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Health News Round-Up: An ‘Ounce of Preemption’ Before Treatment

Preparing for Surgery or Treatment with ‘Prehab’

Recent health news from across the Web: prehab training before aggressive treatment, side effect dangers, music’s pain-fighting properties, and more.Patients who undergo surgeries, or other aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, are often guided in rehabilitation exercises afterward to build back lost strength and endurance. However, some specialists have begun to explore the potential of rehab-style exercise done in anticipation of such procedures. They reason that this so-called prehab allows patients to enter treatment at a better level of fitness that will help them endure procedures better and recover faster.

Already a common practice for joint replacement surgeries, prehab is now gaining interest as an approach to cancer treatments. Research on effectiveness for cancer patients is in the beginning phases, and insurance providers don’t necessarily cover prehab services, as they might with conventional rehab. Still, specialists are optimistic about the long-range benefits of exercise and wellness practices as preemptive weapons toward easier recoveries.

(Rehab Before Cancer Treatment Can Help Patients Bounce Back; NPR)

Spiritual Support during Illness or End of Life

A handful of studies spanning thousands of patients have reported a connection between a patient’s sense of spirituality and subjective outlook and function. Among the researchers, speculation varies about the reasons for the observed correlation, ranging from character tendencies to social connections. But at its core, the results suggest that individuals inclined toward religious or spiritual support should benefit from seeking it out.

(Spirituality may be tied to easier cancer course; Reuters)

For patients who face logistical barriers to getting the spiritual counsel they desire, technology may fill the gaps — including newly announced video-conferencing services.

(Seriously ill patients can get spiritual counseling via Skype; Reuters)

Don’t Let Side Effects Interfere with Your Drug Regimen

Unpleasant side effects can make people less likely to take their medications as instructed, whether or not they realize it — as shown by a recent study of breast cancer patients. But stopping, skipping, or changing your medication regimen can carry enormous health risks. If your medications are causing problems, talk to your doctor or clinician about how to manage the issue. Or consider exploring options for palliative care, such as Residential Home Health’s Comfort Path program, which focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life for patients undergoing curative treatments.

(Side effects may lead breast cancer patients to skip drugs; Reuters)

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