature to get healthy, remain healthy, and avoid many of the chronic, debilitating conditions that plague people in this country.

Why should any of this matter to you, many of whom are likely a patient, family member of a patient, or a visitor to the Camelot Cancer Care?  It matters because you too have had an awakening, that there just may be choices in how to get well beyond what you will hear/learn about on television, Big pharma marketing their drugs directly to you in a most glamorous fashion, and even from your medical physician, or surgeon.

Congratulations on making your investment to become educated on your choices in care/treatments so that you can make informed decisions. This will help each one of you to trust your inner intuition along with the evidence and options presented to you.  There can certainly be a blend of natural healing/living approaches with assistance from Western Medicine as well.  Just be sure to check out all your options.

May each one of you reading this be Blessed in your choices as you continue on your path to health.

Linda J Kneipp, RN, CIC, CNHP

 

Ultra-Violet Blood Irradiation (UVBI): Using the power of light to kill cancer, viruses and bacteria

Posted by Sam on July 10th, 2012

We have known for hundreds of years that sunlight is excellent for killing germs. As early as the 1880′s, researchers and doctors were delving into the germicidal properties of natural light. One such pioneer was Dr. Niels Finson, who began to explore the potential effects of ultraviolet light.

Nearly 50 years later Emmet Knott began to explore the medical uses of ultraviolet light – using a machine that he invented which allowed blood to be withdrawn from a patient’s arm, exposed to a specific frequency UV light and returned to the patient – he was able to cure a case of sepsis, a serious blood infection. By the early 1940′s, over 6,000 patients had been cured of various diseases.

Alternative medicine has embraced the technology of using ultraviolet light as a means to heal various diseases, including cancer. By exposing certain cells borne in the blood, be they cancer, viruses or bacteria, we can administer a precise amount of UV light to those cells using the UVBI machine invented by Knott and refined by modern technological advances.

Although the full and exact method in which this therapy works is still only roughly understood, we do know that exposure to a specific wavelength of UV rays damages the DNA of cells. If the DNA of the cell is sufficiently damaged, the cell will be unable to replicate, thereby undergoing apoptosis – programmed cell death.

The cells destroyed in this manner then act as a sort of vaccine, teaching the immune system to look for other cells like the ones damaged by UV light and ultimately destroying them.

Paying for Alternative Cancer Treatment: Some ideas to help you get started

Posted by Sam on June 4th, 2012

As many of you may already know, insurance will cover conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery; what you may not know is that it will not cover alternative treatments. DMSO, while approved by the FDA for the treatment of interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), is used off-label by Camelot Cancer Care as part of a unique and effective alternative cancer treatment therapy.

Like conventional therapy, DMSO is administered in doses known as rounds. A round of treatment is 20 days and runs $12,000 for patients with a PICC line or port, or $13,000 if the patient has a PICC line inserted at Camelot Cancer Care. Unlike chemo, the unique DMSO-based protocol used at Camelot has few, if any side effects; the most common is a slight headache, which can be alleviated by slowing the IV drip.

So how does one pay for this treatment out of pocket since none of it is covered by insurance? Well, here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Ask your church or other faith-based organization. These types of organizations are often willing to provide a loan, take a collection or perhaps even offer a grant for congregation members in need.
2. Ask your family and friends; then spread the word. Keep a list of donors, send thank-you cards or e-cards, and ask your local paper to print a small PR statement, or post it yourself on a free PR site.
3. Host a fundraiser. You could sell anything from baked goods to crafts that you made yourself.
4. Take out a personal loan. There are several loan companies that loan specifically for medical costs – just do an internet search for medical loans.
5. Cash in some investments. If you have 401K money stashed away, you may be able to make a withdrawal for fast cash.
6. Host a charity concert. If you know someone with a musical talent, ask them to do a charity performance in your community and donate the proceeds.
7. Silent auction or garage sale. Ask your community to donate items for a silent auction or garage sale.
8. Host an ice cream social or block party. Draw people in your community together to enjoy home-made (or bought) ice cream and socialization while raising money and spreading the word about your chosen alternative treatment. You might be surprised at the impact that networking can have.
9. Donations. Set up a bank account and put out the word through your community or your social media channels to raise money for your treatment, then follow up with blog posts about your progress and to recognize your donors.

Cancer: Showing up for the Family

Posted by Sam on May 6th, 2012

It is usually an unexpected turn of events that leaves a family caring for someone.  What it means is that our lives go from super busy and tough-to-manage to what now may seem impossible.  Caring for anyone, especially a loved one who is ill with cancer, can be mentally and physically exhausting.

When we, or someone we love, take on the role of caregiver, we can often see what they don’t – we see the toll it takes on them and the stress it puts on their family and home.  Even if they pick up the mantle of caregiver with love and pride, the outpouring of emotions and hard work toward a patient ill with cancer can be overwhelming.

So what do we do to support a loved one in that role – and how do we do to get support if it’s us?

First, simply show up.  Just because a family develops a routine does not mean that they couldn’t use a break – or an ear. Don’t be afraid to ask about their story or look for how you can support them.  An open line of communication is priceless, and sometimes we do a magnificent job of looking like we’ve got it all under control – but we don’t.  If you’re the caregiver for a loved one with cancer, resist the urge to say “Fine” when someone asks how you are. Allow yourself to be honest about what’s happening on any given day.  Keep those lines of communication open with your own support network too. Sometimes having someone to listen to us is the best medicine.

If you see someone you care about struggle under the burden of caregiving, trust your instincts.  The list of small things you can do to help is limitless:  Cook a meal (yes, this is obvious, but it’s also always helpful).  Offer childcare for their kids so the caregiver can focus on their patient – or even themselves.  Put together a pampering basket of books and music. Offer to spend time with the cancer patient – sometimes just keeping them company allows the caregiver and their family to regroup for a little while, even if you’re in the next room.

The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to let someone be there for you – take the risk to reach out and be there for them. 

To your health and well being,

Samantha Mayfield
Intake Coordinator
Camelot Cancer Care

 

Yoga for Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones

Posted by Sam on April 30th, 2012

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely sought by cancer patients and survivors. In fact, a recent study estimates that it is used by over 75% of cancer patients. In 2008, the National Cancer Institute supported over $121 million in CAM-related research.

When we have cancer – or care for someone who has cancer – we know we need to rest and relax our bodies and minds, but that is often easier said than done. Yoga is a tool that helps patients to rest and relax, and naturally calms anxiety. We are only now beginning to understand the profound impact of the mind-body connection as it relates to cancer, and yoga – an ancient tradition involving meditation, deep breathing and movement – can be beneficial for many serious and chronic health conditions. This is not a theory – according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual report on progress against cancer, those who add palliative care, like yoga, to their treatment programs live longer and have better lives than those who focus strictly on their physical well-being.

For instance, researchers recently discovered that more than seventy-five percent of patients being treated with chemotherapy suffer from insomnia — three times as many found in the public at large. In addition to the normal wear and tear on the body, patients who develop insomnia are also much more likely to suffer from fatigue and depression – something cancer patients (and their caregivers and loved ones) simply cannot afford.

A study focused on cancer survivors found that only 4 weeks of yoga actually helped them sleep better, experience less fatigue and improved their overall quality of life. And as we know all too well, cancer patients not only fight to stay alive, they also fight to maintain quality of life.

Another powerful example of this is the research done by Dr. Michael Irwin, a professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at UCLA.  Dr. Irwin is researching the use of tai chi in cancer survivors. Like yoga, tai chi incorporates stretching, gentle movement and emphasizes the mind-body connection.

For cancer patients with stage three or stage four malignancies, quality of life is essential. While we all know that every day of life is precious, these patients and their families live with a constant reminder of the clock ticking. Every moment spent in fatigue or depression is literally a lost treasure. The simple gifts of yoga – increased flexibility, healing energy, a calming influence on the nervous system, and relaxed mind and body, are literally priceless.

The restorative poses of yoga and tai chi, the long slow deep breaths, the mental focus – all of these things combine to give the body a chance to rest and give the mind a chance to relax. And fortunately, in today’s online society, a yoga practice can still be done with a trainer in a studio – or even in the privacy of one’s home, with family and friends. In fact, this may provide a strong bonding exercise and a natural support group for the patient and their loved ones.

For MUCH more information on the topic, please visit the article “Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors,” by Julienne E. Bower, PhD, Alison Woolery, MA, Beth Sternlieb, and Deborah Garet, MPH. You can find that article at http://bit.ly/YogaForCancerPatients.

 

Samantha Mayfield
Intake Coordinator
Camelot Cancer Care

A Healthcare Proxy: The MOST Important Document for a Patient AND Their Family.

Posted by Sam on April 23rd, 2012

One thing every cancer patient and their loved ones knows, beyond a doubt, is that life is a gift. It’s a reality that the rest of us can sometimes forget – that there are no guarantees. One day at a time, that gift means that we are here, threaded into one another’s lives.

A Healthcare Proxy is one of the most important gifts you can give your loved ones, believe it or not. It signifies who, among your family and friends, you have formally asked to step in and make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions during your illness. This is something you should do formally – taking the time to ask the person and to explain in detail what your wishes are. It is never easy when someone is ill. These are difficult conversations, but they not only spare everyone involved from guesswork, guilt and worry, they also sometimes open the lines of communication with the most important people in our lives and give you a chance to truly communicate with each other.

While there are many documents we should all have filled out and clearly labeled in our homes, or even available on line, in the case of a Healthcare Proxy, you should literally have this document in your possession at all times – literally in your purse or wallet. (And remember that the laws about how a Healthcare Proxy needs to be executed and utilized vary from state to state. Check with your attorney or your doctor to be sure yours are executed properly.)

What IS a Healthcare Proxy? Quite simply, a healthcare proxy is what is called an advanced directive – that means a document that allows you to appoint an agent on your behalf, who is empowered to make healthcare decisions in the event you cannot. The idea is that the patient’s wishes are followed even if they are incapable of communicating them. This can often unburden our loved ones from making difficult decisions in some very tough situations.

Be sure that your chosen person is comfortable to advocate for you and feels confident in the choices you have made about your healthcare, under all circumstances.

Remember that these documents vary state by state. You can download your individual State’s Advance Directives by clicking here.

Samantha Mayfield
Intake Coordinator
Camelot Cancer Care

Choosing a Home Health Aide for Your Family Member with Cancer

Posted by Sam on April 16th, 2012

As any family with a loved one who has cancer knows, finding support is vital to keeping EVERYONE healthy through the process, even if it’s just one day a week. While friends and family are great, in the event you decide to hire a home health aide, there are questions you should definitely ask before giving that person access to your home and your family.

Here are five questions to help you get started with the process and find the best person to support you and your patient through this time of recovery.  It’s very important to remember to take your time and be sure that the aide has the other qualities most important to you and your family too, however.  Take the time to ask your family members what those qualities are – for instance, is it vital that the aide is quiet – or would you rather have someone friendly and bubbly?  That’s just one example, but the time you put into the hiring process at the beginning can save you hours of frustration as you go through aide after aide if you DON’T do your due diligence properly.

5 Questions to Use When Choosing a Home Health Aide

  1. Is the Home Health Aide certified and formally trained and how long have they worked in your community?
  1. Is the patient’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by the home health aide?
  2. What are the financial procedures of this provider?
  3. What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are its caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
  4. How does this provider ensure patient confidentiality?

 

In addition, definitely request that your potential Aide supply you with a list of references (and call them all).  These may be doctors or nurses, discharge planners, patients or family members that they’ve worked with before.

Samantha Mayfield
Intake Coordinator
Camelot Cancer Care