Letters From Readers

CUREFall 2013
Volume 12
Issue 3

Readers respond to the Summer 2013 issue of CURE.

I read with interest your article on distress [“Vital Signs”]. I was disappointed, however, that there was no mention of meditation as a modality for coping with anxiety, depression and pain.

Many valid studies over the past 10 years have shown that meditation induces the relaxation response, lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. It is widely used in hospitals and treatment centers, and is used in combination with other therapies to treat depression. It has been shown to be helpful in reducing the perception of pain related to chemotherapy and surgery. Meditation has the added benefit of focusing the mind, which can help patients and caregivers sort through the issues that overwhelm them throughout their cancer journey.

Jill Dunphy

Rochester Hills, Mich.

Thanks for the great discussion of cardiovascular risk [“Heart of the Matter”]. I also declined radiation for reducing risk of local recurrence because the field would have been directly over my heart. Your resources were interesting because I was not aware of valvular damage as part of possible long-term effects. The way I see it, radiation damages small and large blood vessels, therefore any tissue in its beam is susceptible to scarring and malfunction. I am glad there is more information available now for long-term survivors, so they can at least get treatment early for these problems and not suffer inordinate pain, or not recognize they have heart problems if they are well-informed by their physicians.

Sue Beem

Long Beach, Calif.

As an 18-year survivor of multiple myeloma (MM), I appreciated the article “From Every Angle” updating us on the continuing advances in myeloma treatments. I was in the original thalidomide clinical trial in late 1997, and while it didn’t work for me, about one-third of patients responded [positively]. I’m proud I had some small involvement with this first new drug therapy for MM patients.

Jack Aiello

San Jose, Calif.

It was nice to see information on multiple myeloma. I seldom see it covered so extensively. Thanks!

Annie Phillippi

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