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.

Feb

14

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FDA Approves 3-D Mammography System

by: cancercompass

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a news release Friday announcing the approval of a 3-dimensional mammography system.

Selenia Dimensions System is the first device of its kind to provide 3-D mammography. Some believe that such technology will reduce additional testing after an initial 3-D screening. According to the FDA, about 10 percent of women must undergo additional screenings and tests to search for breast abnormalities.

"Physicians can now access this unique and innovative 3-D technology that could significantly enhance existing diagnosis and treatment approaches,” Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, stated in the news release.

In a recent HealthDay article, using both 2-D and 3-D imaging roughly doubles the amount of radiation a patient receives.

What are your thoughts about 3-D breast imaging?

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

Feb

10

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The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation

by: cancercompass

The New York Times recently published an article about how three young people, who lost their mother last year to anal cancer, came together and founded The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation - an organization that aims to help anal cancer patients and caregivers.

Justine, Tristan and Camille lost their mother, Paulette, to anal cancer in April 2010.  Since her passing, the three founded the organization to "give other patients and their families the guidance, the information and the chance for saving a loved one’s life that we did not have," according to the foundation website.

Throughout The New York Times article, it's made clear that the family discovered a stigmatization of anal cancer and lack of information. The only solid information they had was that anal cancer was associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which Paulette encountered in her 20s.

Are you a patient or caregiver of anal cancer? What are your thoughts about Paulette's story and  The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

Feb

10

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Milwaukee NBA Team Bowls For Cancer Awareness

by: cancercompass

The Milwaukee Bucks will 'Bowl for the Cure' on Friday to raise funds for the Milwaukee chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Instead of basketballs, the NBA Milwaukee Bucks will be slinging bowling balls to help breast cancer patients in their community. Last year's event raised over $42,000.

If you live in the Milwaukee area, are you participating in this event?

Do you have a professional sports team in your community? What sort of cancer awareness or volunteer events does your hometown team participate in?

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

Feb

10

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Study: Lymph Node Removal May Be Unnecessary for Certain Breast Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, women with early-stage breast cancer may not need to have several of their lymph nodes removed in order to reduce the risk of cancer spreading.

Some experts believe that removing many of one’s lymph nodes prevents the cancer from spreading, but according to this study, sampling only one or two sentinel lymph nodes is just as beneficial.  Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that helps doctors determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes without removing a large number of nodes.

"That's great news for women," the study's lead author, Dr. Armando Giuliano, told NPR. "And the fact that the women who did not have their lymph nodes removed had just as high a survival is great news because we can avoid that more radical [lymph node] operation, which has its own attendant complications."

Removing lymph nodes can come with complications like lymphedema, which is swelling from excess lymphatic fluid where the nodes where taken out.

Giuliano states further that the study will come with controversy and apprehension, and may be slow to accept.

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

Feb

09

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Ask An Expert Your Nutrition Questions

by Dana Demas

Whether broccoli and sprouts, or grilled meat and fast food, making better choices about what we eat can boost our health.

Good nutrition can also fight the disease and manage side effects during cancer treatment.

A healthy diet is just one piece of the puzzle for cancer prevention and survival. But it’s something we can do today to take control of our lives.  Here are some quick tips for eating better, starting now:

Have more questions about nutrition and cancer? Ask gastroenterologist, Dr. Pankaj Vashi, and registered dietitian, Carolyn Lammersfeld, during a special webinar hosted by Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Submit a question and they will be back next week to answer them.

Visit the The Cancer Project for more information about nutrition and cancer.

Feb

08

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Study: Allergies May Protect Against Brain Tumors

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, all types of allergies: food, seasonal, pet, etc. appear to have an inverse relationship with glioma risk. Gliomas are the most common type of brain tumor.

"It doesn't matter what type of allergy you have, they all seem to be protective," study researcher Bridget McCarthy, told MSNBC.com.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago studied 419 participants with gliomas and 612 "controls", or healthy patients.

According to the study, more research will be needed to "further delineate the biological mechanism that may be involved in brain tumor development."

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

Feb

07

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Supermodel Under Fire for Sunscreen Comments

by: cancercompass

Gisele Bundchen, model and wife to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, called sunscreen 'poison' because of the chemicals used in the product.

"I cannot put this poison on my skin," she told the UK's Daily Mail. "I do not use anything synthetic."

Instead, Bundchen claims to only go out in the sun before 8 a.m., when the sun's rays are not as potent. Cancer Compass has written several articles regarding sun exposure and sunscreen.

The Daily Mail also interviewed Brazil's National Cancer Institute head of dermatology, Doliyal Loao, who disagreed with Bundchen's comments.

"Sunscreen prevents damage to the skin and is of fundamental importance for the prevention of cancer," he told the publication. "This is not any poison, when a public person makes a statement like this, it creates confusion."

Do you think her comments would cause confusion?

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

Feb

04

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Martin Short to be Honored at Upcoming Cancer Event

by: cancercompass

Actor and comedian Martin Short will be receiving the Courage Award on behalf of his late wife Nancy at the 2011 Unforgettable Evening event for the Women's Research Cancer Fund.

Short's late wife, Nancy, lost her three year battle with cancer last year.

The Women's Cancer Research Fund was created by Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg and several other entertainment industry professionals.

According to its website, the foundation's goal is "to save lives by raising critical funds to help fast track more effective approaches to the early diagnosis of women’s cancers."

Feb

03

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Study: HPV Vaccine Effective in Men

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a certain human papillomavirus vaccine prevents infection from four different HPV strands and the development of genital warts in men ages 16 to 26.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that many doctors believe can lead to cervical cancer in women.

Researchers studied over 4,000 participants from 18 different countries.

According to Boston.com, the study was funded by Merck, which manufactures the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

"In those who hadn't been previously exposed to the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, the vaccine was 90 percent effective at protecting against warts caused by four strains of the virus that the vaccine protects against," Boston.com notes. "The vaccine's efficacy dropped to 66 percent in those already exposed to HPV."

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

Feb

02

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News Anchor Discusses Life After Cancer

by: cancercompass

Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts opens up to health magazine Prevention in next month's issue about overcoming her battle with breast cancer two years ago.

Roberts discusses the lifestyle changes she underwent while in treatment, and thereafter. Although active and healthy before her diagnosis, Roberts tells Prevention that she focuses more on healthier eating habits and exercise.

"Every now and again I just really have to have that steak or lamb chop. But yeah, B.C. –before cancer—I would eat red meat probably three or four times a week, easily. I am convinced that the amount of red meat I [ate] contributed to it," as reported by USA Today.

Will you be picking up the latest issue of Prevention?

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

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