HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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reduce potential exposure to other patients and health care providers. Many institutions have also established screening clinics that are separate from other clinical areas to reduce the risk of exposure to asymptomatic patients with cancer who are seeking care.


For patients who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19, the NCCN says some cancer centers have established cohorted treatment areas. This lowers the chances of exposure to others. These patients may also receive their care in designated units when admitted to the hospital. However, the NCCN stresses that no clear guidelines for when a patient with cancer who has tested positive for COVID-19 can resume therapy have been established. There are cancer patients with COVID-19 who may still need to continue their therapy, such as those receiving radiation. The patient’s best option is to stay in contact with his or her physician and work closely with him or her to decide upon the best course of treatment.


These protocols and sugges- tions are subject to change as more information about COVID-19 and its impact on cancer patients becomes available. The NCCN is an alliance of leading cancer cen- ters. The guidelines were written by the organization’s best practices committee. For more informa-tion about the NCCN guidelines, see https://jnccn.org/fileasset/jnccn1805_COVID-19_Cinarpreprint.pdf.


Sources:


COVID-19 IMPACTS CANCER CARE AND TREATMENT

and Prevention (CDC) are even more important for cancer patients to follow. These include social distancing (staying 6 feet away from others), sheltering in place at home, wearing a mask when you go out and washing hands frequently. If possible, stock up on several weeks of medications and key supplies so you don’t have to go out.


Some cancer treatment facilities have been prescreening patients for COVID-19 symptoms. These prescreenings are often conducted by telephone or digitally a few days before the scheduled visit. Patients are asked about new or worsening coughs within the past two weeks, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fever and other symptoms of COVID-19. The NCCN says a unique challenge in the cancer population is many patients undergoing cytoreductive therapy, and especially those with lung disease, may experience symptoms similar to COVID-19 as a consequence of treatment or due to their underlying disease process.


Surgeries and other cancer- fighting procedures may be limited or changed during this time of pandemic. For instance, people undergoing infusion therapy might switch to oral therapies where possible. Telehealth is highly recommended to

According to the NCCN, patients with cancer may have an increased risk of contracting and developing complications from COVID-19. Additionally, those who underwent chemotherapy or surgery in the past months may have a greater risk of experiencing what the NCCN calls clinically severe events, compared with those people with cancer who had not received treatment recently. The risk also appears to be higher in patients with one or more chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, or those who are older or smokers. These patients may not have as good an outcome. WebMd says cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are otherwise generally healthy can and do survive the coronavirus, according to a new study that evaluated 928 patients with both conditions.


COVID-19 seems to target the lungs and respiratory system. Cancer makes a person more vulnerable to infections. Many cancers affect the way the immune system works. Even if you have survived cancer, your immune system may still not fight off germs as well as it previously did before you fell ill. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can also impact the immune system, lowering the number of white calls and compromising their ability to fight infection. This makes it easier for infections to set in, and this is why the pandemic can be especially concerning for cancer patients.


The safety guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control