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Patients commonly report aches in the joints following cancer therapies. Fortunately this
is most often mild and usually wears off within a few weeks. This is a
particular problem with some chemotherapy agents including the taxanes (taxol
and taxotere). Hormone therapies, in the longer term are also associated with
joints pains. About 12% of patients who have taken tamoxifen have joint pains
but this increases to around 35% among patients with breast cancer taking the
aromatase inhibitors drugs.
How can you help?
Joints are often regarded as a barometer of our health. Excluding specific medical arthritic conditions, arthalgia or joint discomfort, it is often associated with changes in our general sense of well being. They are thought to be particularly sensitive to ingested toxins although the precise mechanism for this is unknown. One theory is that the dietary toxins get caught in the micro vessels of the joints. A good example of this is gout where excess uric acid, often caused by dietary excess gets trapped in the joint.
Other dietary toxin also may cause irritation
in the joint itself but in addition to the direct damage they cause, the
body’s immune system can make it worse. Defence cells and proteins attach to
the toxins forming large complexes which can then clot in the small joints,
particularly those of the fingers and toes. The immune attack on the toxins,
then further causes collateral damage to delicate joint tissues. A diet low in
man made chemicals is therefore certainly well worth a try. Washing fruit and
vegetables is a good step but many consider organic food if joint pains persist.
Avoiding processed food or commercially packaged snack or sweets with reduce the
intake of preservative, colourings and flavouring. Fizzy sugary drinks are also
often packed with food additives and, although often difficult through lack of
choice could be replaced by more health drinks such as purdy’s, fresh juices
or if all else fails water!
by the nature of their mechanism, endure a great deal of wear and tear. Extra
strain is put on them by excessive weight or
bad posture. Being overweight is
associated with arthralgia and later arthritis in the major weight bearing
joints such as the hips, knees & back – needless to say if overweight, it
would be a good idea to slim down.
is a more complex issue. Most of us do not even know we are slouching
until someone points it out or we see a video or photograph of ourselves. Bad
posture particularly leads to neck, lower back and shoulder pains. Patients are
either more vulnerable to a long standing bad posture after chemotherapy or with
its associated fatigue can develop bad habits especially if there has also been
some weight gain. Simply being aware of a deterioration on posture is a good start
as most of us know what to do – the old adage is relevant – walk tall, chin
in, shoulders back, stomach in. It may be worth a strong course of physiotherapy
or osteopathy. If you have a good gym nearby a session with a personal trainer
may well be money well spent.
Exercise may seem incongruous if joint pains have already set in, but particularly if combined with stretching is a fantastic way to help immediate pain and prevent further relapse.
Try a simple experiment yourself - stretch an arm out horizontally in front of you with the palm of your hand facing the floor. Then move the hand upwards bending the wrist. Compare this with someone older then younger than yourself. The younger will be able to move the wrists upwards with a much greater movement. In fact, most elderly people cannot move the wrist up at all.
After chemotherapy or prolonged recovery from surgery the normal problems we all experience with aging seems to be exacerbated so extra effort needs to be made. Try to follow these simple instructions:
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|Micro-nutrient testing Empower yourself to make dietary choices specific to your personal make up. This Cancer Risk Nutritional Profile, analyses your blood profile and recommends specific dietary and supplement advice to ensure you have the best possible nutritional status to fight cancer an aid recovery from treatments....read more|
|Download a free chapter describing how to avoid cancer forming chemicals (Carcinogens) in our diet and environments from the new edition of the best selling evidence based book "Lifestyle after Cancer - the facts"|
|Protect your lips during chemotherapy There is evidence that natural oil based creams are better than petroleum based creams. natureMedical lip balm has been specifically design to soothe and moisturise the lips during and after chemotherapy or after sun exposure. It only contains only natural waxes and essential oils selected for their anti-inflammatory and DNA stabilizing properties...read more/order|
|Protect your nails during chemotherapy. Nails can become painful and disfigured during and after chemotherapy. We describe the latest nail care guidelines and number of useful tips to keep them healthy, including cooling and moisturizing ...read more|
|Poems and cancer Cancer is emotional and stressful time not only for the patients but friends and relatives. This emotional can inspire reflection, sentiment and creative writing and poetry. Hundreds of poems have been kindly submitted by users of cancernet. Caution: take a tissue some of these are real emotional bombshells!.. Read poems or...submit your own poem|
|Lifestyle and cancer - the facts. This 2011, edition with a foreword from Paula Radcliffe has been extensively re-written with evidence from the latest research from around the world which demonstrates how diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can; help avoid cancer (read chapter 9 free), cope with treatments side effects; slow the rate of progression of cancer and help prevent relapse. This comprehensive essential lifestyle guidebook can be ordered online (£8.95), or downloaded via kindle|
|Prepared for cancer treatments. Patients and professionals, teamed up with Sue Lawley to produce this 21 minute film which explains chemotherapy & radiotherapy while you watch patients, describing their experiences, side effects and methods to alleviate them. Awarded the NHS communication prize ... read more / order individually or in bulk for your oncology department|
|Support groups and self help organisations throughout the UK and internationally. Links to Asian support organisations; Read patient stories, poems and links to the Cancer active website addressing a wide range of complementary issues related to cancer and their a quarterly magazine (ICON).. submit a link to your group|