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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Pro Baseball Player Quits 'Dipping' After Coach's Cancer Diagnosis

by: cancercompass

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer last fall.

Although the doctor's cannot confirm it, Gwynn believed his chewing tobacco, or dipping, habit was the cause for his cancer.

And now, Stephen Strasbourg, a pitcher for the Washington Nationals, is trying to quit the same habit.

Chewing tobacco since his high school years, Strasbourg claims that when he heard of Gwynn's diagnosis, he wanted to make a change.

"I'm still in the process of quitting," Strasburg told The Washington Post. "I've made a lot of strides, stopped being so compulsive with it. I'm hoping I'm going to be clean for spring training. It's going to be hard, because it's something that's embedded in the game."

The two have more than dipping in common. Gwynn was Strasbourg's coach while he attended San Diego State University.

What are your thoughts about MLB players chewing tobacco?

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



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Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend

by: cancercompass

Kicking off its seventh year this Saturday is the Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend.

Benefitting the American Cancer Society (ACS), college basketball coaches - who usually wear nice dress shoes with their suits on game day - will don sneakers with their usual formal attire during the weekend to show their support of ACS.

"We may be battling on the court night in and night out, but as coaches, we're on the same team when it comes to reminding our basketball community and our fans about taking an active role in reducing our risk of cancer and in fighting back on behalf of those who face a cancer diagnosis," Lon Kruger, University of Nevada, Las Vegas coach told "Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend is all about challenging us all to get involved in the fight for every birthday threatened by cancer in every community."

According to, the initiative has raised over $60 million since 1993.



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FDA: Breast Implants Maybe Linked to Lymphoma

by: cancercompass

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that women with breast implants may have a small, but increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

The cancer isn't found in the breast tissue. Rather, the cancer is found in the fibrous capsule tissue, which abuts the breast tissue.

"Although the risk is quite small, we want women to be aware that there have been reports of ALCL occurring around saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants," Binita Ashar, M.D., and FDA Scientist stated in an FDA consumer update. "In the cases reported, ALCL was typically diagnosed years after the implant surgery. In most of these cases, the women were diagnosed after they observed changes in the look or feel of the area surrounding the implant."

Ashar further stated that women who have breast implants and no symptoms should continue to regularly monitor their implants and get breast screenings.

Women who have implants and notice pain or swelling around their implant should contact their physicians.

To learn more about the cancers featured in this article, please visit our lymphoma information page and our breast cancer information page.



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American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days is Underway

by: cancercompass

"Give Daffodils. Give Hope."

That is the motto of one of the oldest American Cancer Society fundraising programs, which kicked off this month and lasts until March.

"The Daffodil Days program involves offering daffodils every spring to donors in appreciation of their contributions, but it is about more than just giving beautiful flowers — it is everyone’s chance to share hope for a future where cancer no longer threatens those we love," according to the Daffodil Days website.

The website offers information about how to become a local coordinator of the fundraising program, and it allows users to search and see if a Daffodil Days is already organized and underway in your community.

Have you participated in Daffodil Days? Will you this year?



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Lung Cancer Goes Beyond Smoking

by: cancercompass

An article published in The Washington Post on Tuesday discusses the stigma that can be associated with being a lung cancer patient, and how smoking can overshadow the disease.

Many lung cancer activists believe that anti-smoking campaigns are not enough to decrease development rates.

"We have a public-health epidemic that cannot be addressed with stop-smoking alone," Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, president and chief executive of the Lung Cancer Alliance, told The Washington Post."No one deserves this disease."

We've written before about the level of sympathy countries across the globe feel for lung cancer patients - or lack there of, because many believe the disease is preventable.

"Current lung cancer rates reflect past smoking levels, since lung cancer can take many years, even decades, to develop. Up to 85 percent of cases are linked to smoking, medical experts say, although sometimes the cause is unknown and secondhand smoke, radon and asbestos are also culprits," the article notes.

Do you think anti-smoking research overshadows lung cancer awareness? What do you think about this issue? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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



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Worldwide Cancer Rate Statistics

by: cancercompass

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recently released statistics regarding the highest overall cancer rates in the world - with Denmark as the highest and South African Republic with the lowest of the top 50 list.

1.    Denmark (326)
2.    Ireland (317)
3.    Australia (314)
4.    New Zealand (309)
5.    Belgium (307)
6.    France (metropolitan) (300)
       USA (300)
8.    Norway (299)
9.    Canada (297)
10.  Czech Republic (295)

The research is based on per 100,000 of the population. In other words, for the United States, every year 300 out of every 100,000 people develop some form of cancer.

According to The Guardian, WCRF claims that these statistics are "likely to be partly because high-income countries are better at diagnosing and recording new cases of cancer. But a large part of the reason is also that high-income countries tend to have higher levels of obesity and alcohol consumption, and lower levels of physical activity."

What do you think of these statistics? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.



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Roger Ebert Dons New Facial Prosthesis

by: cancercompass

America's most famous film critic didn't let cancer get in the way of his profession. Through multiple surgeries and treatments for cancer, Roger Ebert no longer has his lower jaw and is unable to speak. However, he has continued to watch films and give his critiques in the Chicago Sun-Times and other publications.

And now, Ebert will once again return to TV. Well known as the co-host of Siskel & Ebert, and Ebert & Roeper, the film critic recently received a facial prosthesis. He will wear the prosthesis on his new show - "Ebert Presents at the Movies” - which begins January 21st on public TV stations across the United States.

"After surgery, I studiously avoided looking at myself in a mirror. In my mind my face was still whole. This was not the case," Ebert notes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "I will wear the prosthesis on the new television show. That's not to fool anyone, because my appearance is widely known. It will be used in a medium shot of me working in my office, and will be a pleasant reminder of the person I was for 64 years."

Will you tune-in to watch Ebert's new show?



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Study: Small Breast Cancer Metastases May Not Affect Longevity

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the significance of small breast cancer metastases (less than 2 millimeters) is minimal compared to larger metastases.

Researchers from the University of Vermont randomly divided a group of over 5600 women into one of two procedural groups: sentinel-lymph-node biopsy plus axillary dissection, and sentinel-lymph-node biopsy alone.

A sentinel-lymph-node is the first lymph node or group of nodes likely to be reached by metastasizing cancer cells from a primary tumor. Sentinel-lymph-node biopsy plus axillary dissection can spot hidden, smaller metastases.

"If you had them, the [overall] survival was 94.6 percent; if not, 95.8. There's only a 1.2 percent difference between the two," study author Dr. Donald L. Weaver told HealthDay.

Weaver further noted that while the difference was significant from a statistical point of view, it was slight from a clinical point of view.

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



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Cancer Patient, Packers Fans Upset by Aaron Rodgers Criticism

by: cancercompass

Wearing a pink Green Bay Packers baseball cap and a pink Green Bay Packers sweatshirt, breast cancer patient Jan Cavanaugh and her husband drove to the airport right after Jan  received chemotherapy treatments last weekend to see their beloved football team off to Atlanta.

Canvanaugh was interviewed by WBAY while she waited for players to arrive at the airport, stating that she wanted to get Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to sign her pink hat.

Rodgers claimed to have not seen Cavanaugh as he passed her by in the airport a few minutes later, and now some claim he "snubbed" her.

However, Canvanaugh's love for Rodgers and the Packers hasn't waned. In fact, she's upset by the backlash.

“I am very unhappy with people making so much out of this, because this really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s up to the players to decide who they want to give an autograph to, and that’s their prerogative," she told WBAY.

Others in the sports community are rallying behind Rodgers as well. National Columnist Gregg Doyel claims Rodgers is "a great guy off the field" despite what people think of the incident on Saturday. Doyel further explains that Rodgers is on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer and cares deeply for his fans - especially the kids.

“Look, I’ve dealt with Aaron Rodgers on several occasions, and I have to say that you’re not going to find a more accessible, stand-up guy,” writer Rick Chandler notes. “Of course it’s now come to light that Rodgers has signed several items for Cavanaugh in the past. With so many legitimate questions out there concerning the character of certain NFL quarterbacks, it’s a shame that this typhoon-in-a-teapot needs to be so blown out of proportion.”

What do you think of this situation?

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



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Kohl's Cares, Dana Buchman Raise Funds for Cancer Research

by: cancercompass

Merchandise and clothing designer Dana Buchman has teamed with Kohl's Cares, the department store's philanthropic branch, to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Kohl's is carrying a special collection exclusively by the designer. All items are $5 or $10 and include products like scarves, necklaces, hats, pajama sets, sunglasses, and more – with 100 percent of the profits benefiting ‘the fight against breast cancer.’

“We are excited to unveil our newest collection to support women’s health, designed by Dana Buchman,” Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, stated in a press release. “Dana Buchman makes women look and feel beautiful and this new and exciting collection gives our customers an easy way support the fight against breast cancer and look great while doing it.”

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

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