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The CTCA blog

Talking with children about cancer


When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, there is inevitably a disruption in family life as well as the children’s daily routine. The way they deal with the emotions that come along with cancer will often depend on the child’s age and development.

“The most important thing for children to know while a parent is going through cancer treatment is that they are loved and will be cared for,” says Heather Swick, mind-body therapist at our hospital near Chicago.

Nonsmokers can get lung cancer too


It’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month and did you know that nonsmokers can get lung cancer too?

One misconception about lung cancer is that you have to smoke to get it, yet anyone can be diagnosed with the disease. While cigarette smoking remains the number one risk factor for lung cancer, up to 15 percent of people who develop lung cancer have never smoked.

Ampullary cancer: Know the signs of this rare disease


Earlier this year, ampullary cancer made the news when 1970s actress Karen Black succumbed to the disease. But many people who read the headline may have wondered, “What is ampullary cancer?” A rare gastrointestinal cancer, ampullary cancer develops in the ampulla of Vater, where the bile and pancreatic ducts meet and empty into the small intestine.

NYC sets standard with new minimum age for buying cigarettes


On Oct. 30, New York City set the strictest limit on tobacco purchases of any major U.S. city. The legal age for buying tobacco will soon be 21, instead of 18, under a bill adopted by NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

While protesters pointed out that New Yorkers under 21 can drive, vote and fight in wars, advocates for the bill cited research that the earlier people began smoking, the more likely they were to become addicted.

Faith offers optimism and inner strength during cancer treatment

Rev. Percy McCray

Being diagnosed with cancer has a way of putting things in perspective. Many patients think about life and the people around them differently. Many turn to or reconnect with their faith.

As leaders of communities of faith and spirituality, it is our responsibility to support those in need. Those facing challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis can benefit from the support of pastoral care within the health care system and in the extended community.

Anatomy of Cancer: Understanding a disease that affects millions


Video: What is cancer?

What is cancer? Cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America discuss what cancer is and how it can be treated. Watch this five-minute video that explains cancer in everyday terms.

When you hear the word “cancer,” what comes to mind?

Is it the fear of ever being diagnosed? Or of watching the person closest to you get the news? Maybe it’s the triumphant feeling of having battled the disease until it’s finally in remission.

Many people associate cancer with the emotions it evokes: the shock, the sadness, the bravery and the exhilaration. Why cancer develops and why it responds to certain treatments is more of a mystery.

How to eat for hormonal balance: Nutrition tips for every woman


What are hormones, and why do they matter?

Put simply, hormones are chemical substances from the endocrine system that act as messengers for your body. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues and organs. 

In essence, the release of hormones is one of the ways that parts of the body communicate with each other.

Breast cancer pain is real: Let's address it

Raed Rahman, DO

Many women with breast cancer experience pain before, during or even after treatment. While it’s normal to be concerned about pain, every woman should know that relief is available.

Cancer pain can be caused by the tumor itself or by the tumor growing onto adjacent nerves or other structures. Pain also can occur as a side effect of treatment, like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy

Think green: Tips for safely cleaning your home and saving money


With the holidays just around the corner, getting your home in tip-top shape may be on your to-do list. But before you rush to get your cleaning done, it’s important to know which cleaning products are safest to use.

Many household cleaners contain toxic ingredients, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates only a fraction of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals have gone through complete testing to see if they might harm our health. Chemicals in cleaning products can enter our bodies via the air we breathe, through our skin and through the water we drink. In general, chemicals aren’t good for us and high exposure can be a risk factor for cancer.

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