Cancer and Nutrition

Nutrition and Diet information is often one of the most top requested items when a cancer diagnosis occurs. I encourage patients to check with the oncologist offices to see if they can be referred to a registered dietician that can address their specific needs.  According to Eat Right Pro, a Registered Dietitian are food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. They use evidence-based information to provide education. A referral to a dietician is something that can be filed through your health insurance, if you have met your out of pocket max there may not be a cost to see the dietician.  I recently discovered a great online resource that I want to share.  Cancer Dietitian This website was created by a Registered Dietitian. Julie Landford is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition with over 10 years’ experience working in oncology. Her website has some of the following resources:

  • Link to Podcasts about nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Webinars
  • Tips on books and reading material

Cáncer y Nutrición

La información sobre nutrición y dieta suele ser uno de los elementos más solicitados cuando se produce un diagnóstico de cáncer. Recomiendo a los pacientes que consulten con los consultorios oncólogos para ver si pueden ser derivados a un dietista registrado que pueda atender sus necesidades específicas. Según Eat Right Pro, un dietista registrado son expertos en alimentación y nutrición que pueden traducir la ciencia de la nutrición en soluciones prácticas para una vida saludable. Utilizan información basada en la evidencia para proporcionar educación. Una derivación a un dietista es algo que puede archivarse a través de su seguro de salud. Si ha cumplido con su desembolso máximo, es posible que no haya un costo para ver al dietista. Recientemente descubrí un gran recurso en línea que quiero compartir. Cancer Dietitian Esta página web fue creada por un dietista registrado. Julie Landford, es una dietista registrada, nutricionista con licencia y especialista en nutrición oncológica certificada, con más de 10 años de experiencia trabajando en oncología. Su página web tiene algunos de los siguientes recursos:
  • Enlace a podcasts sobre nutrición. 
  • Recetas 
  • Webinars  
  • Consejos sobre libros y material de lectura.

Durable Medical Equipment

en Español

According to the National Council of Aging, Durable Medical Equipment (DME), is defined as medical equipment that allows you to complete your daily living tasks.

If you are considering using your insurance to pay for DME equipment there are some important things to remember:

  • The cost will depend on your individual insurance and/or how much you have spent towards out of pocket cost
  • Typically most insurance companies will require a prescription from the doctor
  • Make sure to use insurance approved or in-network company
  • Not all DME equipment will be approved by insurance. It will depend on medical need

Examples of DME that may be covered through insurance:

  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Manual Wheelchairs
  • Oxygen Tanks

If the cost of DME is unaffordable reach out to these resources. They may be able to assist.

FAQs on Durable Medical Equipment


Equipo Médico Durable

Según el Consejo Nacional de Envejecimiento, el Equipo Médico Duradero (DME), se define como un equipo médico que le permite completar sus tareas de la vida diaria.

Si está considerando utilizar su seguro para pagar equipos DME, hay algunas cosas importantes que debe recordar:

  • El costo dependerá de su seguro individual y / o cuánto haya gastado en fuera de bolsillo
  • Normalmente, la mayoría de las compañías de seguros requerirán una receta del medico
  • Asegúrese de usar un seguro aprobado o en compañía de la red
  • No todos los equipos DME serán aprobados por el seguro. Dependerá de la necesidad médica.

Ejemplos de DME que pueden ser cubiertos a través de seguros:

  • Bastones, andadores, sillas de ruedas manuales y oxígeno

Recursos si el costo de DME no es asequible para el paciente:

FAQs on Durable Medical Equipment


New Law for Cancer Patients with Student Loans

There is a new law that should help ease some of the financial burdens for Cancer patients. When I first learned about this law I was surprised that this kind of help was not already established, but I am glad to hear some changes were made. This law, Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act, H.R. 2976 became effective in September of 2018.

The updated law now allows those diagnosed with cancer to defer their student loan payments. During the deferment, no interest will be accrued. The deferment can extend up to 6 months after the person has completed their treatment.  Anyone interested in the deferment process should contact their lender. Since the law is so new there might be some confusion when trying to apply, the department of education is also still in the process of fully understanding how the law will work. Below you will find the links to the new law and possible resources if you have any trouble getting started.

There is also another option for cancer patients or anyone who becomes permanently disabled due to a medical illness. If you have documentation of your disability from the VA or Social Security you can present that documentation to your lender to have your student loans “discharged” or forgiven. For additional details click on the link below.

Student Deferment for those in Active Treatment

Student Deferment Newsletter

Disability Discharge


Ostomy Support

Ostomy Support According to the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. “an ostomy causes a change in the way urine or stool exits the body as a result of a surgical procedure. Bodily waste is rerouted from its usual path because of malfunctioning parts of the urinary or digestive system. An ostomy can be temporary or permanent.” In some cases, when the cancer affects the bowel or the bladder an ostomy may be required. Usually, patients may have concerns or questions about the quality of life especially if their ostomy will become permanent. Adjusting to the “new normal” can take time but there are a lot of resources and support to help you understand how to adjust.  Here are some frequently asked question:

  • Understanding how to change the pouch
  • How much physical activity can they do
  • What kind of ostomy will I have
  • Will insurance pay for the supplies
  • Can I resume my job that was physically demanding
  • How will my relationship be impacted
The link below provides some great resources to connect to support groups, organizations that can provide you will educational knowledge and resources for ostomy bags if you do not have insurance to pay for the supplies. These programs were developed to make sure that no one faces this change alone. Ostomy ACS-Ostomy Ostomy-Emergency Supplies Ostomy Companies      ]]>

Coordination of Benefits

Coordination of Benefits Understanding how your insurance works is important when navigating your cancer treatment. If you happen to have more than one insurance plan then it is very important that you understand what coordination of benefits is and how it works. Coordination of benefits (COB) is a process that allows the insurance companies to work together to determine several key points:

  • Which insurance is primary and which is secondary
  • COB helps to ensure the proper claims are paid by the correct insurance company
  • It helps the patient avoid having to manually file claims or deal with appeals due to denial.
It is essential that you communicate with your insurance companies as well as with all the doctor’s offices to provide them with all the information from both companies. Your communication goes a long way in avoiding potential mistakes or delays that could impact your pocketbook. There are individuals that may also have an extra insurance policy or supplemental plans. Some of these plans pay or reimburse for things like medical bills, lost wages due while recovering or provide a lump sum for you to determine who to pay. If you have these policies make sure you understand when you have to submit the claim. With many of these supplemental plans, you may have to submit the claims yourself so you want to ensure that you do them in a timely manner to avoid any complications Medicare-Coordination of Benefits  

Coordinación de Beneficios

Comprender cómo funciona su seguro es importante al navegar su tratamiento contra el cáncer. Si tiene más de un plan de seguro, es muy importante que entienda qué es la coordinación de los beneficios y cómo funciona. La coordinación de beneficios (COB) es un proceso que permite a las compañías de seguros trabajar conjuntamente para determinar varios puntos clave:
  • ¿Qué seguro es primario y cuál secundario?
  • COB ayuda a garantizar que la compañía de seguros correcta pague los reclamos correspondientes
  • Ayuda al paciente a evitar tener que presentar reclamaciones manualmente o lidiar con apelaciones debido a la negación.
Es esencial que se comunique con sus compañías de seguros y con todos los consultorios médicos para proporcionarles toda la información de ambas compañías. Su comunicación hace mucho para evitar posibles errores o retrasos que podrían afectar su bolsillo. Hay personas que también pueden tener una póliza de seguro adicional o planes complementarios. Algunos de estos planes pagan o reembolsan cosas como facturas médicas, salarios perdidos debido a la recuperación o proporcionan una suma global para que usted determine a quién pagar. Si tiene estas políticas, asegúrese de comprender cuándo debe presentar el reclamo. Con muchos de estos planes complementarios, es posible que deba presentar las reclamaciones usted mismo. Completar su reclamo de manera oportuna garantizará que evite complicaciones en el future Medicare-Coordination of Benefits]]>

Volunteer (and member!) of the Month: Diane Morrow

IMG_7298Keep Calm and Carry On In the fall of 2013 after I followed through on my doctors advice to have a routine, colon screening; I was shocked to learn that I had stage III colon cancer. In 2014 I began chemotherapy (12 treatments spread over 6 months). The challenges I faced caused me to appreciate to a greater degree my faith, family and friends, and a resolve to remain positive. Prayer, meditation and art and are my constant companions.  I keep a sketchbook with me at all times. I find joy in each task even if I don’t really want to – once I begin, my attitude changes. For a daily dose of vitamin D I walk in the park or hike, which allows me to talk, pray/mediate, and process my journey.  A regular yoga practice helps me focus on what I can do (move) not what I can’t do (run).  My daughter gives me essential oils and exercises to keep me healthy, and my son’s great sense of humor keeps me laughing. Laughter is the BEST medicine! I’ve been privileged to meet many wonderful people at the Cancer Support Community of North Texas. I joined CSC in January of 2018. These friendships remind me that I don’t struggle alone. I am convinced that when we share simple words of encouragement a spirit of kindness and compassion engulfs us. We are not alone on this journey. One day CSC yoga instructor was ill so I volunteered to fill in for him (which I now continue to do as needed). I teach yoga and other classes at our local YMCA and the mission of both the Y and CSC are similar. To help others grow in body, mind and spirit. I love helping out by teaching adults, teens and even kid’s yoga.  It is a privilege to be a part of this clubhouse.  


Want to learn more about how to become a CSC volunteer? Click here!


Medication Applications for your Phone

Medication App Reminders A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of information, and in many cases, new medicines you have to take in addition to your treatment. Whether they are meds for pain management or to help with some of the side effects of chemo, they will likely be more than you used to take before the diagnosis. If you or your loved one needs some extra help with medication management there are some applications that may help to relieve some of the stress.  Many of the applications are free via the Android phones and offer a variety of features created to help the family and patient.  Here are few of the benefits of some of the apps: medication alarm reminder, some can sync up with your smart watches, connect family members that can help you keep track of your medications, scan your medications that get uploaded into the app, and reminder when you need to get the meds refilled before they run out. Most are free but some do offer upgrades for a premium. Listed below are some of the most popular applications available now. Medisafe MyMeds CareZone Mango Health MyTherapy

Recordatorios de la aplicación de medicamentos

Un diagnósis de cáncer incluye mucha información y, en muchos casos, nuevos medicamentos que debe tomar además de su tratamiento. Si son medicamentos para el tratamiento del dolor o para ayudar con algunos de los efectos secundarios de la quimioterapia probablemente serán más de lo que solía tener antes del diagnosis. Si usted o su ser querido necesitan ayuda adicional con el manejo de medicamentos, existen algunas aplicaciones que pueden ayudar a aliviar algo del estrés. Muchas de las aplicaciones son gratuitas a través de los teléfonos Android y ofrecen una variedad de características creadas para ayudar a la familia y al paciente. Estos son algunos de los beneficios de algunas de las aplicaciones: recordatorio de alarma de medicamentos, algunos pueden sincronizarse con sus relojes inteligentes, conectar a miembros de la familia que pueden ayudarlo a realizar un seguimiento de sus medicamentos, escanear sus medicamentos que se cargan en la aplicación y recordatorio cuando necesite recargar los medicamentos antes de que se agoten. La mayoría son gratis, pero algunos ofrecen actualizaciones por una prima. A continuación se enumeran algunas de las aplicaciones más populares disponibles ahora. Medisafe MyMeds CareZone Mango Health MyTherapy]]>