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  • Cancer Experience Registry

    Posted 5/21/2013 by hhill
      It is such a pleasure to write this morning about the Cancer Experience Registry, a program of the Cancer Support Community. The Cancer Support Community ( is the name of the merged Wellness Community and Gilda's Club, and provides a multitude of support and educational services to cancer patients and their families at their many affiliates around the country. The Registry has been developed by their Research and Training Institute to identify and advance the understanding of the emotional and social needs of people who have been diagnosed with all kinds of cancer. Read more... Comments (0)
  • New Techniques for Lymphedema

    Posted 5/7/2013 by hhill
      The really good news is that more attention is being paid to lymphedema and surgeons are increasingly willing to acknowledge that it happens, and that women should be educated about the possibilities even prior to surgery. The not so good news is that it continues to happen, that it is impossible to predict who will develop this problem, and that it is treatable, but not curable. The statistics re incidence are all over the place, so no one seems to really know how many women have been affected. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Acupuncture and Lymphedema

    Posted 4/22/2013 by hhill
      Lymphedema can be an intractable problem. Although most women with breast cancer do not ever develop this problem (thankfully), those who do quickly find that it never can be cured. Yes, there are treatments, and, yes, it waxes and wanes, but it is a chronic problem. It is pretty impossible to get accurate statistics on the incidence of lymphedema. Depending on who you ask, the number seems to fluctuate wildly, and many surgeons insist that "this never happens to my patients." This, of course, is just not true, and the development of lymphedema is not a negative reflection on the surgeon's skills. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Lymphedema and Exercise

    Posted 4/7/2013 by hhill
      Occasionally, there is a nice convergence of events. This entry arises from one of those moments. This morning at the gym, I was thinking (who knows why) about lymphedema and the sometimes contradictory advice about exercise and the risk of developing it. As I write this, I can see myself doing leg presses while watching a woman who was lying on the window sill, on a mat, doing arm lifts with small bar bells. I assume she was lying on the window sill, instead of the floor, as she wanted her arm to hang down. I don't think I have ever seen anyone do this before, and I was curious why she chose this position rather than standing up to do the lifts. I didn't ask her, so, unless one of you knows the answer and responds, this will remain a mystery. Anyhow, this moment happened, and then I came home and read this study about the possible impact of both heavy and light resistance exercises on the risk of developing lymphedema. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Benefits of Yoga

    Posted 4/6/2013 by hhill
      Learning more about the potential benefits of yoga is not really surpising, but it is nice to read more positives about this special form of exercise. For several years, I participated in a weekly class for women who had been treated for breast cancer, and it was great. Indeed, I felt strong and more flexible and very relaxed in the immediate moments afterwards. Life changed, and that particular class stopped, and I have not really done yoga since. Last summer, I went one morning to a drop in yoga class near our cottage in Maine. I had seen the sign, and it seemed like an easy and good opportunity to try this again. Instead, it was a stark reminder of the difference a few years (maybe 8, not really sure when the earlier yoga class ended) can make, and that, although I do go to the gym daily, yoga clearly uses different muscles. Several of the poses were very tough, and the larger problem was the next morning when I could barely move. Read more... Comments (0)
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