The CTCA blog

Beginner's guide to a cancer diagnosis: What to do next

CTCA

Discovering you have cancer can trigger a wide range of emotions, including fear and confusion, as you begin to try to navigate the complexities of cancer care. Becoming better educated about your diagnosis and formulating the next steps may help you gain a feeling of control over the process.

Expanding cancer treatment options demand expertise from doctors

CTCA

The five-year survival rates for most cancers are rising, thanks to earlier diagnoses and an influx of more targeted, personalized treatments. But those advances are not reaching everyone who needs them, and studies show some cancer patients are not satisfied with the care they receive. Given the increasing complexity of treatment options, how can cancer patients have confidence that their medical team has the expertise they need?

The strange past and inspiring future of cancer treatment

CTCA

The history of the fight against cancer is filled with chapters both troubling and triumphant. For much of the past 150 years, doctors struggled to find ways to attack the malignancy without unduly injuring their patients. Cancer, after all, is a disease of damage to self. The question has always been: How to attack the tumor while leaving the healthy tissue unharmed?

Avoiding infections in the era of drug-resistant germs

CTCA

Protecting patients from hospital-borne infections is important in any setting. But it is especially critical for cancer patients, who face a number of challenges not just in fighting their disease but in avoiding additional illnesses that can complicate their prognosis. Some cancer treatments lower the body’s resistance to germs, for example, making patients more vulnerable to infection. Surgical wounds, catheters, and infusion access points like ports and PICC lines open additional pathways for bacteria to travel and penetrate the body’s defenses. Cancers such as leukemia, which originate in the bone marrow, attack the immune system. Chemotherapy treatments can shrink numbers of white blood cells, the body’s germ-fighting arsenal.

Study: Immunotherapy better than chemotherapy in some hard-to-treat lung cancer cases

CTCA

A new study concluded that immunotherapy is more effective than chemotherapy in extending the lives of some patients with advanced lung cancer. In the study, published Dec. 19 in The Lancet medical journal, researchers studied about 1,000 patients with non-small lung cancers who continued to battle tumors that had progressed despite having at least two rounds of chemotherapy.