For Patients and Families
These videos illustrate the coping challenges that patients and families dealing with cancer commonly face. We feel that they are an important resource not only for patients and loved ones but also professionals providing care for cancer patients and their families.
Creating Opportunities to Achieve Collaboration in Healthcare (COACH)
Many cancer treatments have side effects which affect patient quality of life. Some are very serious such as intractable nausea and dehydration due to chemotherapy. Others are side effects such as hot flashes which might accompany estrogen inhibiting drugs such as tamoxifen which are not life threatening but all the same can be a negative influence on living with your cancer. In our opening series of video on helping patients make the most out of their visits with their doctors we have invited Wendy Harpham, M.D., a physician and cancer survivor, to talk about side effects and how to discuss them with your doctor. She talks from the wisdom of her own cancer experience and also that of treating patients in her practice. We have also provided a pocket guide for patients and families which can be found below.
This guide emphasizes the importance of discussing side effects with your doctor and provides some hints that will make it easier to do that. We hope that you find these materials truly helpful in "making the most of your visit with your doctor." This video and Pocket Guide were generously funded by the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support.
You may pick up a free copy of the guide at:
The Law Learning Center in the Main Building, R4.1141.
The Levit Learning Center in Mays Clinic, R2.1120
Dr. Harpham has a Web site and a blog and both provide valuable insight on how to get good care and live life as fully as possible:
More from Dr. Harpham in Cancerwise: Doctor says, "stop whining"
What Not To Say To Cancer Patients - Talking about cancer can be painful and awkward for both the patient and the well-wisher. Here’s advice from cancer survivors and medical professionals on what not to say to someone with cancer, as well as helpful alternatives.
PatientPilot - This free iPhone application can help you become an empowered patient. It's your mobile medical navigator, coaching you on your journey through the healthcare system and offering tips on what questions to ask your doctors, how to find essential and reliable medical information and how to make medical decisions. http://patient-pilot.com/a/.
From Doctor to Patient: Cancer, Pain and Dying
Richard B. Patt, M.D., was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in March 2012. He discusses his journey from being a successful doctor to a stage IV lung cancer patient.
Dr. Patt's therapy is his band "Dr. Rick's Fool's Paradise" playing all over Houston.
Roundtable with Dr. Richard Patt (28:44)
Enjoying Every Sandwich - Follow Dr. Patt on his Blog
Phyddy Tacchi, R.N., C.N.S., LMFT, LPC, is a psychiatric advanced practice nurse who specializes in the treatment of psychiatric difficulties patients and caregivers encounter in adjusting to living a life with cancer. She conducts workshops with cancer center staff to enhance their communication skills during difficult interactions with patients and families. She has produced two videos entitled “Caring for the Cancer Patient: The Caregiver's Perspective” and “Cancer & Marriage: Four Couples” and authored a caregiver booklet, “Caregivers: Facing the Challenge Together.”
Caring for the Patient - The Caregiver's Perspective:
Families and loved ones discuss their experiences in supporting their loved one after a cancer diagnosis, as well as providing for their own well-being.
Cancer and Marriage - Four Couples
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, both husband and wife may feel intense emotions, but often from diverse perspectives. As the following video will show, these differences can bring conflict or closeness depending on how they are handled.
Caregivers: Facing the Challenge Together
This booklet is available to download or view online (below). It is written for the family members and other caregivers of cancer patients, addressing various aspects of caregiver distress, encouragement and empowerment.
Caregivers: Facing the Challenge Together - Free download (pdf)
Caregivers: I've Got Feelings, Too!
This group will address caregiver needs, expectations, strengths and management of stress associated with the caregiver role.
Place ... of wellness (MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Thursdays noon-1 p.m. (with lunch)
Facilitator: Phyddy Tacchi, C.N.S., R.N.
Please call 713-794-4700 to register.
Patients Talk About... Complementary Therapies and Cancer
This video describes the experiences that some patients have had in using complementary medicines. It will assist you in understanding why these therapies are important to patients.
KIWI: Kids Inquire, We Inform
To help parents and their children learn healthy ways to discuss and cope with a cancer diagnosis in the family, our Department of Social Work created a comprehensive program for parents, children and teens. For more information on this program, visit the KIWI site.
The KIWI program has three components:
Backpacks containing information and tools for children and parents to assist in learning about cancer and healthy ways to cope
Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery, a support program for children and teens coping with a parent's cancer. The program provides support groups for children, teens and parents.
Kid to Kid: Learning to Cope When Your Parent Has Cancer
A video for children which explains cancer, treatments, and common questions kids may have when a parent has cancer.
- Kid to Kid: Learning to Cope When Your Parent Has Cancer
- De un Niño a Otro: Cómo Hacerle Frente Cuando tu Padre o tu
For more information on KIWI, contact your social work counselor or the Department of Social Work at (713) 792-6195.
Is a Clinical Trial the Right Treatment Choice for You?
Clinical trials are research studies in which patients may volunteer to take part. MD Anderson Cancer Center uses clinical trials to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Doctors use treatment trials to learn more about how to fight cancer. This guide is for patients who may join a treatment trial.
Clinical Trials at MD Anderson (pdf) - view the guide
To pick up a hard copy at MD Anderson, stop by The Learning Center in the Main Building or Mays Clinic.
Theodore N. Law Learning Center
Main Building, Floor 4, near Elevator A, Room R4.1100
Levit Family Learning Center
Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near the Tree Sculpture, Room ACB2.1120
For more information, call the Patient Education Office at 713-792-7128.
Texas Medical Association – Me and My Doctor - The Learning Center - The purpose of this blog is create a dialogue between patients and doctors where they can discuss important health care issues, such as the new health law, government health insurance programs - Let your voice be heard
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - The Learning Center — The Learning Center is a free consumer health library with the latest information on cancer care, support, prevention and general health and wellness issues. The Learning Center provides skilled, personalized service to MD Anderson patients, caregivers and the public.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Patient Education — There's so much to learn about cancer. For patients and their family members, a cancer diagnosis means having to understand a lot of information about disease types, treatments and side effects (pdf). Complex medical terms can be confusing and frightening when you're facing a serious disease. In keeping with our mission of education, the Patient Education Office collaborates with clinical staff to provide cancer patients, caregivers and the general public with accurate, reliable information to help them make intelligent decisions about cancer care.
HealthTalk — Is a trusted, respected information resource for patients and caregivers facing serious diseases and health conditions and the medical professionals who treat them. The goal is to help patients with chronic illnesses improve their quality of life, stay informed and live with hope.
5 ways to get your doctor to care more about you — Glamour Magazine.
The Invisible Wound: Living with Cancer-related Fatigue — Dr. Harpham discusses living with the invisible wound of fatigue CURE magazine.
Getting to Know You Handout — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, May 10, 2013 issue. Dr. Harpham offers tips for helping your physicians know you as a unique person.
Chronic Pain Patient Handout — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Oct. 25, 2012 issue. Dr. Harpham offers 6 tips to talking about your pain with your doctors in healing ways.
A Healthy Survivor — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Feb. 25, 2008. Dr. Harpham defines a “Healthy Survivor” as a survivor who gets good care and lives as fully as possible” and explains how this term can help patients nourish hope that motivates them to effective action.
Chasm of a Cure — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Apr. 10, 2009 issue. Dr. Harpham discusses why cure may not be the most helpful goal.
Misguided Metaphor — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, July 25, 2007 issue. Dr. Harpham explains why “losing the battle” is a misguided metaphor when treatments fail.
Managing Uncertainty – Part I: Background — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Oct. 10, 2011 issue. First in a 4-part series on healthy ways to manage uncertainty.
Managing Uncertainty – Part II: Serenity — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Nov. 10. 2011 issue. Second in a 4-part series on healthy ways to manage uncertainty.
Managing Uncertainty – Part III: Hope — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Nov. 25, 2011 issue. Third in a 4-part series on healthy ways to manage uncertainty.
Managing Uncertainty – Part IV: Patient Handout — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Feb 10, 2012 issue. Fourth in a 4-part series on healthy ways to manage uncertainty.
Helpful, hopeful handout when Stopping Treatment — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, July 25, 2011 issue. Patient handout to help patients see stopping treatment in healthy, hopeful ways.
Late Effects Handout: An Introduction for Long-term Survivors — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Mar. 25, 2011 issue. Patient handout to help patients understand late effects in healthy ways.
Post-treatment tips for Patients — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, May 10, 2010 issue. Patient Handout with tips for dealing with post-treatment issues in healthy ways.
Patient Handout on Chronic Pain — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.,Oncology Times,Oct. 25, 2012 issue. Patient Handout with tips for talking about pain at doctor visits.
Patient Handout – Managing Primary Care Need — By Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., Oncology Times, Aug 10, 2012 issue. Patient Handout that clarifies role of primary care physicians in cancer patients’ care.
For Caregivers: This group will address caregiver needs, expectations, strengths and management of stress associated with the caregiver role. Come once, or come often!
“Caregivers: I've Got Feelings, Too!”
Location: Center for Integrative Medicine
Time: Thursdays noon - 1 p.m. (with lunch)
Please call 713-794-4700 to register.
I*CARE on iTunes U
Anyone wishing a copy of the videos may download or subscribe to the videos at
I*CARE at MD Anderson on iTunes U.
Note: You must have iTunes software (a free download from Apple) installed to launch this link. (Page will open in a new browser window. MD Anderson does not endorse external sites.)