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The CTCA blog

More new cancer cases linked to obesity



For a reminder of the importance of diet and exercise to help prevent disease, look no further than a recent study in The Lancet Oncology. Researchers attributed 500,000 new cancer cases worldwide in just one year to obesity. Carrying too much weight is already a known risk factor for certain cancers, including breast, colorectal and pancreatic. But the findings suggest obesity may play an even greater role.

Sit, stay and heal: Therapy dogs help soothe cancer patients


A wag of the tail. A gentle lick to the face. The unconditional love in a furry snuggle.  Dogs are called man’s best friend for good reason—just being around the amiable creatures can make a bad day instantly brighter. A growing body of research suggests that’s especially true for those with diseases like cancer.

How stress affects your health


Scientists have long studied the effects of stress on health. When under stress, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate increases. We know that some short-term stress can be protective and beneficial by triggering our fight-or-flight response, keeping us alert and boosting immunity.

Learn empathy to support a loved one with cancer


Empathy comes naturally to some people, but for many others, it can feel like a struggle. A recent Stony Brook University study found that just 20 percent of the U.S. population is genetically predisposed to empathy. They’re the ones born with the gift of emotional sensitivity, the ones more apt to feel a stranger’s pain. The rest of us have to work a little harder to muster up the emotions that come with putting ourselves in another’s shoes.

Dual-targeted therapy for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer

Eugene Ahn, MD

If you have HER2-positive breast cancer, it’s important to understand all of your treatment options. As part of my work as an oncologist, I have written about advances in breast cancer treatment, particularly the potential benefits of the drug combination pertuzumab (Perjeta®) and trastuzumab (Herceptin®). I want more women to be aware of this dual-targeted approach to HER2+ breast cancer so they can have an informed discussion with their doctors.

New knowledge of metastatic cancer brings more treatment options


For many years, it was thought that metastatic cancer developed randomly. But in the past few decades, researchers have found that cancer follows specific steps when it spreads. Greater understanding of the biologic workings of metastasis has helped bring about new treatment options for patients facing this advanced form of cancer.

Exercise: It does a body good


With so much going on in life, who has time for exercise? The short answer is, you do. There’s good news on the too-busy-for-fitness front, and American Heart Month is just the time to share it: You really don’t need a lot of time to squeeze a healthy exercise routine into a hectic schedule.

The connection between romantic love and pain relief

Raed Rahman, DO

Love is often called a drug. The experience of falling in love—of being in the initial throes of a romantic relationship—brings a euphoria that’s likened to the high of a drug addict. The early months of romantic love trigger responses in the brain’s reward centers, the same areas that rev up when someone uses illegal drugs

Reconnect with your emotional intelligence to live with greater ease

Many people experience stress and anxiety in their everyday lives. It’s important to stay in tune with your body’s emotional intelligence, or your ability to identify, understand and regulate your emotions. Two practices—heartfulness and mindfulness—can help reconnect us with our innate, authentic intelligence so we can be more effective at work, in relationships, and in pursuing what we value in life.

The Emperor of All Maladies: Cancer documentary airs in March


It was a simple question that cancer patients have posed for generations: What is this disease I’m fighting? This time, cancer specialist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee chose to answer it in a big way—with an in-depth “biography” that chronicled cancer’s past, present and future. It’s told through the eyes of doctors, researchers and the patients who put a face and voice to the fight against the disease.