Supportive Care

For the past 15 years, the Josh and Friends Project has been an enduring source of comfort to children aged between 2 and 9 years, who face anxieties related to medical procedures, surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments arising from illness or injury. Founded by Knoxville, Tennessee, veterinarian Randy Lange, the Josh and Friends Project captures the inimitable qualities of the human–animal bond to influence positively a child’s psychologic and physiologic outlook in anticipation of as well as throughout medical treatment and recovery. Read More ›


When I first met Dr Lange and Josh at one of the exhibit booths during an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in 2008, it was “love at first sight.” From the moment I became familiar with Josh and Friends, I knew that Josh had the capacity to be an incredible tool for healing through the power of mind–body medicine. My challenge was to figure out how to implement a program at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) where Josh could be used appropriately to help comfort and heal our pediatric patients.

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The healthcare system is only beginning to recognize what nurses who tend patients with cancer have always known: The loved ones of dying patients also need help managing pain. Julie Cronin, BSN, RN, OCN, an oncology nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, says failing to address family members’ distress has serious consequences. “If the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental needs of these loved ones are neglected, the rates of morbidity and mortality, depression, and risk for ineffective coping can skyrocket.”

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CHICAGO—Flaxseed failed to have a significant effect on reducing hot flashes in women compared with placebo, according to results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial supported by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group. The study included breast cancer survivors as well as women who had never had breast cancer who experienced frequent hot flashes throughout the day and night.

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CHICAGO—Both patients and practitioners realize the importance of psychosocial issues, but today’s cancer care often fails to address them. Steps to resolve this problem are under way, according to experts at an education session.

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It is not “just hair.” Often referred to as a woman’s “crowning glory,” much of a woman’s female identity is defined by her hair—from her femininity, to age, to confidence, to style, women communicate a great deal about themselves by how they wear and style their hair. Without hair, women feel stripped of their identity, and in the context of cancer, women often feel as if they are systematically being stripped of themselves.

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Susan Beausang, President of 4Women.com and designer of the patented beaubeau head scarf, comes from 3 generations of breast cancer survivors. Hav - ing watched her grandmother, aunt, mother, and 2 of 4 sisters battle breast cancer, she and her siblings underwent genetic testing. Read More ›

CHICAGO—Oncology nurses know that nutrition interventions can help their patients, both during and after active treatment. But the evidence is scant, and personalizing it for each patient can be a challenge. To help, nutrition experts provided useful tips for nurses, along with a discussion of the evidence.

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The hot, hazy days of summer are the perfect time for some of nature’s best produce. The tomato easily could be the unspoken mascot of the summer season. From July through September, make sure you take advantage of this delicious, nutrient-dense summer favorite. Read More ›

BOSTON—Treating patients with cancer who are morbidly obese presents unexpected challenges according to Vita Norton, RN, BSN, OCN, and Michelle Howard, RN, BSN, of Mass - achusetts General Hospital in Boston. Data indicate that obesity significantly increases the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers and is associated with worse outcomes.

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