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The CTCA blog

The link between sodium nitrites and cancer


A study by the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and the University of Southern California suggests a link between eating processed meats and cancer risk. The study followed 190,000 people, ages 45-75, for seven years and found that people who ate the most processed meats had a 67% higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who ate the least amount.

Experts caution against soursop fruit to fight cancer


Soursop fruit, with its sweet flesh and distinctive flavor, is grown commercially to make juice, candy, sorbet and ice cream.

It's also is purported to have medicinal qualities, with claims across the Internet that soursop extract can slow the spread of cancer or make traditional cancer therapies work better.

Experts warn against using the fruit to treat cancer. While research suggests soursop can fight cancer, it has not been studied in humans. As a result, there is no evidence of its safety or efficacy.

Concerns about heart disease after breast radiation

Douglas Kelly, MD

In March, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article detailing the link between breast radiation and ischemic heart disease, which includes heart attacks and bypass graft surgery. The article determined that even low dosages of radiation to the heart pose some danger. The increased risk of heart problems started within five years after radiation therapy and continued for at least 20 years. Women with other cardiac risk factors were especially vulnerable.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Douglas Kelly

Douglas Kelly, MD

I’m a radiation oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m originally from Montreal but have lived in Tulsa for 16 years, long enough to consider it home.  As one of the physician directors of medical research, I am part of an effort to launch new research programs at CTCA and spread the word about its existing programs. I plan to discuss our research initiatives in this blog.

Angelina Jolie's decision based on BRCA1 test


Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie has focused attention on genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer after a personal op-ed revealed she carries an abnormal BRCA1 gene and underwent a preventive double mastectomy.

In normal cells, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes prevent the development of tumors. But mutations in the genes can lead to breast, ovarian and other cancers such as uterine cancer and pancreatic cancer. Mutations to BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are inherited the same as hair and eye color.

Declare Neuropathy Awareness Week in your community


It’s Neuropathy Awareness Week and The Neuropathy Association is working hard to raise awareness about the condition, its warning signs, and the need for early intervention and research for more treatment options.

It is estimated that up to 20 million Americans, or 1 in 15, are currently dealing with peripheral neuropathy, or “nerve damage,” making it one of the most common chronic neurological diseases and one of the leading causes of disability in adults in the U.S.

HPV-related cancers increase, vaccine use low


Cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States increased between 2000 and 2009, at the same time as the nation’s overall cancer death rates continued to decline. More Americans are surviving the most common cancers—lung, colorectal, breast and prostate—according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

But incidences of HPV-associated oropharyngeal (head and neck), anal and vulvar cancers are on the rise. Rates of cervical cancer declined among all women except American Indian/Alaska Natives. In general, cervical cancer rates were higher among women living in low socio-economic areas.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Laurence Altshuler

Laurence Altshuler, MD

I wanted to be a doctor since I was a small child and never strayed from that goal. I was pre-med at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where I graduated magna cum laude with a double major in chemistry and psychology. I then went to medical school at the University of Oklahoma in my home state. I became an Internal Medicine specialist because I wanted to learn about and treat a broad spectrum of disease.

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