Oncology Starter Pack



Being diagnosed with cancer is a frightful thing. Patients often experience a sense of helplessness as they are suddenly plunged into the uncertainties of understanding their diagnosis, the multiple decisions to make concerning treatment, and the need to maintain some normalcy in their daily lives amidst all that is happening. Information from the Internet, self-help books and magazines, or relatives and friends, may not be complete or directly relevant to one’s own situation. While professional information and good “layman” literature exist, these are not easily accessible or available to the patient.

It is with this in mind that AARO has assembled an Oncology Starter Pack to provide a starting base of information and material to guide our patients as they search for answers and directions during this difficult time of their lives. The Starter Pack was put together by our Oncologists in AARO after witnessing first-hand the challenges faced by their patients in the clinic. Common “medical” questions such as what is cancer, how is cancer diagnosed, what is the difference between radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, what should I expect from my treatment, and how can I manage the cost of treatment, are questions most patients have but do not dare to ask in the busy clinic setting. Other “lifestyle” issues such what food can I eat, what is the evidence for a no-sugar or vegan diet, can I exercise during my cancer treatment, and what is the role of complementary/alternative treatments may also often not be adequately addressed by the oncologist due to lack of time, or training, in these areas.

To help you with these questions, AARO has compiled a carefully selected range of books, patient information sheets, and planning material in the Oncology Starter Pack. It is our hope that through this material, you will not only obtain a better understanding of your condition, but also be able to take concrete steps to organize your lives in the midst of your cancer treatment and for a long time after.

The Oncology Starter Pack contains the following items:

Educational Material

1) Complimentary Printed Quick Reference Sheets according to Cancer Type provided free (online) by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

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2) Factsheets on Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy & Immunotherapy


3) Website-links to detailed and comprehensive professional patient resources freely downloadable from the Internet
Self-Help Books on Coping with Cancer

(Please note that the following books are only intended as general advice for patients. While we have screened these books to ensure credibility of the authors – most of whom are doctors or medical professionals – and appropriateness of content, the inclusion of these books in the Starter Pack do not constitute an endorsement by AARO of any of its contents, nor should the information therein be regarded as professional medical advice. Should you wish to seek clarification or verification of any advice you have read, please schedule an appointment with the doctors in AARO.)

4) After You Hear It’s Cancer – A Guide to Navigating the Difficult Journey Ahead

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Written by a radiation oncologist who suffered from breast cancer, this book guides cancer patients along their journey where no one knows the duration or the destination. Divided into the three parts of being a cancer patient—the diagnosis, initial treatment, and on to survivorship—the book will help the newly diagnosed cancer patient navigate a complex health care system, make astute decisions at difficult junctures, and manage the emotional turbulence that can rock his or her world. Lastly, it shares the story of how the author and his wife, as well as other cancer patients, have confronted their disease.

5) Anticancer: A New Way of Life

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This book addresses current developments in cancer research and offers more tips on how people living with cancer can fight it and how healthy people can prevent it. The new edition of Anticancer includes:
• The latest research on anticancer foods, including new alternatives to sugar and cautions about some that are now on the market
• New information about how vitamin D strengthens the immune system
• Warnings about common food contaminants that have recently been proven to contribute to cancer progression
• A new chapter on mind-body approaches to stress reduction, with recent studies that show how our reactions to stress can interfere with natural defenses and how friendships can support healing in ways never before understood

6) Exercises for Cancer Wellness: Restoring Energy and Vitality While Fighting Fatigue

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Exercise helps to build a stronger, healthier you, better suited to combat the symptoms and side effects associated with cancer and its treatments.

Exercises for Cancer Wellness is your guide to making positive life changes during and after cancer treatment, helping to lessen the risks of recurrence or relapse, while increasing your strength and energy. With a focus on gentle resistance exercises, flexibility, and cardiovascular activities, you will find yourself feeling better each day, as your strength increases and your fatigue decreases.

Exercises for Cancer Wellness includes:
– A detailed overview of how exercise can help reduce your risk factors
– Clear, informative pictures of safe, effective exercises
– Detailed instructions on how to perform each movement
– A complete fitness approach to reduce stress and improve health
– A training log to track your progress

Accordion file and planner for report organization and clinic visits

8) Accordion file for medical records- storage of reports & cd slot for scans


9) AARO Cancer Planner/Diary

This planner has been specially designed for the cancer patient to take notes and treatment logs for their diagnosis and treatment. This is important as cancer treatment frequently involves a multi-disciplinary approach, which will mean multiple clinic appointments, scans and treatment dates. The planner facilitates detailed record and scheduling of all appointments as well, relieving the patient and their family from creating separate reminders and holding (and risking losing) multiple appointment slips.

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