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Resource Center: Cancer
Cancer develops when the cells in your body divide too quickly, and the genetic mechanisms that normally keep cell growth in check break down. There may be mutations in the cells’ DNA, which causes the cells to replicate too quickly or not die when they should. There are many different types of cancer; the most common types are melanoma (skin), breast, lung, bladder, colon, endometrial (uterine), kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, pancreatic, thyroid, and prostate cancers. The broader categories of tumor cell types include carcinoma, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and nervous system cancers.
There is a large genetic (family) component involved in one’s risk for developing cancer, but lifestyle choices also play an important role. Smoking, being overweight, being sedentary, spending a lot of time in the sun, and taking hormones are some of the better-known risk factors. Cancer is diagnosed using a variety of tools, but may include blood tests, biopsy, screening methods like colonoscopy and mammogram, and imaging tests like MRI and CT scans. Treatment depends on the type of cancer, but may involve radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy, and biological therapy.
Endocrine Disruptors: What We Know, What We Suspect: You can't see, smell or taste these environmental toxins, but they are in your furniture, in pesticide-laden soil, and in plastics we use every day. The terrible health effects of EDCs include fetal and genital abnormalities, cancer, and fertility issues. As one researcher puts it, “There are no safe doses for endocrine disruptors. ” Things you can do to avoid exposure — even when you can't see the danger.>
New and Controversial Recommendations for Prostate Cancer: The new guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening recommend against routine screening for prostate cancer. The risks promoted by the tests - of false positives and unnecessary biopsies and radiation - are more likely than those of cancer. The picture is different for men with certain risk factors, however. >
Colorful Foods May Decrease Breast Cancer Risk: The pigments that give some fruits and veggies their vibrant color help protect the body from breast cancer.
Doctors May “Misdiagnose” Patients’ Preferences: Patients often surprise their doctors by choosing different treatments than their doctors expect. Knowing all the options helps.
How You Cook Red Meat Could Matter in Cancer Risk: We're learning more about why eating red meat (especially charred meat) may increase our risk for cancer.
To Screen or Not to Screen?: New research tells us not to be so fast to drop PSA testing, as it still saves a lot of lives.
Reducing Your Risk
HPV Vaccine and Sexual Behavior:
HRT: Timing Is Everything:
Phytochemicals Cut Cancer Risk:
Spray-On Tans May Pose Risk:
Even Social Smoking Increases Lung Cancer Risk:
An Aspirin a Day Might Reduce Risk of Any Type of Cancer:
Genetic Predictor of Ovarian Cancer:
Too Many Surgical Breast Biopsies:
An Alternative to Colonoscopy:
Teaching Doctors Empathy:
Mammograms: What's The Right Age to Begin Screening:
Treatment and Coping
National Cancer Drug Shortages:
Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Could Help Reconstruction:
Staying Active through Illness:
Quit Smoking Sooner:
Grapefruit Juice Could Reduce Chemo Dose: