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The CTCA blog

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.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Raed Rahman

Raed Rahman, DO

I've made it my life's passion to help patients experiencing pain due to cancer so they can focus on what's most important: healing. I am writing this blog to inform and educate and to provide you with the hope and courage you need to continue moving forward. My No. 1 message to you is that you don't have to live with pain.

Snoezelen® therapy can reduce cancer-related stress


Cancer patients are often stressed-out – physically, emotionally and socially – and being stressed out can make fighting cancer even more difficult.

Patients who can cope with their stress using, for example, relaxation and stress management techniques have lower levels of depression, less anxiety and fewer symptoms related to cancer and its treatment.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Maurie Markman

Maurie Markman, MD

I have been blogging for over 10 years because I believe that it is important to inform the public and other professionals in my field of advances in medicine and science. I am the Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and National Director of Medical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). My hope for writing here is not to force my opinion, but to encourage discussion of important topics surrounding medicine.

Hope Springs Organic Farm: As fresh as it gets


CTCA near Phoenix has planted a 25 acre organic farm behind the hospital.  CTCA near Phoenix is the first cancer hospital in the country to provide its patients with organic produce grown on-site and year-round.

“One advantage of Hope Springs Farm for our patients is that the farm draws awareness to local, seasonal whole foods.  Dietitians across the enterprise continue to encourage patients to eat a diet rich in whole foods, and to utilize local, organic farms, for the benefits of seasonal freshness,” says Sharon Day, Director of Nutrition.

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