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The CTCA blog

Serving up a tasty meal for the cancer patient on your holiday guest list


With the holidays just around the corner, ‘tis the season for planning those family meals. This year, if your guest list includes a loved one undergoing cancer treatment, you may want to adjust the menu accordingly. The holiday season offers an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. But for some cancer patients, holiday meals can prove challenging.

Annual physicals really can be good for your health


Should annual checkups with your doctor go the way of the mercury thermometer? Two doctors think so, and their suggestions are causing a stir throughout the medical community. But before you cancel that physical, it’s important that you consider all sides of the now-simmering debate.

Cancer patients find many layers of support in free websites


Many challenges come with cancer. One of them, for many, is the driving need to share the journey, and connect with others who can offer help, comfort and resources. A variety of patient support websites are filling the void, offering patients a free, convenient, personalized way to build a network of supporters around them. Popular cancer communication and networking tools like CaringBridge®, PostHope, GiveForward,, PatientsLikeMe® and CancerCompass® serve as important online hubs that offer multiple benefits.

Celebrating caregivers in November


Caring for someone with cancer can feel like a full-time job. With duties ranging from making medical decisions, to cooking and preparing meals, to driving to and from medical appointments, tests and treatments, being a caregiver can be challenging, frustrating and rewarding at the same time. It’s a job that often comes with little preparation or training, and sometimes, with little recognition.

Is it still safe to bring home the bacon? What you need to know about the WHO report


An international panel of health experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) caused a stir this week by reporting that eating processed meats, including bacon and hot dogs, increases the risk of getting cancer. While that assessment is not entirely new, the report, published in the journal Lancet Oncology, went a step further, adding that fresh cuts of red meat probably cause cancer, too.  

Reconstructive plastic surgery helping patients feel whole again after cancer surgery


Patients who undergo cancer operations to remove tumors often face unique challenges. While the surgeries themselves may be lifesaving, they can have a lasting impact on patients’ quality of life, especially if the procedures changed how they feel, function or look. For many, reconstructive plastic surgery offers a chance to feel whole again, to recover lost confidence, dignity and sense of self.

Clinical trials seek winning combination in chemotherapy and immunotherapy


Immunotherapy is a hot topic in cancer care circles, for researchers, doctors and cancer patients alike.
The more the science community learns about immunotherapy’s possibilities, the more optimistic oncologists are about the array of options it offers.
Dr. Glen Weiss, Director of Clinical Research and Medical Oncologist at our Arizona hospital, shares
the enthusiasm about the evolving therapy,
which enlists the body as a cancer-fighting ally by stimulating its immune system to attack cancer cells.

Thoughtful cancer care packages comfort patients during treatment


“What can I do to help?” Cancer patients get this question all the time from family and friends who want to provide meaningful support but just don’t know where to start. The question, though, can stump patients, too, especially as they struggle to come to terms with their diagnosis. Greeting cards, flowers and balloons can be a great way to brighten a patient’s day. But a personalized cancer care package can take the understanding, empathy and support to the next level.