“Nurse-led walk-and-eat intervention may improve outcomes for patients with esophageal cancer”

September 14, 2015

Article via Oncologynurseadvisor.com | September 11, 2015

A nurse-led walk-and-eat intervention is feasible and effective to preserve functional walking capacity and nutritional status in patients with esophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, according to a recent study published in the journal The Oncologist.

For the study, researchers at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, sought to evaluate the impact of a walk-and-eat intervention in patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer stage 2B or higher receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. A total of 59 participants were randomly assigned to receive the intervention, which involved nurse-supervised walking 3 times per week and weekly nutritional advice, or usual care during 4 to 5 weeks of chemoradiotherapy.

Results showed that those who received the intervention had a 100-meter less decline in walk distance than control patients, 3-kg less decrease in hand-grip strength, and 2.7-kg less reduction in body weight. Researchers found that the patients’ age did not impact these endpoints.

The study also demonstrated that patients that received the walk-and-eat intervention had significantly lower rates of need for intravenous nutritional support and wheelchair use.

Read the full article: http://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com


Don’t Ignore Frequent Heartburn!

July 29, 2014

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn each year.  Unfortunately, many of those Americans are experiencing chronic heartburn, which occurs more than twice a week.   Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  This disease is known more commonly as GERD and is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is often ignored, disregarded and poorly managed.  Many heartburn suffers try to self-medicate through the use of antacids or acid reducing medications.  Typically, these medications do not work long-term for those whose heartburn symptoms caused by GERD.

GERD affects almost 1/3 of all Americans and is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, with direct and indirect costs totaling approximately $10 billion dollars each year.   

The National Cancer Institute defines GERD as the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).   It is also known as esophageal reflux and gastric reflux.

This back flow is caused by a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that opens and closes the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.  The LES can’t contain the stomach contents from entering back up into the esophagus.

Overtime, this reflux of stomach acids damages the lining of the esophageal wall and can cause the cells to become abnormal and potentially lead to esophageal cancer.   This change in the cells, which line the lower part of the esophageal wall, is known as Barrett’s esophagus, a sometimes precancerous condition.

Taking medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor, does not repair the LES.   These medications only treat the symptoms of the disease while the damage can continue to occur.  Also, these medications are intended for temporary relief and are not to be taken for an extended period of time.

As we mentioned, GERD is one of the risks associated with esophageal cancer, along with other factors, such as being overweight or Barrett’s esophagus.   Having one of these risk factors does not mean that cancer will result.  However, having one of these risk factors and not being proactive can significantly further the risk of esophageal cancer.

The earlier esophageal cancer is detected, the better.  Unfortunately, there are currently no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages.

It is imperative that patients suffering from chronic and frequent heartburn to be proactive.   Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes to help reduce GERD symptoms.  Also, discuss the various tests used to detect esophageal cancer.  Click here for more information regarding methods used to detect esophageal cancer.

Visit us on Facebook and tell us if you or someone you know suffers from chronic heartburn. We’re here to help! Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation 

Almost one-third of Americans have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease GERD heartburn chronic acid reflux.  which is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States US USA U.S. with direct and indirect costs totaling, $10 billion per year.

Sources:
refluxmd.com 
cancer.gov
iffgd.org