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The CTCA blog

Don't let fear of breast cancer paralyze you

Dennis Citrin, MB, PhD

It’s natural to worry when you feel a lump in your breast. And if your doctor tells you that you have breast cancer, it’s perfectly normal to be scared. But you can’t let fear paralyze you and prevent you from seeking care.

In my experience, 11 percent of women delay treatment by at least six months from the time they first feel a lump. The average delay, in fact, was more than a year.

Put your health first and commit to better health


As a child, LaDonna Liles regularly pitched in to help with her family’s cattle and dairy ranch, feeding and caring for the farm animals and helping with the numerous chores required to make the ranch run well. 

After she left home to pursue a career in health care, she found this work ethic helped her achieve career success, but her drive concealed a common problem many women face. The pressures of life—job, family and other obligations—distracted her from taking care of herself.

The Rapunzel Project: Reducing chemotherapy-induced hair loss


For women who are facing breast cancer treatment, a common fear is: Will I lose my hair?

Hair loss can be an especially difficult experience for women. It affects their self-esteem and makes a private disease a public matter. Often, women purchase wigs, scarves and other accessories to use during and after treatment, which can boost confidence and help reduce feelings of depression or anxiety.

Dealing with a parent's cancer diagnosis


About 1.7 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2014. If one of them is your parent, dealing with their cancer diagnosis as an adult can be challenging.

You may feel anxious about the future and unsure of how to proceed. Although it takes time to adjust to this new “normal,” here are some ways to get through it:

Breast cancer is not one disease

Dennis Citrin, MB, PhD

Forty years ago, cancer pathologists—the doctors who study and describe the disease—had limited tools. They relied almost entirely on the cancer’s appearance under the microscope.As a result, the doctors who treat cancer patients followed a one-size-fits-all protocol: first surgery to remove all evidence of the cancer, then radiation therapy, followed by prescribing a few rather primitive drugs.

Steer clear of agave? Why stevia may be a better choice


Health-conscious people who are searching for a natural sweetener have probably come across agave nectar. In recent years, agave has been touted as a natural sugar substitute that can be added to beverages, baked goods and other foods in need of a sweet boost.

FDA should grant accelerated approval for ovarian cancer drug

Maurie Markman, MD

Symptoms of ovarian cancer—nausea, bloating and pelvic pain—are so general that they are often confused with less serious conditions. As a result, the majority of women are diagnosed when the disease already has reached an advanced stage, making it more difficult to treat effectively. Oncologists, and the women they treat, are eager for new therapies to help extend the lives of women with advanced ovarian cancer.

Chicago Bears and CTCA team up to raise prostate cancer awareness


CTCA and the Chicago Bears have teamed up to raise awareness about the second most common cancer among men in the United States: prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 233,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and about one in seven men will develop the disease in their lifetime. Together, CTCA and the Bears hope to open up dialogue about prostate cancer and encourage men to make strides to lower their risk for the disease.