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Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and insomnia

Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:

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Now surgeons can see scans through a microscope

Developed at Providence Brain and Spine Institute, microscope-integrated radiology lets surgeons instantly view pre-op images through the surgical microscope. – By Vivek Deshmukh, M.D., neurosurgeon

Providence Endoscopic Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor Center

Our surgeons are have been at the forefront in the Pacific Northwest in developing multidisciplinary, minimally invasive endoscopic approaches to skull base lesions. Compared to standard neurosurgical approaches, these techniques lead to shorter hospitalizations, faster recoveries and improved outcomes.

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Proprietary Health Article

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Helping patients for over 30 years, Gamma Knife remains the gold standard of stereotactic radiosurgery for brain lesions, brain tumors, and other neurological conditions.

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Seizure is often the first clinical symptom of a brain neoplasm, especially in cases of low-grade neoplasms. – Paula Gerber, M.D., neurologist; medical director, Providence Neurodiagnostic Services

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Colloid cysts are rare and potentially deadly, but with special training, endoscopic resection can be done swiftly and easily. – By Pankaj A. Gore, M.D., neurosurgeon

World-class technology: intraoperative MRI suite

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is home to the world’s most advanced operating suite for brain tumors.

Recommended Resource

American Brain Tumor Association

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) provides critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. 

American Cancer Society: Cancer staging

American Cancer Society’s description and explanation of staging cancer. Staging is the process of finding out how much cancer there is in the body and where it is located. It is how the doctor learns the stage of a person's cancer. Doctors use this information to plan treatment and to help find out a person's outlook (prognosis). 

Cancer.net (AKA: People Living with Cancer)

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CancerCare.org

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KidsCope.org

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National Cancer Institute

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