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The CTCA blog

HPV test or Pap test for cervical cancer screening?


If you’re between ages 30 and 65, you may have had the HPV test along with a Pap test as part of routine screening. For almost 60 years, the Pap test has been the preferred way to detect early pre-cancerous changes that can lead to cervical cancer, but can the newer HPV test do a better job?

Researchers have been studying the question for more than 15 years and their results support the idea that the HPV test could be the primary cervical cancer screening tool.

Study links breast cancer to high-dose estrogen birth control pills


You may have heard that taking the birth control pill increases your risk of cancer, but does it matter which pill you take? A team of researchers analyzed different pill types and found a 50 percent increase in breast cancer risk among women taking high-dose estrogen pills.

The good news is that low-dose pills did not seem to increase breast cancer risk, according to the recent study in Cancer Research. Today, most women on birth control pills use the low-dose kind.

Are chronic pain and emotion connected?

Raed Rahman, DO

Over the past decade, researchers have given more thought to the connection between your emotions and how you experience pain. They have begun to adopt a more evolved view, moving beyond the traditional notion that negative emotions are unhealthy and must be rationally controlled.

Nutrition strategies to help patients recover after surgery


Recovering from cancer surgery can be challenging, especially if you are unable stay nourished and strong. Many people experience a loss of appetite, and side effects such as pain and nausea can limit their ability and desire to eat.

Jason Stevens, MA, RD, CSO, LD, a clinical oncology dietitian, says working with a dietitian before and after a surgery can help patients maximize their nutrition intake.

Hope Springs Organic Farm keeps growing


At our hospital near Phoenix, patients reap the benefits of having an organic farm right in their backyard. The Hope Springs Organic Farm provides patients and staff with produce fresh from a 25-acre organic farm that will soon expand another 44 acres. Our culinary chefs use the daily harvest to prepare delicious, nutrient-rich meals to ensure they eat the freshest foods year-round.

Full exposure: An oncologist’s perspective on sunscreen

We all have risk factors for cancer. Some of us smoke, some of us drink too much and some eat too many processed foods. Me? I love the sun. I love to sit outside and feel the warmth on my skin. I tell myself it’s not such a bad habit. I wear sunscreen. That prevents skin cancer, right?