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The CTCA blog

1 in 4 breast cancer patients don’t finish drug treatment


The side effects of endocrine therapy caused many breast cancer patients to forgo or stop taking drugs recommended for breast cancer expressing the hormones estrogen or progesterone.

About 75 percent of all breast cancers are estrogen dependent, meaning they grow in response to estrogen. Of those, 65 percent also grow in response to progesterone. Endocrine therapy for breast cancer helps prevent recurrence by blocking the effects of estrogen.

Supreme Court hears case about genes linked to breast cancer


Since the late 1990s, Myriad Genetics has tested more than 1 million women for mutations to two genes, BRCA 1 and 2, associated with breast and ovarian cancers. But because of its patents on those genes, patients have been unable to get a second opinion on Myriad’s test results and, in some cases, have been denied their own genetic information.

Speak up about oral cancer


This week is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Oral cancers (also called mouth, tongue, tonsil or throat cancer) comprise the majority of all head and neck cancers.

The Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) estimates approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013.

Think periwinkle for Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month


You may not know this, but April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month.

A fairly new cancer type to have a designated cancer awareness month, esophageal cancer can be difficult to detect at an early stage. Possible symptoms of esophageal cancer include heartburn and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as chronic acid reflux. People with GERD may have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer in their lifetime.

Moving beyond survivor guilt


Cancer survivorship can be accompanied by a unique set of emotions—joy, grief, fear, relief, deep gratitude, a heightened sense of purpose, and an overwhelming sense of responsibility to live life to the fullest.

But there is another nagging feeling that can sneak into the mix: guilt. Survivorship is such a blessing, yet in spite of that blessing, we often find ourselves reflecting on those who have not been as fortunate.

The great mammogram debate


Breast cancer screening guidelines can be hard to keep up with. In 2009, a U.S. government task force recommended that women wait until age 50 to begin routine mammograms. The U. S. Preventive Service Task Force, a panel of 16 physician experts, recommended against annual mammograms for women in their 40s who are not at high risk for the cancer, because of the “small” health benefit.

A gratitude journal: simple and powerful


“It’s only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis.” – Margaret Bonanno

Small changes can make a big difference in your outlook.

Many people are avid journal writers. They write about relationships, friendship, work and all of the day to day "stuff" of life. However, a common pitfall of journaling is we tend to focus on the frustrations and upsets, rather than the good things.

A Gratitude Journal is simple – you write down a few things that you are grateful for that day – and it helps us to remember the positive, especially when it seems like there are only problems at our doorstep.

Kick Butts Day


It’s national “Kick Butts” Day! Did you know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of both men and women, claiming more than 160,000 lives each year? That’s more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

The top 10 cancer myths


Many of us experience information overload about the latest health research, especially when it comes to cancer. Below are some of the most common cancer myths. We separate the facts from the fiction, so you can be your own health advocate.

Homegrown nutrition


March is National Nutrition Month and the simplest healthy eating habits can begin at home.

In the Spring issue of our quarterly magazine, Chef Larry Kessel shares how he uses fresh herbs and vegetables from our Philadelphia hospital’s organic garden in the food he prepares for patients. From basil and thyme to homegrown tomatoes and lettuce, these plants provide an easy way to add flavor to your cooking without added salt or fat.

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