After Cancer Treatment

Julie K. Silver, M.D.

Course Description

A cancer rehabilitation specialist and breast cancer survivor, Dr. Julie Silver has written a practical and powerful guide to help cancer patients who are exhausted and physically devastated after treatment. Drawing on her professional experience and personal journey, she offers a step-by-step plan for physical healing, including sound advice on improving strength and fighting fatigue, monitoring mood, and overcoming setbacks.

About the Authors

Julie K. Silver, M.D., is the medical director of one of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s outpatient centers and director of RESTORE, an oncology rehabilitation program. Dr. Silver is also an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and on the medical staff of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. She has edited and written more than a dozen books and received the American Cancer Society’s 2006 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

1. State one reason cancer is traumatic.
2. Define the problem-orientated approach
3. State one of the first goals of the American Cancer Society
4. Define cancer
5. Compare normal cells and cancer cells
6. Define metastasis
7. Compare external beam therapy and brachytherapy
8. List the three most important ways to heal yourself
9. Define crisis
10. List three reasons to set goals for patients
11. List three steps to goal setting
12. State the number of goals to be set to heal physically
13. List two things we value as a society
14. List the three most important healing parameters
15. Compare activity and exercise
16. List the five pacing basics
17. Describe the three phases of clinical trials
18. List the inherent problem with CAM treatments
19. State what a cancer patient should do first and foremost when seeking treatment
20. Define a physiatrist
21. Define holistic medicine
22. Describe several concepts of complimentary and alternative medicine
23. List the duties of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
24. List the basic principle of homeopathy
25. Define herbs
26. Describe how a doctor of osteopathy differs from a chiropractor
27. List three primary therapeutic benefits of massage
28. Describe “sweeping.”
29. Describe therapeutic touch
30. List the three notable CAM treatments in the “discourage” list
31. Discuss the 2005 review of research titled, “Review of Exercise Intervention Studies in Cancer Patients.”
32. State the most prevalent and debilitating symptom during breast cancer treatment
33. Compare physical activity with exercise
34. State the benefit of a personal trainer and the certification process
35. List several cardiovascular exercises and recommendations of the American Cancer Society
36. Define the “overload principle,” size principle, and “high load, low rep” program
37. State which foods are significant for healing
38. Define phytochemical and list a few cruciferous vegetables. (Table 8.1)
39. List several complex carbohydrates. (Table 8.2)
40. Describe the standards for raising organic food
41. List ways to stop smoking
42. Describe how cancer-related fatigue is cumulative
43. Discuss the role of melatonin and the immune system
44. List several causes of pain
45. List the four pharmacological treatments of pain
46. Describe the World Health Organization’s “ladder” approach to pain medication
47. State the use of Marinol
48. Define nociceptive and neuropathic pain and their treatments
49. Define iontophoresis
50. Define psychoneuroimmunology
51. Describe the five stages of grief according to Kubler-Ross
52. State the two symptoms that call for treatment with medications or psychological counseling or both
53. Describe the focus called, “adjustment to a disability or serious illness.”
54. State why, in some studies, regular churchgoers live longer
55. Describe prayer in the various religions
56. State how emotional and physical intimacy is affected by cancer
57. List several ways to enhance physical intimacy. (Table 13.4)
58. State several guidelines for what to tell children about cancer
59. Describe the power of friendship
60. Compare social and emotional loneliness
61. State an example of a setback and how it affects prognosis
62. State the progress in the treatment of cancer other than surgery
63. Define primary prevention

Course Contents

1. Get Your Life Back On Track
2. Understand Physical Healing
3. Dare To Dream Again
4. Prioritize What You Do And Pace Yourself
5. Seek Help From Western Medicine
6. Explore Eastern And Other Medical Systems
7. Dance, Skip, and Walk: Exercise Your Way Back to Health
8. Nourish Your Body
9. Fight Fatigue
10. Ease Your Pain
11. Monitor Your Mood
12. Tap Into Your Spirituality
13. Love And Be Loved
14. Surmount Setbacks
15. Look What’s On The Horizon


“Dr. Silver is a remarkably insightful patient and physician. She has built upon her own professional experiences in rehabilitative medicine and her personal experience with a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. She seeks to make lemonade out of lemons and she has done so with remarkable success.” — Eric P. Winer, M.D., Director, Breast Oncology Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

“A diagnosis of cancer changes one’s life forever. After her diagnosis, Dr. Silver chose to continue healing— this time, healing herself. Her book is a gift to all cancer patients.” — Irene Pollin, M.S.W., author of Taking Charge and Medical Crisis Counseling

“Very helpful, meaningful, and insightful for those who are journeying through cancer, and those who have recovered. Dr. Silver’s book encompasses not just emotional and physical healing but spiritual as well. Her credentials as a young mother and cancer survivor, in addition to being a physiatrist with a specialization in rehab medicine, make her work both authoritative and compassionate.” — Paula J. Anastasia, R.N., M.N., O.C.N., Outpatient Gynecologic- Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

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