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The CTCA blog

Advances in lung cancer diagnostics, treatments mean more survivors living with the disease


Even though lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., many people are unaware of its reach and its impact. Did you know, for example, that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of women, according to the American Lung Association (ALA)? Over the past 37 years, the rate of new lung cancer cases has nearly doubled in women, and yet only 1 percent of women have the disease on their radar. 

What you need to know about breast implants after breast cancer

Daniel Liu, MD

Part of my job as a reconstructive plastic surgeon involves educating women about breast reconstruction. I strongly believe that all women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should know their options. Many women are unaware of the wide range of breast reconstruction options available, and even fewer understand that the timing of their decision to undergo reconstruction may greatly impact their options and results.

Eight small steps for being active and eating healthy

Karen Barber, PT

Many people may not comprehend the serious issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, from depression to diabetes to cancer itself. As a physical therapist, I understand that making lifestyle changes can be difficult. However, my work with cancer patients has proven that a commitment to exercise and nutrition does not have to be complicated.

Recent evidence supports the importance of integrative approach to care

Christina Shannon, ND, FABNO

As a Naturopathic Oncology Provider, I see how an integrative approach to cancer care can make a difference in patients’ lives, no matter where they are on their cancer journey. From registered dietitians and acupuncturists to chiropractors and mind-body specialists, we form a team around each patient, collaborating on ways to help them manage the side effects that often come with the disease and its treatment.

Chemobrain study suggests mental exercises may help with symptoms


Many chemotherapy patients know the feeling all too well: a mental fogginess that permeates the brain and can disrupt even the most routine tasks. It is popularly known as “chemo brain,” but doctors describe it as post-treatment cognitive difficulty, because it can occur after surgery or radiation, as well as chemotherapy. Whatever you call it, the changes can prove unsettling and, sometimes, debilitating.

Four steps to resuming a healthy sex life after cancer

Sean Cavanaugh, MD

A healthy sex life is important for many people, but it can prove difficult to attain, especially after a cancer diagnosis. Achieving and maintaining healthy sexual relations often require communication, education and, sometimes, the help of a trained professional. As Chief of Radiation Oncology at our Newnan, Georgia, hospital, I treat all parts of the body and specialize in pelvic malignancies. I am often asked how cancer patients can address intimacy challenges.

3D nipple tattoos offer a shot of realism after breast reconstruction


Undergoing a mastectomy can prove instrumental in a breast cancer patient’s treatment plan. But the procedure often comes with its own challenges, especially for women struggling with body image after surgery. To help these patients recover a sense of normalcy, some reconstructive surgeons are turning to an age-old tool—the tattoo gun. The 3D nipple tattoo, or “nat” as it’s called in the trade, uses shadows and highlights to restore a sense of depth and detail to the reconstructed breast.

The skinny on probiotics and a healthy digestive system


You’ve likely seen the TV commercials, or you’ve heard your dietitian talk about them. But plenty of confusion continues to surround probiotics, the live bacteria in your gut that helps the digestive system work. Are supplements good for you? How much should you be getting in your daily diet? To help clear up some of the mystery, Khara Lucius, ND, FABNO, a Naturopathic Oncology Provider at our Illinois hospital, answers some frequently asked questions about probiotics:

Jimmy Carter's treatment underscores importance of immunotherapy


Sometimes it takes a national news event to shine an important light on key developments in cancer care and treatment. Such was the case last week, when former President Jimmy Carter announced he began targeted radiation and immunotherapy treatments for metastatic cancer that spread to his brain. The world-renowned peacemaker has become a symbol of resilience during his fight against stage IV melanoma, and now, his openness has shed light on the emerging science around immunotherapy.