An Afterthought Takes Center Stage

November 25, 2018

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a third of all people treated for cancer will have oral complications that may interfere with treatment or affect quality of life.

HAIR LOSS, NAUSEA AND fatigue are side effects of treatments for cancer that instantly come to mind. Many people, however, may not realize that several types of therapies can affect their mouth — immediately and years later.

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a third of all people treated for cancer will have oral complications that may interfere with treatment or affect quality of life.

In this issue’s cover story, concerns about oral care come to the forefront. The feature examines the effects related to oral health, barriers to dental care and ways for survivors and people living with cancer to combat these complications. Kathy LaTour, a two-time cancer survivor, speaks with an ovarian and breast cancer survivor who has spent $10,000 out of pocket to heal conditions in her mouth from what she believes is a result of the therapies she received. Also in Heal ®, star of Animal Planet’s “Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet” Jeff Young, D.V.M., opens up about his battle with B-cell lymphoma and his decision to cut his famous locks in public. Although cancer slowed him, he didn’t let it keep him down. Young offers up words of encouragement for others who may be feeling stuck after cancer.

And how does canoeing the Hawaiian waters sound? Meet a group of people doing just that to raise money for the disease that has affected them all in some shape or form. Paddle for Life is a two-day, 34-mile journey that draws people ages 5 to 80 to the island waters. They are connected by four things: cancer, hope, tradition and healing. During this breast cancer awareness month, we share for the first time moving quotes from those who have lived it. Their powerful messages are within these pages to uplift and inspire.

Also inside are stories about the financial toxicity experienced by an ovarian cancer survivor, a new patient registry for those with myeloproliferative neoplasms and knitted prostheses for women with breast cancer. Like many of the cancer experiences that you will read, we want to hear from you. Share your stories of joy, sorrow, comfort, relief and more.

We hope you find both practical information and everyday inspiration, and as always, thank you for reading.


x