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The CTCA blog

Annual blood tests may be the key to diagnosing ovarian cancer early


There are currently no screening tests for ovarian cancer. As a result, it's uncommon for women to be diagnosed with the disease in its earliest stages—when it's most treatable. But a new study that analyzed women's blood samples every year offers hope for early diagnosis.

Researchers tracked levels of the protein CA-125, a known marker for ovarian cancer, in 4,051 post-menopausal women over 11 years. The researchers tracked changes in CA-125 levels and women with sudden increases in the protein were referred to a gynecologist and had an ultrasound.

Fucoidan may help fight cancer but research is still early


Fucoidan is a natural food compound with a funny name that has shown promise in fighting cancer.

Found in many forms of brown seaweed, fucoidan is a type of complex carbohydrate called a polysaccrharide and is composed of various sugars, sugar acids and sulfur-containing groups. 

While seaweed has been a staple food in Asian countries for thousands of years, brown seaweed has only been the focus of research for the past decade. Fucoidan, in particular, has received the most attention.

Heredity & cancer: Should you and your family undergo testing for cancer?


There has been a great deal of discussion in the news lately about genetic testing, following Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventive double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed she had a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Jolie, whose mother died from ovarian cancer, is prompting many to ask their doctors if genetic testing is right for them.

Eric Fowler, Manager of Genetics Counseling at CTCA outside Chicago, answered some common questions about inherited cancers and genetic testing.

Understanding and managing acute pain

Raed Rahman, DO

Acute pain, unlike chronic pain, resolves itself in time and is not persistent. Acute pain has a short duration, though it can vary from seconds to hours or days to a few months (usually less than six months). 

Someone with acute pain has a reasonable expectation that the injury will heal. Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists over a long period of time.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Raed Rahman

Raed Rahman, DO

I've made it my life's passion to help patients experiencing pain due to cancer so they can focus on what's most important: healing. I am writing this blog to inform and educate and to provide you with the hope and courage you need to continue moving forward. My No. 1 message to you is that you don't have to live with pain.

Snoezelen® therapy can reduce cancer-related stress


Cancer patients are often stressed-out – physically, emotionally and socially – and being stressed out can make fighting cancer even more difficult.

Patients who can cope with their stress using, for example, relaxation and stress management techniques have lower levels of depression, less anxiety and fewer symptoms related to cancer and its treatment.

Meet clinician blogger Dr. Maurie Markman

Maurie Markman, MD

I have been blogging for over 10 years because I believe that it is important to inform the public and other professionals in my field of advances in medicine and science. I am the Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and National Director of Medical Oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). My hope for writing here is not to force my opinion, but to encourage discussion of important topics surrounding medicine.

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