“Eating Well During Cancer.” This video series and resource toolkit features a Dana-Farber nutrition specialist. It explores how diet can help support your health and wellbeing during and after cancer treatment. Follow the links for recipes and answers to questions you may have about nutrition.
“Eating Well for Life after Cancer.” The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) offers a wealth of great web resources including video recordings of presentations to cancer survivors. This link takes you to a page with a longer talk by a clinical nutritionist. There are four video segments: Nutrition Basics for Cancer Survivors (16:39 minutes), Alcohol, Soy and Dietary Supplements and Cancer Risk (8:32), Weight Management After Cancer Treatment (12:27), and a Q&A session (5:14).
Share, an organization that provides support to women with breast and ovarian cancer, posted this recording of a one-hour long webinar entitled, “Optimal Nutrition for Cancer Survivors.” A nutritionist reviews the current guidelines for nutrition and cancer survivorship, including highlights of cancer-fightiƒng foods that can help to decrease risk of recurrence. She provides helpful strategies on how to implement these recommendations into your current diet and lifestyle. While you are on the website, check out other webinars, past and up-coming, for topics that interest you.
“Nutrition and Cancer – Integrative Medicine Today.” In this 57 minute video, Dr. Donald Abrams, Chief of Oncology at UCSF, sifts through some of the complex data on the relationship between nutrition and cancer; specifically, he discusses how what we eat affects our risk of cancer.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) conducts research on how lifestyle choices affect cancer risk. Its website offers a wealth of information for people who want to improve their health. In particular, the “Test Kitchen” compiles hundreds of recipes using cancer fighting foods. Every dish has been rigorously tested and approved by AICR recipe developers, dietitians and staff. For a new AICR recipe every week via email, sign up for Health-e-Recipes.
Consider taking AICR's New American Plate Challenge, a 12 week interactive program to get you eating smarter, moving more, and managing your weight.
Eating well and being active can help you gain strength and energy. In these two brief “Moving Forward” videos from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about how diet and exercise can play a key role in your health, both during and after cancer treatment. These videos are part of a series aimed at young adults. Follow the links on the webpage for resources on related topics.
The American Cancer Society provides links to a variety of resources you may find helpful. Its websites "Get Healthy" section offers information for cancer prevention as well as for survivorship. Click on the "Eat Healthy and Get Active" like for diet and exercise advice.
Rebecca Katz is a nutritional educator and chef who has written several cookbooks, including The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen and One Bite at a Time, for cancer survivors and their friends. Her website offers videos on healthy foods and how to prepare them, along with many recipes. Many of the resources on her website are free. If the recipes and videos whet your appetite to learn more, you may want to consider signing up for one of her online cooking courses, "The Cancer Fighting Kitchen" ($97) and "Clean Soups" ($36)
Linda Watson is a Raleigh-based cook, teacher, and writer who invites you “to become happier, healthier, and more secure by cooking and eating real food again.” Her website provides a wealth of resources for learning how to cook local, organic produce on a budget. She promises: “You'll reduce your grocery bills and probably your medical bills. You'll have the joy of vibrant health and the relief of being able to eat well on even a small budget. You'll make a positive difference for yourself, your family, and for your community and planet.”
In this brief video, “Exercise and Cancer Survivorship,” (6:55 minutes) Jennifer Ligibel, MD, discusses how exercise helps to reduce cancer survivors’ risk of recurrence, as well as its other benefits.
“The Importance of Exercise in Cancer Survivorship” link on the webpage below takes you to a series of four videos. MSKCC physical therapists describe how exercise helps cancer survivors manage fatigue (7:17), offer guidelines for starting an exercise program (19:22), advise on considerations for safe exercise (7:39), and recommend alternative forms of exercise such as yoga, pilates, tai chi, and water aerobics (24:59).
Another valuable MSKCC webpage contains videos with demonstrations of yoga (8:15), focused breathing (Level 1, 15:29, and Level 2, 14:58), strengthening exercises (17:47), and Qi Gong (five videos, 4:46, 10:20, 8:40, 6:04, and 8:17). These exercises are accessible to people of any level of fitness. (To find them, click on the "Related Videos" button on the right hand side of the page.)
Exercises for Cancer Survivors – “Keep Moving.” Donna Wilson, RN is a personal trainer at MSKCC. She describes various forms of exercise and gives practical advice on how to increase physical activity in your daily routine (28:18 minutes).
“Mindful Yoga.” The University of California-San Diego website linked below contains downloadable audio and video files used in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses. If you would like easy-to-follow instruction in yoga, check out the MBSR videos on the tab labeled “Guided Yoga Audio and Video.” There are two versions of each yoga practice: one showing the teacher demonstrating the poses on the floor, the other, showing a student doing the same poses while seated in a chair.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) programs use guided meditations to help people relax and learn to cope better with the stressors in their life. This link takes you to downloadable audio files of 10- to 45-minute meditations.
This UCLA website also offers audio files of short (3-19 minute) guided meditations.
Tara Brach, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, offers numerous free guided meditations, ranging from 10-40 minutes in length.
People of all ages and experiences find it helpful to learn relaxation techniques to help manage the stress in their life. Below are links to three university counseling centers that have compiled resources for students. You might find a technique that works for you!
Self-Care Techniques. James Gordon, MD, director of the Center for Mind Body Medicine, offers several short podcasts with easy to learn techniques for relaxation and improving your health.
The Cancer Support Community (CSC) is a nonprofit network that offers social, emotional, and informational support to people impacted by cancer. While the nearest CSC affiliate is in Greenville NC, anyone, anywhere can make use of the help-line and online support groups and chatrooms. The following page provides resources for coping with stress:
The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School maintains a website with comprehensive information about healthy sleep. This page summarizes “12 Simple Steps to Improve Your Sleep.” You might be surprised at how simple—and overlooked—they are!
“The House of Cards Characters Have Terrible Sleep Hygiene.” Learn by laughing at the ultimate power couple, Frank and Claire Underwood.
“You Really Need to Sleep.” The University of Michigan Health Center offers an eight-page guide on how to improve your sleep hygiene. It includes a worksheet for tracking your progress toward better sleep.
The University of Michigan provides even more ideas for promoting better sleep, as well as a short but informative video.
The Cancer Support Community hosts a variety of webinars for cancer survivors in its “Frankly Speaking about Cancer” series. The link below takes you to a page that discusses several survivorship issues, including fatigue and sleep health. At the bottom of the page are links to webinars “Managing Sleep Health” (1:27:35) and “Coping with Fatigue” (1:31:00).
Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit educational organization. Its website offers a comprehensive discussion of lymphedema, how it can be prevented, and how to manage it.
The National Lymphedema Network is a not-for-profit organization that provides guidance and education about lymphedema and its treatment. Its website contains information about the condition, including an educational video series as part of its Lymphedema Awareness Campaign.
“Day to Day Coping with Lymphedema” is a recorded lecture by a lymphedema therapist at MSKCC. She addresses that there is often conflicting advice given about the condition. She provides her professional judgment of how best to prevent and manage it. There are ten segments in the presentation. In addition to the introduction and Q&A sessions, she covers the lymphatic system (4:41 minutes), the causes of lymphedema (8:46), how cancer treatment affects it (8:55), skin care (17:42), exercise and risk reduction (9:27), diet (3:34), air travel (10:29), and stress (2:36).
“Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema” is a one hour audio recording of a webinar presentation by Ting-Ting Kuo, a physical therapist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. On the same webpage is another webinar recording on persistent pain after breast cancer treatment. SHARE is an international support program for breast and ovarian cancer survivors first started in 1977.
The Step Up-Speak Out website was created by people who have experienced lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. The site brings together several informational resources and answers frequently asked questions. Its founders encourage other people experiencing lymphedema to learn more about the condition and to advocate for more research and better treatment.
“Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Chemotherapy.” Memorial Sloan Kettering experts describe peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy and offer tips for managing symptoms. The lecture is 45 minutes long and is in four parts: understanding PN (10:28), diagnosing CIPN (5:32), treating CIPN symptoms (12:08), and improving function in patients with CIPN (16:49).
The LiveStrong website offers a concise overview of neuropathy in cancer survivors and encourages communication with your health care providers.
The mission of the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy is “to dramatically improve the lives of people living with peripheral neuropathy.” This site not only explains peripheral neuropathy in a clear and detailed way, it offers a wealth of information for “living well,” including advice about nutrition, exercise, and complementary therapies. https://www.foundationforpn.org/what-is-peripheral-neuropathy/
“Fatigue after Cancer Treatment.” Most people simply rest when they get tired, and wake up feeling refreshed. For cancer survivors, resolving issues of fatigue isn't always so easy. Fatigue in cancer survivors (and people who have cancer) can have many causes, ranging from problems sleeping to depression, but there are steps you can take to reduce your fatigue. Follow links on this webpage for more information about what you can do and to listen to an interview (5:36 minute) with William Pirl, MD, on how to cope with fatigue.
“Cognitive Changes after Cancer Treatment.” After treatment, some cancer survivors notice problems remembering things, or they may feel as if they are thinking and processing more slowly. You might notice you're having memory lapses, problems thinking of the right words, difficulty concentrating on what you're doing, or not being able to multitask. Cancer survivors often refer to this condition as "chemo brain." In a 5:58 minute video on this webpage, a psychologist talks about these cognitive changes and how to cope with them.
“Post Treatment Changes in Thinking and Memory.” A psychologist takes on the complex impacts of cancer treatment on cognitive function. His lecture is in six parts: the impact of treatment on body and mind (12:18 minutes), strategies to improve cognitive function (8:49), how fatigue, depression and other factors affect cognitive function (6:18), evaluating and treating memory loss (16:40), common cognitive problems (5:58), and a Q&A session (5:00).
The Cancer Support Community hosts a variety of webinars for cancer survivors in its “Frankly Speaking about Cancer” series. The link below takes you to a page that discusses several survivorship issues, including fatigue and sleep health. At the bottom of the page are links to webinars “Coping with Fatigue” (1:31:00) and “Managing Sleep Health” (1:27:35).
“Fear of Cancer Recurrence.” A normal part of surviving cancer means fearing that cancer will come back. This concern may lessen over time, or it may stay the same. On this webpage, a social worker provides strategies you can use to overcome these worries (6:09 minutes).
“Depression and Anxiety after Treatment.” A psychologist describes some of the signs that someone is dealing with the real illnesses of depression and anxiety (6:50 minutes).
“Emotions after Treatment, parts 1&2.” The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle sponsors a website with a number of resources for survivors. This two part lecture is on its page with video lectures. (Scroll down on the page to find the two parts.) A psychologist describes the normal emotions after active cancer treatment (Part 1 – 14:21 minutes) and what actions have helped people cope with these emotions (Part 2 – 15:06 minutes).
“Coping and Survivorship after Cancer Treatment.” Jimmie Holland, MD, is a pioneer in the field of psychological support of people living with cancer. She wrote a book, entitled The Human Side of Cancer, about the impact of uncertainty on their lives. This lecture has six parts: the overview (7:51 minutes), anxiety after treatment (3:19), post-treatment surveillance (2:28), side effects of treatment (5:42), coping with life after treatment (8:05), and the Q&A session (16:00).
“Fear of Recurrence.” It’s normal to feel concern about whether the cancer will come back after treatment. In these two “Moving Forward” videos (5:35 and 6:59 minutes) from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn how to cope with this common fear from oncology experts and young adult survivors.
“Female Sexual and Vaginal Health after Cancer Treatment.” A sexual health therapist talks about the effects of cancer treatment and menopause on women’s sexual health as well as evidence-based strategies for improving sexual health. Her lecture has six parts: patients and doctors: talking about sexual health (2:31 minutes), changes in sex and vaginal health (4:28), the impact of menopause (2:03), simple strategies to improve sexual and vaginal health (9:26), the complex issue of hormone replacement (5:53), and tips and resources for sexual rehabilitation (10:24).
“Sexuality and Intimacy for Women after Cancer Treatment.” Jennifer Potter, MD, discusses sexuality and intimacy issues for women who have completed active cancer treatment in this 7:53 minute video.
“Dating and Sexuality.” Cancer and its treatment may have sex-related side effects, and this can create hurdles in building or maintaining relationships. In these two “Moving Forward” videos ( 4:35 and 5:40 minutes) from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about coping with such challenges from medical experts and young adult survivors.
Laurie Watson, MA, LMFT, Director of Awakenings—Center for Intimacy and Sexuality in Raleigh, is a certified sex therapist with twenty-five years of experience working with couples and individuals about love and sex. She published the following article in Psychology Today, addressing the sexual health concerns of breast cancer survivors:
Her practice’s website offers some resources that can help cancer survivors cope with the long term physical and emotional effects of treatment on sexual health. Check out the articles and books to read, especially the “Breast Cancer Survivor’s Vagina Wishlist” under the Resources tab:
Watson and her colleague Dr. Adam Mathews host a regular podcast “Foreplay-Radio Sex Therapy” available on iTunes and at the website below. Episode 37 specifically addresses the sexual side effects of breast cancer treatment.
“Why Don’t They Hear Me? Communicating with Friends and Family after Treatment Ends.” MSKCC family therapists address the emotional challenges for survivors and their loved ones in the time after active treatment ends. The five videos in this series include an introduction (2:45 minutes), Survivorship: a significant phase of the illness experience (7:46), Cancer Survivorship with the Family (10:27), Communication Styles and Pitfalls (23:48), and a Q&A session (11:27).
“Yes, I survived cancer. But that doesn’t define me.” In this 16:09 minute TED talk, Debra Jarvis, a hospital chaplain for nearly 30 years when she was diagnosed with cancer, explains how the identity of “cancer survivor” can feel static. She asks us all to claim our hardest experiences, while giving ourselves room to grow and evolve.
Suleika Jaouad documented her experience as a young woman undergoing treatment for leukemia in the New York Times “Life, Interrupted” columns and video series. In this column, “Lost in Transition After Cancer,” she describes her challenges after treatment ended. Perhaps you will find something in her reflections that resonate for you.
“From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition” is a 17 minute video produced by The National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine. It recommends that each cancer patient receive a "survivorship care plan." Such plans should summarize information critical to the individual's long-term care, such as the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and potential consequences; the timing and content of follow-up visits; tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing recurrent or new cancers; legal rights affecting employment and insurance; and the availability of psychological and support services.
“Self Image after Breast Cancer Treatment.” In this six minute video, Dr. Eric Winer outlines some self-image and body image changes a woman may encounter due to breast cancer treatment, along with coping strategies. Follow links on this page to other resources that address your concerns.
Moving Forward, a patient education video series for young adults with cancer, addresses a wide range of concerns held by cancer survivors. The following two links take you to webpages pertinent to relationships with family and friends.
“Family and Friends.” Cancer often changes a person’s relationships with friends and family members. In these two “Moving Forward” videos (4:00 and 7:13 minutes) from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more from medical experts and young adult survivors about keeping the lines of communication open so you get the support you need.
“Body Changes.” Cancer and its treatment can change how your body looks, feels, and performs. In these two “Moving Forward” videos (5:02 and 4:49 minutes) from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about coping with such changes from medical experts and young adult survivors.
“Finishing Treatment: What Comes Next?” Dr. Lidia Schapira discusses what to expect in the time period after your cancer treatment is complete and your transition to survivorship (3:56 minutes).
“Post-Treatment Concerns for Breast Cancer Survivors.” Dr. Ann Partridge talks about issues that face breast cancer survivors: short and long term effects of treatment, bone health, and emotional concerns during their transition from active treatment (9:54 minutes).
“Moving Beyond Breast Cancer.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has posted a 24 minute video in which survivors talk about their emotional, physical and social challenges. The website also links you to the NIH booklet for cancer survivors: Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment and other resources.
The Cancer Survivor Toolbox is a free, self-learning audio program produced collaboratively by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The Toolbox offers information useful to survivors as well as people at the start of their journey. It is available as a free audio download on the website linked below.
Survivorship: Living With, Through and Beyond Cancer. These two short videos describe the stages of survivorship and guidelines for healthy living and follow-up care. They were produced by the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“The Cost of the Cure: Collateral Damage from Breast Cancer Treatment with Susan Love, MD.” Dr. Love discusses the long term side effects breast cancer survivors may not have anticipated while going through treatment. She set out to document these issues by “crowd-sourcing” the experience of hundreds of women.
This talk also describes the Health of Women (HOW) study, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation effort to crowd source data to help better understand what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it. The following link takes you to the HOW website:
Moving Forward, a patient education video series for young adults with cancer, addresses a wide range of concerns held by cancer survivors. The following three links take you to webpages pertinent to financial issues.
“Work.” Dealing with cancer while in the workplace may be a concern for you. In these two “Moving Forward” videos from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about job-related issues from oncology experts (5:10 minutes) and young adult survivors (5:30).
Health insurance coverage is a particularly important issue to review when facing a cancer diagnosis. In these two “Moving Forward” videos from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about managing the financial aspects of cancer from oncology experts (3:48) and young adult survivors (4:49).
“Bills and Medical Expenses.” A cancer diagnosis often raises questions about the costs of care and financial paperwork. In these two “Moving Forward” videos from ASCO and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, learn more about managing the financial aspects of cancer from oncology experts (3:28) and young adult survivors (4:01).
This ASCO webpage “Financial Considerations” links you to several resources to help you understand and manage the cost of your care. There is a downloadable PDF booklet “Managing the Cost of Cancer Care,” a podcast, and a 10:40 minute video “Navigating Challenges: Managing the Cost of Your Cancer Care.”
Under the heading “Coping with the Cost of Care,” the Cancer Support Community website contains recorded webinars on financial issues related to cancer treatment, as well as a downloadable booklet. Most pertinent to survivors may be the webinar “Managing Long Term Financial Concerns” (51:24). Follow this link and scroll down:
Cancer and Careers is a program of the CEW Foundation, the charitable arm of the Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. Its interactive website contains a wide range of resources to support people with a cancer diagnosis or history of cancer. Through the website, cancer survivors can access informational webinars, online career coaching, a resume review service, training micro-grants, a newsfeed on issues related to work and cancer, and several free downloadable publications.
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship offers two online publications “Working It Out: Your Employment Rights as a Cancer Survivor” and “What Cancer Survivors Need to Know about Health Insurance.”
Most cancer survivors want to, and in fact, are able to perform their jobs and return to work after diagnosis. “Working It Out” describes your legal rights relating to employment. It suggests ways to avoid cancer-related employment problems and describes steps to consider if you feel you have been treated differently because of your cancer experience.
“What Cancer Survivors Need to Know” discusses several aspects of health insurance that are important to cancer survivors. It describes the many different types of health insurance that are available and what you should look for when considering a health insurance policy. You have rights under state and federal law that can help you buy and keep health insurance coverage.
Bone loss is a major concern of breast cancer survivors, especially those who use hormonal therapy to prevent recurrence. The National Osteoporosis Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes bone health through educational resources available to the public and professionals alike. The NOF website offers sound advice on diet, exercise, medical treatment, and quality of life. You can even sign up for the free Food4Bones smart phone app.
The NIH Senior Health website provides comprehensive consumer information on osteoporosis in older adults.
Look for the link to Go4Life, a National Institute on Aging program to encourage older adults to exercise.
Other websites with reliable information about osteoporosis include the following:
Yoga is often recommended as a healthy form of exercise for cancer survivors. It can be helpful in preventing osteoporosis as well as some of the health and functional problems caused by osteoporosis. The following articles provide advice for people with bone loss who want to practice yoga safely: