Cancer Treatment Centers of America

The CTCA blog

Study: Bad cell copies lead to most cancers


If you’ve ever relied on a copy machine, you know what happens when it goes on the fritz. Whether it's low on toner, has a paper jam or turns your original into something resembling an accordion, the results can ruin your work product. On a much more consequential scale, similar breakdowns occur in the human body, which is responsible for churning out billions of replicas of new cells every day.

Managing menopause and more with gynecologic cancer


With more and more gynecologic cancer patients living longer, cancer experts are putting an increasing focus on improving patients’ quality of life. For many, that means managing hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and other bodily changes most women don’t experience until later in life. That’s because for many women, even those in their 20s and 30s, gynecologic cancer treatments often cause a number of side effects—including symptoms of menopause.

What does a BRCA gene mutation mean for men?


With all the awareness around breast cancer these days, lots of attention has been focused on the risks posed by BRCA gene mutations. But many people mistakenly believe that BRCA is only a concern for women, even though men are just as likely as women to have a BRCA mutation. “Because men have a much lower risk than women of developing cancer due to a BRCA mutation, they are less likely to be tested for the mutation,” says Melanie Corbman, Genetic Counselor at our hospital in Philadelphia.

What's the Difference? B-cells and T-cells

Alan Tan, MD

When the body is invaded by bacteria, a virus or parasites, an immune alarm goes off, setting off a chain reaction of cellular activity in the immune system. Macrophages or other innate immune cells, such as basophils, dendritic cells or neutrophils, may be deployed to help attack the invading pathogen. Those cells often do the job, and the invader is destroyed. But sometimes, when the body needs a more sophisticated attack, it turns to its T-cells and B-cells.

Hormone therapy's role in cancer care


Hormone therapy in cancer treatment has undergone myriad advances since its 19th-century debut, when doctors found that removing ovaries had positive impacts on patients with advanced breast cancer. Today, blocking hormones or reducing their levels to stop them from feeding cancer cells is standard of care in treating several types of cancer. But what hormone therapy actually entails and how it works to slow or shrink cancer growth is still a mystery to many patients.

Is it safe to treat breast cancer during pregnancy?

Dennis Citrin, MB, PhD

Although not common, one in 3,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, according to National Cancer Institute estimates. During pregnancy, a woman is already going through a lot of hormonal, emotional and physical changes. Adding a cancer diagnosis to the mix can cause fear and uncertainty for the future and the health of the baby. However, in most cases, it is safe to treat a mother for breast cancer when she is with child.

Beauty treatments and personal hygiene: Managing your risk of infection during treatment


Rewarding yourself with a beauty treatment from time to time may be good for your mind, and body. “We know things that make someone feel better actually improve the body’s defenses,” says Dr. David Scheck, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control at our hospital in Tulsa. “When you feel better, your whole body functions better.” That’s why hitting up the nail or beauty salon may sound like a great antidote to a day spent enduring cancer treatments. But before you pencil in that manicure, it’s important to take note of your risk, and protect yourself accordingly.