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The CTCA blog

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.

Chemotherapy not working? What can you do?

Laurence Altshuler, MD

It is well known that the chemotherapies recommended for various cancers may not work or may not work for very long. As a result, many patients and physicians look for anything that may have a benefit and turn to drugs that have not been approved for a particular cancer, which is called “off-label” use. The question is: Can using off-label chemotherapies help you?

Melanoma Monday


Summer is almost here.  The longer, sunnier days can result in more exposure to the sun. Studies show that increased sun exposure is directly correlated with the likelihood of developing melanoma.

"Get Your Head In The Game" to fight brain tumors


Patients, loved ones and advocates from all over the country are uniting this week to talk about the importance of finding new treatments and advancing research for brain tumors. Brain Tumor Action Week runs from April 28 through May 4, 2013, and strives to increase awareness and funding for brain cancer research.

Talk it out to improve well-being


A cancer diagnosis can evoke many emotions, including anxiety, confusion, depression and anger. These feelings are a natural part of the journey and talking through them can help patients come to a more positive, hopeful state of mind.

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