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The CTCA blog

Hormone therapy's role in cancer care


Hormone therapy in cancer treatment has undergone myriad advances since its 19th-century debut, when doctors found that removing ovaries had positive impacts on patients with advanced breast cancer. Today, blocking hormones or reducing their levels to stop them from feeding cancer cells is standard of care in treating several types of cancer. But what hormone therapy actually entails and how it works to slow or shrink cancer growth is still a mystery to many patients.

Is it safe to treat breast cancer during pregnancy?

Dennis Citrin, MB, PhD

Although not common, one in 3,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, according to National Cancer Institute estimates. During pregnancy, a woman is already going through a lot of hormonal, emotional and physical changes. Adding a cancer diagnosis to the mix can cause fear and uncertainty for the future and the health of the baby. However, in most cases, it is safe to treat a mother for breast cancer when she is with child.

Beauty treatments and personal hygiene: Managing your risk of infection during treatment


Rewarding yourself with a beauty treatment from time to time may be good for your mind, and body. “We know things that make someone feel better actually improve the body’s defenses,” says Dr. David Scheck, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control at our hospital in Tulsa. “When you feel better, your whole body functions better.” That’s why hitting up the nail or beauty salon may sound like a great antidote to a day spent enduring cancer treatments. But before you pencil in that manicure, it’s important to take note of your risk, and protect yourself accordingly.

It’s not always about sex: Tips on building the 5 areas of intimacy


When you hear the word “intimacy,” you may immediately think of sex. But the term actually has a much broader definition that includes emotional connections, bonding time and other aspects of the relationship. Having a healthy level of intimacy is important for any couple, but it may be especially key to couples dealing with cancer, given the critical role caregiver partners play in helping their loved ones through their journey.

What men should know about new prostate cancer screening guidelines


Prostate cancer screening made headlines again recently because of a change in the recommendations about the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent and influential panel of experts, updated its guidance from 2012. The new guidelines, which are still in draft form as the task force seeks public comment, indicate an evolution in the panel’s thinking.

Post-treatment weight gain: Yes, it happens, all too often


After you complete cancer treatment, you may be surprised to find that the numbers are creeping up on the scale. It happens perhaps more than you think. All too often after treatment, cancer patients slip back into unhealthy habits, especially when it comes to eating.

The psychiatrist: The doctor you didn't expect to need on your cancer journey


As a cancer patient, you may see many doctors and clinicians from a variety of medical disciplines during your treatment journey. A medical oncologist often leads the care team and helps determine a course of treatment. You may see surgeons or receive treatment from a radiation oncologist. Nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and others may serve as key members of your care team. Then there is the psychiatrist.