2 posts tagged “Vitamin E”

Life after lung cancer surgery: 5 recovery tips from patients

Posted 1 week ago by

PatientsLikeMe members have talked in the forums about what it’s like to recover from lung cancer surgery – and what most doctors don’t tell you. We’ve gathered some helpful post-surgery hints members have shared. (Hint: Join PatientsLikeMe for access to the Lung Cancer Forum.)

Many members have mentioned that the side effects of a lobectomy or other lung surgery can be more intense than they expected. “I had a right upper lobectomy 2 years ago – still have lots of pain and numbness – bras suck!” one member says.

“The surgeon wasn’t very informative and my doctor, bless his heart, hasn’t ever had a patient like me so doesn’t really know what’s normal and what’s not,” says another member. “I’m very thankful for this site, I have learned a lot from it.”

What can help?

  • Finding the right bra. Wear a looser sports bra, an old bra (without underwire) or a stretchy camisole with soft cups, to give some breast support but nothing too restrictive.
  • Setting yourself up for sleep. Stomach sleepers will need to get used to sleeping on their back or (maybe) side. Sleeping in a recliner, or using pillows or foam wedges to find a decent position in bed, can help you catch some Zzzs.
  • Treating your incision with care. Cold or rainy weather, and even chilly air-conditioning, can make scars extra sensitive, so try to stay warm and dry. One member advises applying vitamin E and unscented skin cream to help with healing.
  • Managing your pain. Members report using prescribed pain meds, Lidocaine patches, pain-relief ointment (like Icy Hot) and heating pads to deal with some of the pain.
  • Taking it easy. Go “very slow in the beginning,” says one member. “Resting on your back a lot, taking short and slow walks, not twisting the body, not carrying (heavy) things, not running, taking the stairs slowly… With these things, I was OK eight months after my operation. But I’m still very careful…”

Another word to the wise? Ask your doctor right away about any symptoms you’re not sure are normal, such as breathing issues, coughing or bleeding.

On PatientsLikeMe, more than 50 people have reported having surgery as part of their lung cancer treatmentLung lobectomy is the most commonly reported type of surgery, followed by pneumonectomy and lung wedge resection (click on these links to see treatment reports — logged-in members have access to more information).

Also, check out our recent write-up on some newer and less invasive procedures for lung cancer.

Have you had lung cancer surgery or will you be undergoing this procedure soon? Join our patient community or log in to see what else members have shared about recovering from lung cancer surgery.

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.


What Do You Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Posted February 9th, 2012 by

February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, sponsored by Prevent Blindness America.  Affecting part of the back of the eye called the macula, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can cause the center area of your vision to become blurry or wavy.  It can also create a blind spot right in the center of your vision.

As the name implies, your risk for AMD increases as you age.  Affecting more than two million Americans, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans age 65 and older.  That’s why it’s critical that you get a dilated eye exam every 1-2 years, even if your vision seems perfectly fine.  Just like glaucoma, signs of AMD – such as a straight flagpole seeming slightly curved or wavy – may be easy to miss at the beginning.

February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

The cause of AMD is unknown, but risk factors include age, race, smoking, family history, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.  Diet may also play a role according to the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.  For example, high fat intake (from meats, margarine, dairy products and baked goods) is associated with an increased risk of AMD, while people who eat fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids) more than four times a week have a lower risk of AMD than those who consume it less than three times a month.

Think only seniors have macular degeneration?  The data at PatientLikeMe suggests that it’s not just something to think about in your sixties and older.  Of the 56 patients who report macular degeneration at PatientsLikeMe, 39 of them (approximately 65%) are under the age of 60.  What are they doing to prevent further vision loss?  Some of the commonly reported treatments include the prescription drug Avastin as well as dietary supplements such as Zinc and Vitamin E.  (Click each treatment name to see how our patients rate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.)

Don’t let life get wavy on you.  If you’re overdue, have you scheduled your next dilated eye exam?