Women Living With Cancer Can Take Steps To Combat Chemotherapy Side Effects

Actress Julia Sweeney Offers Advice in a Free Program and Video

For Cancer Patients



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.

    NEW YORK, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600,000 women will be
 diagnosed with cancer this year. While a cancer diagnosis is devastating, the
 side effects of cancer treatment -- particularly chemotherapy -- can be
 devastating, as well.   Now there is help -- a national educational program
 and video called Finding Strength for Living, developed by Ortho Biotech
 Products, L.P. in conjunction with oncologists and health and nutrition
 experts. The program will take place in various cities across the country this
 year and was developed to educate women living with cancer on how to combat
 the harsh side effects of chemotherapy, including anemia and fatigue.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010402/CGM023 )
     The kick-off event is being held in New York City on April 5, which is
 National Cancer Fatigue Awareness Day (part of the Oncology Nursing Society's
 National Cancer Fatigue Awareness Week, April 2-9).  The event features
 presentations from an oncology specialist, breast cancer patient, exercise
 physiologist and a nutritionist who share strategies for managing chemotherapy
 side effects including anemia, fatigue, nausea, pain and emotional distress.
 In addition, 'Saturday Night Live' alum Julia Sweeney presents segments from
 her award-winning one-woman show, "God Said, 'Ha!'" about her experiences as
 both a cancer survivor and caregiver.
 
     Managing Side Effects of Chemotherapy
     The side effects of chemotherapy can be life-altering.  According to a
 recent survey of cancer patients, the most debilitating and longest-lasting
 side effect of chemotherapy is the severe fatigue that is typically caused by
 anemia.
     Chemotherapy-induced anemia occurs when the chemotherapy treatments
 deplete the number of oxygen-rich red blood cells.  With fewer of the red
 blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, patients get fatigued.  The
 fatigue caused by anemia can be so severe that simple, everyday tasks like
 cooking a meal or taking a shower become difficult.
     "It is so important that patients who experience fatigue talk to their
 doctors about it and don't dismiss it as simply a symptom of the cancer,"
 explains Dr. Paula Klein, an oncology specialist at St. Vincent's Hospital in
 New York. "There are medications available to combat the anemia that is
 causing the fatigue."  Dr. Klein recommends that patients who are experiencing
 fatigue ask their doctor for a simple hemoglobin test to determine whether or
 not they have anemia.
     One treatment option for patients suffering from anemia is PROCRIT(R)
 (epoetin alfa), which increases red blood cell production, allowing more
 oxygen to circulate throughout the body resulting in reduced fatigue.
 Patients also should incorporate certain nutrient-dense foods into their diet,
 such as fruits, leafy green vegetables and lean red meat, to help ward off the
 harsh side effects of treatment.  Exercise is also very important in order to
 maintain and increase strength.
 
     Laughter & Learning for Women with Cancer
     In an effort reach even more women, particularly those who aren't able to
 attend the program in person, Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. has produced a free
 Finding Strength for Living educational video.  Similar to the live event, the
 video also features an oncologist, health and nutrition experts and actress
 and comedian Julia Sweeney who shares her personal experiences with cancer,
 including caring for her brother who died of lymphoma, and surviving her own
 cervical cancer.
     "When I was undergoing treatment, I had no idea that many of the symptoms
 I was experiencing -- particularly the fatigue -- were treatable.  I thought
 'I have cancer, I'm supposed to feel lousy,'" said Sweeney.  "I want other
 women to know that there are things they can do to help minimize these side
 effects and get back to the business of living."
     To order a free copy of the Finding Strength for Living video, visit
 www.procrit.com .
     Finding Strength for Living is sponsored by Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.,
 marketers of PROCRIT, a medication used to treat anemia associated with cancer
 chemotherapy for nonmyeloid malignancies.  In studies, only diarrhea and edema
 occurred more often with PROCRIT than placebo.  Full prescribing information
 is available at www.procrit.com .
 
 

SOURCE Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.
    NEW YORK, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600,000 women will be
 diagnosed with cancer this year. While a cancer diagnosis is devastating, the
 side effects of cancer treatment -- particularly chemotherapy -- can be
 devastating, as well.   Now there is help -- a national educational program
 and video called Finding Strength for Living, developed by Ortho Biotech
 Products, L.P. in conjunction with oncologists and health and nutrition
 experts. The program will take place in various cities across the country this
 year and was developed to educate women living with cancer on how to combat
 the harsh side effects of chemotherapy, including anemia and fatigue.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010402/CGM023 )
     The kick-off event is being held in New York City on April 5, which is
 National Cancer Fatigue Awareness Day (part of the Oncology Nursing Society's
 National Cancer Fatigue Awareness Week, April 2-9).  The event features
 presentations from an oncology specialist, breast cancer patient, exercise
 physiologist and a nutritionist who share strategies for managing chemotherapy
 side effects including anemia, fatigue, nausea, pain and emotional distress.
 In addition, 'Saturday Night Live' alum Julia Sweeney presents segments from
 her award-winning one-woman show, "God Said, 'Ha!'" about her experiences as
 both a cancer survivor and caregiver.
 
     Managing Side Effects of Chemotherapy
     The side effects of chemotherapy can be life-altering.  According to a
 recent survey of cancer patients, the most debilitating and longest-lasting
 side effect of chemotherapy is the severe fatigue that is typically caused by
 anemia.
     Chemotherapy-induced anemia occurs when the chemotherapy treatments
 deplete the number of oxygen-rich red blood cells.  With fewer of the red
 blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, patients get fatigued.  The
 fatigue caused by anemia can be so severe that simple, everyday tasks like
 cooking a meal or taking a shower become difficult.
     "It is so important that patients who experience fatigue talk to their
 doctors about it and don't dismiss it as simply a symptom of the cancer,"
 explains Dr. Paula Klein, an oncology specialist at St. Vincent's Hospital in
 New York. "There are medications available to combat the anemia that is
 causing the fatigue."  Dr. Klein recommends that patients who are experiencing
 fatigue ask their doctor for a simple hemoglobin test to determine whether or
 not they have anemia.
     One treatment option for patients suffering from anemia is PROCRIT(R)
 (epoetin alfa), which increases red blood cell production, allowing more
 oxygen to circulate throughout the body resulting in reduced fatigue.
 Patients also should incorporate certain nutrient-dense foods into their diet,
 such as fruits, leafy green vegetables and lean red meat, to help ward off the
 harsh side effects of treatment.  Exercise is also very important in order to
 maintain and increase strength.
 
     Laughter & Learning for Women with Cancer
     In an effort reach even more women, particularly those who aren't able to
 attend the program in person, Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. has produced a free
 Finding Strength for Living educational video.  Similar to the live event, the
 video also features an oncologist, health and nutrition experts and actress
 and comedian Julia Sweeney who shares her personal experiences with cancer,
 including caring for her brother who died of lymphoma, and surviving her own
 cervical cancer.
     "When I was undergoing treatment, I had no idea that many of the symptoms
 I was experiencing -- particularly the fatigue -- were treatable.  I thought
 'I have cancer, I'm supposed to feel lousy,'" said Sweeney.  "I want other
 women to know that there are things they can do to help minimize these side
 effects and get back to the business of living."
     To order a free copy of the Finding Strength for Living video, visit
 www.procrit.com .
     Finding Strength for Living is sponsored by Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.,
 marketers of PROCRIT, a medication used to treat anemia associated with cancer
 chemotherapy for nonmyeloid malignancies.  In studies, only diarrhea and edema
 occurred more often with PROCRIT than placebo.  Full prescribing information
 is available at www.procrit.com .
 
 SOURCE  Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.