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The CTCA blog

5 supplements that may improve overall health


A walk down the vitamin and supplement aisle of your corner drug store can be an overwhelming experience. With hundreds of dietary supplements to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones are truly beneficial.

Aliza Cicerone, a naturopathic oncology provider at CTCA in Tulsa, points to these five supplements as a way to improve overall health. Remember, it’s always important to speak with a healthcare provider first about taking supplements.

The effects of fatigue: How diet and activity can help

People undergoing cancer treatment often tell me fatigue is one of the worst symptoms they experience after chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery.

These treatments can leave patients feeling drained. Sometimes, they'll stay in bed for multiple days, which can lead to loss of lean body mass. It's common for cancer patients to lose weight involuntarily. Rapid weight loss often is associated with loss of lean body mass.

A healthy diet may lower pancreatic cancer risk, new study shows


A new study conducted by the National Cancer Institute shows people who follow healthy eating guidelines may reduce their risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 15 percent.

The study surveyed the eating habits of 500,000 people between the ages of 50-71. Ten years later, their eating habits were assessed again. Those who adhered to a healthy diet during the 10 years were less likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Further, study participants who were obese benefited more from a healthy diet than normal-weight people.

Annual blood tests may be the key to diagnosing ovarian cancer early


There are currently no screening tests for ovarian cancer. As a result, it's uncommon for women to be diagnosed with the disease in its earliest stages—when it's most treatable. But a new study that analyzed women's blood samples every year offers hope for early diagnosis.

Researchers tracked levels of the protein CA-125, a known marker for ovarian cancer, in 4,051 post-menopausal women over 11 years. The researchers tracked changes in CA-125 levels and women with sudden increases in the protein were referred to a gynecologist and had an ultrasound.

Fucoidan may help fight cancer but research is still early


Fucoidan is a natural food compound with a funny name that has shown promise in fighting cancer.

Found in many forms of brown seaweed, fucoidan is a type of complex carbohydrate called a polysaccrharide and is composed of various sugars, sugar acids and sulfur-containing groups. 

While seaweed has been a staple food in Asian countries for thousands of years, brown seaweed has only been the focus of research for the past decade. Fucoidan, in particular, has received the most attention.

Heredity & cancer: Should you and your family undergo testing for cancer?


There has been a great deal of discussion in the news lately about genetic testing, following Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventive double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed she had a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Jolie, whose mother died from ovarian cancer, is prompting many to ask their doctors if genetic testing is right for them.

Eric Fowler, Manager of Genetics Counseling at CTCA outside Chicago, answered some common questions about inherited cancers and genetic testing.

Understanding and managing acute pain

Raed Rahman, DO

Acute pain, unlike chronic pain, resolves itself in time and is not persistent. Acute pain has a short duration, though it can vary from seconds to hours or days to a few months (usually less than six months). 

Someone with acute pain has a reasonable expectation that the injury will heal. Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists over a long period of time.

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