Maintaining a Healthy Nutritional Status When Diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancers

By | Cancer, Casey Coffey, Head and neck cancer, side effects, Uncategorized | No Comments

Content and information provided by Casey Coffey MS, RD, LDN Registered Dietician for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville

As we raise awareness of head & neck cancers during the month of April, it is important to be aware of the unique challenges that are at risk when diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Studies for patients who choose proton therapy treatment for head and neck cancers have shown less side effects during first 3 months after treatment and quicker return to normal function. The potential side effects for head and neck cancer patients make swallowing food and fluids difficult and sometimes painful. Malnutrition affects an estimated 40 – 80% of cancer patients – particularly those with gastrointestinal or head and neck cancers.

The four main nutritional goals for cancer patients include:

  • Strive to maintain a healthy weight
  • Consume foods and beverages for managing cancer and treatment-related side effects
  • Select and eat healthy foods that supply the body with fuel and nutrients for repair and healing
  • Reduce risk of cancer recurrence and the development of a second malignancy

Many patients do not realize the importance of nutrition while under treatment. Primary goals of nutrition therapy are to prevent or reverse nutrient deficiencies, preserve lean body mass, support the immune system, and minimize and manage the impact of nutrition related symptoms and side effects to maximize quality of life. Adequate nutrition is more than just maintaining body weight. The foods we eat contain nutrients necessary to support healing and restoration but also to support our healthy cells as well. Adequate nutrition has been shown to improve outcomes in cancer patients, improve strength and energy, avoid dose reduction or treatment breaks.

Make Every Bite Count.

Initially, it is recommended patients eat what they can tolerate while focusing on protein with each meal and including whole foods (minimizing the processed nature of foods). Why? Well, quality counts. High quality foods, which are those that are less processed, are more nutritious due to their higher nutritional value. As treatment progresses and possible side effects begin, the ability to swallow can become difficult. If difficulty to swallow becomes a problem for head and neck cancers, here are three ideas on how to maintain nutritional value through your diet:

  • Graze throughout the day on nutrient dense foods: Nutrient dense foods that have been fortified with protein and additional calories without adding volume and lots of sugar or highly processed foods. Some examples are olive oil, butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, peanut butter, heavy cream, half & half, or any nut butter.
  • Alter texture of foods to improve tolerance: focus on soft or smooth foods such as, bananas, watermelon, canned fruits, peach, pear, and apricot nectars, pureed or mashed vegetables, oatmeal, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt, milkshakes, custards, puddings, gelatin, macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, and ground meats.
  • Avoid irritating foods, such as, citrus fruits or juices, spicy or salty foods, pickled or vinegary foods, tomato-based foods (salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pizza), rough or dry foods, hot spices (pepper, chili powder, nutmeg, cloves, and curry).

For more information about how to overcome nutritional challenges when diagnosed with head & neck cancers or to learn about proton therapy, contact our CARE Team at 865-229-4689.

 

04-12-18_VolunteerAppreciation

Volunteer Appreciation in the “Volunteer State”

By | Culture of Care, Dowell Springs, East Tennessee, Knoxville, Patient Hospitality, Tennessee, Uncategorized | No Comments

This week, April 15-21, Provision will celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week by honoring our very own Proton Volunteer, Mrs. Sue. Sue and her husband retired to Knoxville from Washington, DC in 2001. She has been a volunteer for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville since 2016 and has been filling the proton center with extra joy and smiles ever since. Read More

NAPT Blog

Provision CARE Proton Therapy Attends the 2018 NAPT Conference

By | Proton Therapy, Uncategorized | No Comments

Content and information provided by Talbott Paynter, Director of Business Development for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville

The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) held its sixth annual NAPT Conference March 25-28, 2018, at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in sunny Scottdale, Arizona. Founded in 1990, the National Association for Proton Therapy is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work collaboratively to:

  1. Raise awareness of the therapeutic benefits of proton therapy among patients, providers, payers, policymakers, and other stakeholders
  2. Ensure patient choice and access to affordable proton therapy
  3. Encourage cooperative research and innovation to advance the appropriate and cost-effective utilization of proton therapy.

The annual conference allows proton centers from across the Unites States to convene and discuss how to advance awareness of the clinical benefits of proton therapy for cancer patients, provide education, and advocate for insurance coverage. Read More

03-22-CauliflowerStirFry

Fighting Cancer with Your Fork Recipe of the Month: Cauliflower Rice with Vegetable Stir-Fry

By | Casey Coffey, Exercise & Nutrition | No Comments

Content and information provided by Casey Coffey MS, RD, LDN Registered Dietician for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package riced cauliflower (you can find this at Trader Joe’s or Kroger in the produce section)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (or Bragg liquid aminos)

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan and sauté carrots, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute.
  2. Add bell pepper and onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add peas, sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.
  4. Place cooked vegetables in bowl and set aside while preparing cauliflower.
  5. Return skillet to head; add sesame oil, cauliflower and beaten eggs.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are evenly cooked and cauliflower has softened, about 2-4 minutes.
  7. Add cooked vegetables and soy sauce to cauliflower / egg mixture; cook 1 minute more or until warm through.
  8. Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls.
  9. Enjoy!!

Note: Stir fry chicken, shrimp or tofu with above to complete your meal.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer: The Importance of Early Detection and Understanding Screening Options

By | Cancer, colon cancer, Prevention, Provision CARES, Rectal Cancer, Screening, Uncategorized | No Comments

Content and information provided by Rebecca Bergeron, RN, BSN, OCN Director of Clinical Services for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville

This week, we’re going to talk about number two- the second leading cause of cancer death, that is. Colorectal cancer is highly preventable through early detection, yet many people remain unaware of their options for screening. Screening is especially important for preventing colorectal cancer because the disease usually does not have noticeable symptoms until it is advanced. Read More

What is Lymphedema

Lymphedema Awareness Month

By | Cancer, lymphedema, physical therapy | No Comments

What is Lymphedema? And What Does it Mean for my Cancer Diagnosis

Content and information provided by Kathy Kearse, PT, CLT-LANA

To understand Lymphedema and to honor lymphedema awareness month, let’s talk first about the Lymphatic System.  Most people have heard of the Circulatory System, which consists of the heart, arteries, and veins. The lesser known Lymphatic System is a one-way system of vessels, which runs parallel to the blood vessels, starting in the tissue spaces throughout the body (skin, muscle, organs, etc.) and ending at large veins close to the heart.  Read More

support and financial resources

Top Support Resources for Dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis and Your Employer

By | Cancer, Patient Rights, Provision CARES, Uncategorized | No Comments

Content and information provided by Marriah Mabe, LCSW at Provision CARES Proton Therapy.

Many cancer patients say that one of the most difficult aspects of cancer treatment is loss of income during treatment. Extra costs for medical visits, copays, travel to appointments, medications, and other expenses add up quickly.  However, there are laws meant to protect individuals undergoing medical treatment from losing their job. Additionally, if you have life insurance or other insurance policies through your employer, you may have access to financial resources you are not aware of. Provision CARES Proton Therapy team provides support and resources to help get you started in the process of exploring options that may be available to you as you are undergoing treatment. Read More

how to reduce radiation-induced heart disease

The Heart of the Matter: Proton Therapy Can Prevent Radiation-Induced Heart Disease

By | Breast Cancer, Cancer, lung cancer, Prevention, Proton Therapy, Provision CARES, Radiation, research, side effects | No Comments

Content and information provided by Rebecca Bergeron, RN, BSN, OCN Director of Clinical Services for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville

February is American Heart Month, and it is the perfect time to talk about preventing unnecessary radiation dose to the heart, often times causing radiation-induced heart disease. When people begin their fight against cancer, they are most likely not thinking about reducing their future risk of heart disease; however, this is certainly something we are thinking about at Provision CARES Proton Therapy.  Read More

9 Tips to Prevent Cancer

9 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

By | Cancer, Culture of Care, Exercise & Nutrition, Knoxville, Prevention, Provision CARES | No Comments

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” – Hippocrates

February is National Cancer Prevention Month and Provision CARES Proton Therapy is dedicated to providing educational awareness on cancer prevention and early detection. Along with regular screenings and physician check-ups, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the main ways to reduce your risk of cancer. There is no single food or food substance that can fully prevent or cure cancer.  However, there are a number of lifestyle adjustments you can do on your own to reduce the risk of cancer. A number of foods are rich in nutrients and provide long-term benefits to the body. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight, a balanced plant-based diet, and movement on a regular basis is proven to reduce your risk for some cancersRead More

WE CAN. I CAN

World Cancer Day: Provision CARES Proton Therapy Impacts of Cancer Care in East Tennessee

By | Cancer, Clinical Care, Culture of Care, East Tennessee, Knoxville, Prevention, Proton Therapy, Provision CARES, Tennessee | No Comments

Provision has treated almost 2,000 patients with proton therapy in Knoxville, Tennessee. These patients traveled from all over the United States and the world to receive the most advanced form of cancer treatment. Proton therapy benefit from reduced side effects and improved quality of life compared to those who receive conventional radiation therapy or surgery.

Sunday, February 4th, is an important day in the eyes of many. Many people will be gathered with friends and family cheering on their favorite NFL team, watching the nation’s most expensive commercials, or snacking on chips and salsa. However, to Provision CARES Proton Therapy, February 4th means a lot more. It is World Cancer Day, a day to raise awareness about cancer and how it affects people and communities across the globe. Read More