- 23. Heal from Within: The Mind-Body Connection in Cancer Treatment with Amy Winn Diane Gilman 38:07
Diane continues her Breast Cancer Awareness Month specials with an interview with chemo nurse Amy Winn. Amy and Diane discuss what it is like being a nurse in such a high pressure department, how she handles the emotional side of her job, her volunteer work in Nigeria and her importance of mindset in cancer treatment.
Discovering Her Calling
Amy knew her calling from an early age, playing healer with dolls and dressing up as a nurse for Halloween. Her innate desire to help people led her to become a chemo nurse.
Amy’s empathy shines through in her approach to patient care. She encourages emotional connections and isn’t afraid to shed tears with her patients. To Amy, these moments of vulnerability demonstrate her humanity and unwavering care for those she treats.
Balancing Life Outside Work
To manage stress, Amy is an avid fitness enthusiast, finding solace in activities like crossfit and running. She strives not to carry work-related stress home, relying on her strong support system to discuss and process her experiences.
The Power of Teamwork
Diane and Amy emphasize the importance of teamwork in the nursing profession. In a chemo unit, healthcare professionals work together as a cohesive team to ensure the best possible experience for patients.
Disparities in Cancer Care
Amy talks about volunteer work she does in Nigeria. She volunteers as a nurse as well as giving training to local nurses there. She did this interview just before going out there for the third time.
Diane compares her experience in the luxurious chemo unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital to the conditions in Nigeria. Amy describes the differences in resources, highlighting the importance of access to basic amenities.
Rising Cancer Rates
The conversation takes a serious turn as Diane and Amy discuss the increasing incidence of cancer. They explore the reasons behind this rise, whether it’s due to improved screening or environmental factors.
Amy provides insights into the evolving landscape of cancer treatment, particularly the growing interest in immunotherapy. She says it can be given alone or in addition to chemo. Immunotherapy targets receptors on your cells and helps your immune system to target the cancer cells themselves. However, Amy says it does depend on patients genetics if they can get it.
The Challenge of Cancer Vaccines
Diane inquires about the development of cancer vaccines. Amy mentions the HPV and hepatitis vaccines that can prevent certain cancers but emphasizes the challenges in developing vaccines for a disease as complex and adaptive as cancer.
The Mind-Body Connection
Amy and Diane delve into the importance of mental and emotional states during cancer treatment. They discuss how a positive mindset, lifestyle, and a strong support system can significantly impact recovery.
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