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  • Long Term Effects of Neuropathy

    Posted 8/18/2017 by hhill

      This is discouraging. As most of you know, neuropathy can be a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs, most often the Taxanes. Although it does not happen to everyone and although the intensity is highly variable, some people have real difficulties: pain and numbness and an inability to "feel the ground" or to manage some simple hand/finger tasks. It can be quite disabling and frustrating if you can't button your shirt or feel that your balance is really impacted by your foot numbness. Like most other body things, we don't really notice something until it goes wrong. As we walk, we don't appreciate the feeling of the ground or a rug or a ladder underneath our feet--but take away that sensation, and we are really handicapped.

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  • The Possible Positive Side of Alcohol

    Posted 8/17/2017 by hhill

      Since I sometimes post articles about the risks of alcohol as related to cancer, most often to breast cancer, it seems fair minded to share this new study. In all honesty, I almost always have a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening and consider that habit part of my positive quality of life efforts. I write that with the full understanding that I can be criticized and reminded about the breast cancer risks.

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  • Sensible Nutrition Guidelines

    Posted 8/16/2017 by hhill

      There is so much conversation, written and oral, about nutrition and cancer care. To reiterate: There are no foods that reduce the risk of or cure cancer. There are plenty of foods that are good for us, but the standard guidelines about lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, moderation with red meats and alcohol all apply here--just as they would if we are talking about general health.

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  • Please Do Not Use Only CAM

    Posted 8/15/2017 by hhill

      Most cancer patients at least consider using some CAM therapies during or after their treatments. There is never a problem with external treatments (think Reiki and acupuncture and massage), but there may be problems with anything you ingest. That is why I and everyone else continuously begs you to speak with your doctors before swallowing mega vitamins or herbs or supplements. The studies have just not been done, and we don't know what might interfere with chemotherapy or radiation.

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  • Huge Bills Even With Insurance

    Posted 8/14/2017 by hhill

      None of this will be a surprise. A recent study from Duke University Medical Center found that even patients with "good" insurance or Medicare often face serious financial distress. You may have heard the newly coined term: financial toxicity. It is being discussed as factor in cancer patients' diminished quality of life right along with pain and side effects and other problems related to have the disease and undergoing treatment. 

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-1900


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About the Blogger

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C is the Manager of Oncology Social Work at BIDMC. For more than thirty years, her daily work at BIDMC has been primarily focused on supporting women with breast cancer. A nationally known writer and speaker, she was the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's first Hatcher Survivorship Professor. In 1993, and again in 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through the standard treatments of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. These experiences have given her great credibility with her patients and transformed her life's work to her life. Ms. Schnipper lives gratefully with her husband in an ancient farmhouse outside of Boston and spends as much time as possible in a water front cottage on Mt Desert Island. Between them, they have five adult children and seven grandchildren; she claims biological responsibility for two and three of them.