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Cancer and guilt




A cancer diagnosis puts an immense psychological strain on the afflicted individual and their loved ones. One of the main sources of distress is often guilt, which can affect patients, survivors, and caregivers alike.

Guilt in cancer patients
People diagnosed with cancer will often experience feelings of regret. For instance, it’s very common for people to blame themselves for their cancer, especially if their lifestyle choices increased their risk of developing it. It’s also common for them to perceive themselves as a burden, or as having let their friends and family members down if the treatment didn’t work as expected.

Guilt in cancer survivors
Survivor’s guilt occurs when a cancer survivor reflects on the fact that they survived when others didn’t. It can put tremendous pressure on them to try and make the most of their second chance, which can paradoxically cause them more stress. It also makes the fear of recurrence much worse.

Guilt in caregivers, friends and family members
A loved one’s cancer diagnosis will obviously make the people around them worry. It can also make them feel guilty for being healthy or for not being able to provide more support. Being angry at their loved ones for making choices that increased their risk of cancer is another reason people may experience guilt.

Coping with guilt
The first thing to do is to realize that these feelings are normal and that talking about them can help affected individuals cope with them better. In addition, it’s important for patients and people close to them to understand that there’s nothing to gain by focusing on past mistakes.

Keep in mind that hospitals offer access to social workers as part of their treatment plan for cancer. These professionals can help patients, survivors and their loved ones cope with the psychological impacts of cancer.

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Cancer vaccines may save lives



Could vaccines turn life-threatening cancers into a thing of the past? Early research suggests that mRNA cancer vaccines, often customized specifically for individual patients, have the potential to significantly improve survival rates for certain cancers. So how do these potentially life-saving cancer vaccines work?

Vaccines work by teaching the body how to identify and fight microbes, according to Traditionally, vaccines have targeted viruses, tiny and not-quite-living microbes that don’t respond to antibiotics. Viral vaccines don’t target the virus itself directly and instead teach the immune system how to identify and attack specific viruses.

For some time now, researchers at various universities, companies, and other organizations have been searching for a mechanism to teach the body how to more effectively find and destroy cancer cells. Because cancer is an internal process, the immune system struggles to fully differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells, which allows the cells to spread unchecked. While some cells in the immune system can identify the mutated cells, they are usually overwhelmed.

mRNA cancer vaccines may turn the tide, according to While traditional vaccines typically use a whole virus or similar microbe, mRNA vaccines use smaller proteins to teach immune cells how to spot proteins present in cancer cells or on a virus’s outer coating. When the immune system can quickly identify rogue cells and viruses, it’s much easier to destroy them.

Meanwhile, traditional cancer treatments often target fast-growing cells. Chemotherapy, for example, kills cells as they split into two. Since cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells, chemotherapy tends to kill off cancer cells more quickly than healthy cells. Still, chemo will kill many healthy cells and damage the body. Cancer vaccines, however, may ultimately prove both effective and much easier on patients.

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Staying well: Meditation can improve memory, concentration and more



Everyone knows that meditation can reduce stress. But researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital say it directly affects the function and structure of the brain. It increases attention span, sharpens focus, and improves memory.

With the aid of advanced brain scanning technology, one study showed that daily meditation thickens the parts of the brain’s cerebral cortex responsible for decision-making, attention, and memory.

The test subjects were Boston-area workers practicing Western-style meditation, called mindfulness or insight meditation. For 40 minutes a day, they focused on an image, a sound, or on their own breathing.

The Insight Meditation Society recommends just sitting in a chair. Close your eyes and follow your breath. Feel the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen. If your mind wanders, that’s all right.

Watch what happens when your mind wanders. Notice it, observe it, then let it go and return to breathing. Be aware of what you’re thinking, but don’t get caught up in it.

With practice, you can develop a state called mindfulness, which is being aware of what’s going on as it arises without jumping to conclusions, judgments, hopes, fears, or plans.

Meditation also improves productivity and reduces absenteeism at work, probably because it helps prevent stress-related illness.

Meditation seems to aid with emotional regulation, which helps people get along better. It acts on emotional intelligence, which neuroscientists say is more important for life success than cognitive intelligence.

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Collagen and greens: The truth about the hottest supplements



Ads for collagen supplements imply big benefits — youthful skin, stronger bones, and reduced joint pain.

Simply add a scoop to your morning smoothie or mix it with water to turn back the clock. While you’re at it, add a scoop of powdered greens. It’s easier than eating kale but gives you all the nutritional benefits. For just $99 (per month), you can combine the two supplements into a single, convenient product. It’s easy, and it works, right?

Maybe, researchers say. But then again, maybe not. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, more research is needed to determine whether collagen supplements can help humans grow new collagen, which diminishes as we age. And as the New York Times reports, while some studies have indicated that taking collagen for several months may improve skin elasticity, those studies were small and received their funding from collagen supplement manufacturers.

Greens powders — which usually contain some combination of dried and ground leafy greens and seaweed, grasses, probiotics, and herbs — fare somewhat better under scrutiny, but experts still encourage skepticism. According to WebMD, greens powders can be useful to supplement a healthy diet with additional vitamins and antioxidants. One study linked greens powders with improvements in blood pressure. But greens powder is not equivalent to whole foods — some nutritional content, like fiber, is lost in processing, and over-consumption of some vitamins can be harmful.

Another thing for consumers to consider is: The supplement market is largely unregulated, and poor-quality products with inaccurate labels are common. In an interview with The Cut, Evan Reister, a doctor of nutrition science at American University, advises consumers to look for brands that are USP or NSF-certified. These certifications require that manufacturers label their products accurately and submit to third-party lab testing for certain contaminants.

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What is frontotemporal dementia?



You may have seen or heard the words “frontotemporal dementia” more often than usual lately, or maybe for the first time ever, thanks to the family of Bruce Willis, which recently announced the legendary actor’s diagnosis. According to his family’s statement, that was the goal: “…that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”

Here are five key things to know about frontotemporal dementia, also called frontotemporal disorder or FTD:

1. Frontotemporal dementia is a catch-all term for a group of disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are associated with personality, behavior, and language, according to the Mayo Clinic.

2. FTD is one of the most common types of dementia among younger patients and affects men and women equally. Symptoms usually start between the ages of 40 and 65 but can also appear in younger or older adults, according to Johns Hopkins.

3. The two most common types of FTD are the frontal variant, which affects behavior and personality, and primary progressive aphasia, which has two subtypes. The first subtype, progressive nonfluent aphasia, affects the ability to speak, while the other type, semantic dementia, affects the ability to use or understand language.

4. The first symptoms are usually unusual behavior and difficulty with speech and language, according to UCSF Health. Later, many patients develop movement disorders or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

5. The cause of FTD is unknown, but researchers believe a genetic component may exist. There are no treatments available that can slow or reverse the progression of FTD, but medications and therapies may relieve symptoms and help preserve function.

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May is National Arthritis Month: How to reduce arthritis symptoms



The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is a degenerative joint disease wear the protective tissue on bones wears down over time. It causes pain and inflammation.

If you are beginning to have pain in joints, like knees, one of the best things you can do is lose weight. Weight loss reduces joint stress. With weight loss, some joint pain may disappear completely.

In other cases, weight loss may have a moderate impact on pain.

If you already have osteoarthritis pain, increasing water intake often improves the condition after about four weeks, the time needed to rehydrate the joints. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day. If you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces or ten eight-ounce glasses per day.

Eat foods that fight inflammation, such as fish and nuts. Limit animal fats, which can trigger inflammation. Take a multivitamin.

Researchers have found that walking, riding a bike, tai chi, or swimming can help with pain and preserve some flexibility.

One of the keys is to do as much as you can. No one with arthritis likes getting started, but remember that walking can help reduce pain and inflammation. See for stretching exercises and advice on walking programs.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are often taken for arthritis, but there have been mixed results in clinical studies. Some studies say the supplements seem to have little effect on mild to moderate arthritis. In cases of moderate to severe arthritis, however, some users report reduced pain.

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How to remove a tattoo



You’re on a motorcycle. Shades. Sleeve rolled up over your bicep. That screamin’ eagle tattoo says you are ready to rumble.

Of course, 15 years later, maybe you don’t want to rumble anymore.

With tattoos making a big impression these days, doctors who offer laser removal are making big bucks taking the impressions off. By one estimate, there are 23 million Americans with tattoo regret. Young women, in particular, often come to regret the permanent reflection of their adolescence marked in living color on their shoulders and hands.

Laser treatments can permanently remove up to 95 percent of a tattoo, but they are very expensive and take several treatments. The laser works by shooting short bursts of light into the tattoo pigment. The laser breaks up the pigment, and the body removes the leftover tiny pigment particles.

With laser treatments, tattoo ink color matters. Black is the easiest to remove since it readily absorbs light from the laser. Green is harder to remove. There are lasers specifically designed to remove various tattoo colors, but the more obscure the colors in your tattoo, the harder it will be to remove.

While a medium-sized tattoo can cost $200, removing it could cost $1200. Laser removal costs $200 per treatment and can require from six to eight treatments, although results vary.

If laser treatment doesn’t work, there are other, more invasive permanent options. The tattoo can be sanded off (dermabrasion), cut off (surgery) with or without skin grafting, or burned off (chemical peels).

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
8:30 am Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Turner Pond Entrance. Explore the Crooked Run Valley and Sky Meadows State Park with Bishop’s Events 5k and 10k races. Get rejuvenated as you traverse through the meadows, pastures and woodlands of Sky Meadows and[...]
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 10:00 am – Jun 11 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
12:00 pm VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
VA State Parks History and Culture: The Enslaved Community at Mount Bleak @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. In 1860, nearly half of Fauquier County’s 21,706 residents were enslaved, with fourteen enslaved individuals living at the Mount Bleak Farm. Journey through these difficult stories alongside staff, volunteers and costumed interpreters. Explore[...]
6:00 pm Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Welcome Summer by watching the sunset across the Crooked Run Valley with a special solstice-themed Astronomy For Everyone. Join members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club as they use special technology to view the[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]
10:00 am Native Wildflower ID and Invasiv... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Native Wildflower ID and Invasiv... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Native Wildflower ID and Invasive Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Buds are blooming all across the Crooked Run Valley. Explore these native wildflowers, herbaceous plants and pollinators with Virginia Master Naturalists and Native Plant Society members. Discover new ways to identify natives[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 24 – Jun 25 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful Historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]