Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.



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10 Days Until 'Be Your Own MVP'

by: cancercompass

The American Cancer Society will be hosting its first annual 'Be Your Own MVP' fundraising event at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, July 29th in order to raise awareness and funding, which will benefit research for male related cancers.

Each ticket is $350 and includes the following:

•    Buffet Dinner and Open Bar in the premium Legends Suite Club.

•    Free Parking in the 164th St. Garage.

•    20 minute Behind the Scenes Tour of Yankee Stadium visiting the Clubhouse, Dugout, and Monument Park.

•    Throw a few baseballs in the Speed Pitching machine and then hit a few in the Batting Cage.

•    Take Home Photo Opportunities.

•    Opportunity to participate in the evening auction.

Do you live in the New York City area? Will you be participating in this event?

For more information regarding male related cancers, please visit our prostate cancer information and testicular cancer information pages.



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Empire State Cracks Down on Tanning Salons

by: cancercompass

Since the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) changed the category classification of tanning beds from "probably carcinogenic to humans" to its group 1 category of "carcinogenic to humans," federal and state governments have been seriously cracking down on the legality of indoor tanning.

Most recently, New York state officials want to ban indoor tanning for anyone under 18. Currently, New York has a law that prohibits those under 14 years old from using indoor tanning beds. Children aged 14 to 17 must have parents sign a consent form before use.

"We're not claiming that people get addicted to tanning the same way you do nicotine, but it clearly is a habit you develop as a teenager," Peter Slocum, vice president for advocacy at the American Cancer Society in Albany, told the Associated Press. "That's when most people start frequenting the cancer chambers."

To learn more about the cancer featured in this article, please visit our skin cancer information page.

What are your thoughts regarding indoor tanning? Should it be banned for minors?



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California's State Rock Causes Cancer?

by: cancercompass

One state official wants to strip a rock called serpentine of its official California State Rock title because she believes it's hazardous to Californians' health.

Serpentine was named California's official State Rock back in 1965. The state was the first of its kind to designate an official State Rock. And the reason Sen. Gloria Romero of Los Angeles wants its 45-year-old title stripped is because of its potential health hazards.

Serpentine contains asbestos, which is a series of minerals that used to be mined for in the state. Asbestos was also used for commercial use before health officials deemed it hazardous as asbestos inhalation has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma development.

Romero has proposed a bill for serpentine to get the boot.

"This is a question of health and public awareness," Romero told the Associated Press. "We know that California has the highest rates of mesothelioma deaths in the nation and we don't think it's appropriate to be celebrating as the state rock something which contains asbestos."

What are your thoughts about California's State Rock issue?

To learn more about the cancers featured in this post, please visit our lung cancer information page.



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Healthy, Delicious Cancer-Friendly Recipes for Patients and Survivors

by: cancercompass

Parmesan Crusted Halibut, Braised Short Ribs, Caramel Nut Popcorn, and Asian Vegetables.

Those are just some of the delicious cancer-friendly recipes brought to you by the chefs at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which are featured on

Our recipe section also features a dish from the book 'Eat Well Through Cancer' by Holly Clegg & Gerald Miletello, MD, called Easy Cranberry Yam Bread. Yum!

There are 14 featured recipes that include main dishes, appetizers, salads, desserts, vegetable sides, breads and more.

Have you tried any of our featured recipes? If you haven't, give one of them a try. Become a food critic and let us know what you think of the dishes in the comments section below the listed recipes.

Do you have any healthy dishes you'd like to share? Feel free to post the recipe in the comments section below.



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Are Cancer Survivors Bigger Risk Takers?

by: cancercompass

CNN published an article Monday about a young cancer survivor who wanted to celebrate his recovery by taking a risk - running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

This young man and his brother set-off across the pond for an adrenaline rush that ended up with both of them in the hospital for a week. When asked: would you ever go back? He said, "Definitely."

As a cancer survivor, this young man wanted to "celebrate life in a way a little bit more intensely" than others, his brother told CNN.

How about you? If you are a cancer survivor, have you become more adventurous, like this bull runner, since your treatment ended? Or are you happy to be trying to return to life before your diagnosis?

Please share your thoughts with us in our comments section.



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MLB Fun Run Raises $200K

by: cancercompass

It's Major League Baseball's All-Star Week this week, which kicked-off Sunday with the All-Star Charity 5K and Fun Run. The event took place at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California with The Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels there to pump-up and inspire the more than 9,000 runners.

"I would imagine that if you are here, you've been affected by this disease," Michaels said. "I have personally lost loved ones. One of my closest friends, right here in front of me, beat breast cancer this year. I imagine you are running for you and your loved ones and your friends. When we come together, there is nothing we can't do. We will beat this disease. And I'm going to be there every step of the way."

More than $200,000 was raised and donated to Stand Up To Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Prostate Cancer Foundation and City of Hope.

In May, MLB players swung custom made pink Louisville Slugger bats on Mother's Day to raise breast cancer awareness for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure campaign.

Kudos to MLB for its continued commitment to raising awareness and funds for developing a cure for cancer.



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Study: Living in an 'Enriched Environment' Reduces Tumor Growth

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in the medical journal Cell, mice with cancerous tumors that lived in an 'enriched environment' exhibited a reduction in cancer tumor growth and increased cancer remission.

Researchers used melanoma and colon cancer cells on the mice for this study.

Lead researcher Matthew During, MD, said, "Putting animals into more complex environments - a more challenging environment both socially and physically, has a marked impact on the growth of the cancer."

The study states that mice housed in the enriched environment, as opposed to the controlled environment, had more brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulation, which shuts down the fat hormone leptin, which mediates the anticancer effects.

To learn more about the cancers featured in this article, please visit our melanoma information and colon cancer information pages.



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Study: Fish Oil May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Development

by: cancercompass

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, fish oil may help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Researchers studied nonvitamin, nonmineral supplements that are sometimes used to curb postmenopausal symptoms - supplements like black cohosh, dong quai, soy and St. John's wort. However, only fish oil was linked to be inversely related to breast cancer development.

The results are too early for clinicians to start recommending that women take fish oil supplements to reduce the risk of breast cancer, the study's lead author told CNN.

"People should try to achieve nutrients through a healthy diet, so eating fish is a better recommendation than fish oil," Dr. Emily White said. "We think that fish oil is promising in terms of disease prevention, but it's not proven."

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our breast cancer information page.



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Surviving Uncertainty

by Dana Demas

This week, my friend and colleague, Liz Hoffman, guest blogs at CancerCompass:

After battling cancer and coming out a survivor, you would expect the worry and stress to lessen.  But, sometimes emotions are just beginning to grow.  The fear of cancer recurrence is both natural and rational.  However, when the anxiety affects or interferes with everyday life, it is time to take action. 

With the battle against cancer behind you, it can often be hard to find new ways to occupy your time (and mind).  A flood of emotions may come pouring in now that your free time is increased, without appointments and treatments to fill your day.  Going “back to normal” may not be as easy as it sounds.   

No matter the stage of cancer diagnosis, many cancer survivors face the uncertainty that the cancer may come back.  Sometimes an event or conversation may trigger unpleasant thoughts.  Or perhaps the fear of recurrence is always lingering.  These feelings of fear and uncertainty are common and normal if kept under control. 

Follow these tips to help manage your fears:

  • Listen to your body – if you sense or experience changes in your body, contact your health care team. 
  • Keep open communication – talk to your physician about any concerns.
  • See your doctor regularly – don’t delay appointments or skip visits.
  • Find support – contact a local support group and talk to others in situations like yours. 

It is important to recognize the signs of anxiety and emotional distress related to recurrence uncertainty.  If your fear is causing panic attacks, stress or changes to living your life, it’s time to talk to someone.  Let your physician know your situation and find help.        

In the end, it is important to remember that you cannot prevent cancer from recurring.  Take good care of yourself and enjoy your life after cancer.



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Study: How Doctors Tell Patients They Have Cancer

by: cancercompass

The Los Angeles Times recently published an interesting article regarding a study from the National Cancer Institute and Columbia University regarding how doctors tell patients they have cancer. The study was published this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers asked 437 patients how they received their diagnosis:

•    54% were told their diagnosis in person in the doctor's office
•    28% were told their diagnosis while in the hospital
•    18% were told their diagnosis by phone

How did your doctor tell you that you have cancer?

Patients were also asked, on a scale from 0-100, how satisfied they were with the way their doctors delivered the diagnosis – the average score was 73.5.

Using that same scale, how would you rate how satisfied you were when your doctor told you that you have cancer?

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.