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Anxiety During Radiation Therapy to the Head and Neck

Dear Eva, 5 down and 25 to go! I’m having a lot of anticipatory anxiety before the treatment and am fine after it. Some of my appointments are at night because I haven’t gotten into an earlier slot soon enough. Waiting all day gets to me, mainly nauseous. Any tips for me ? I need to calm this stomach of …

Fought For Country: Not For His Own Fight Against Oral Cancer

Dear Eva, My father hasn’t eaten in 5 days and barely drinks water. He continues to refuse a feeding tube even though his weight dropped from 158 to 120. He doesn’t complain but his health is going downhill fast. Radiation for his oropharyngeal cancer ended almost 3 months ago! Our whole family is begging him to save himself. As a …

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Sticking Out Tongue Straight: An Impossible Feat

I have adopted a sister, a survivor sister Dale Noelle. Tongue cancer became the topic of conversation between my friend Erin’s mother and Dale’s mother over a card game. They agreed Dale and I should meet. For months, our busy schedules didn’t allow us to plan a meeting. But, when I got the message she could attend a lecture I …

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PAIN: The Most Common Symptom of Oral Cancer

If anyone can give lessons on coping with life challenges it’s Neil Arnold. What is it like to be Neil, a retired OBGYN and 24-year late stage oropharyngeal survivor? Neil no longer speaks. He is a laryngectomee and due to recurrences, he can no longer articulate words. He lives in silence. What impressed me was his staunch independence. When the …

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Eva’s Keynote Speech Influenced My Career Path: Improve Dental Care For Cancer Patients

Dear Eva, In January of 2012, when I was in college, I volunteered in the oral oncology department of the British Columbia Cancer Agency. During this time I was exposed to dentistry and the challenges faced by those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer, but I didn’t really connect the dots between cancer and dentistry at that time. I …