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The CTCA blog

Probiotics may help immunotherapy drugs fight cancer

CTCA

Some patients with melanoma, lung and head and neck cancers are responding strongly to a new class of immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, research shows. But other patients aren’t responding at all. The effort to explain the disparity between cancer patients who benefit from the drugs and those who don’t has led scientists to an unexpected place: the gut—specifically, the microbes taking up residence there. 

How pathologists guide cancer care

CTCA

Pathologists are among the most important members of a patient’s cancer care team. They work to diagnose and determine the stage of cancer, setting the course for what comes next in the treatment journey. Years of experience go into preparing and writing a pathology report. A better understanding of that process may offer cancer patients peace of mind and confidence in their care plan.

Campaign shines spotlight on men's health

CTCA

Numerous studies bear out what many health care industry insiders know: Men don’t like going to the doctor. According to the National Institutes of Health, men are more likely than women to skip or delay regular checkups and medical care. But compared to women, men are more prone to serious illnesses. Many of the health issues men face, like heart disease, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, are easier to prevent or treat when detected early.

'Spring clean' your recipes with healthy food substitutions

Eating healthy is important during and after cancer treatment. It’s also critical to a healthy lifestyle overall. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating a plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy body weight, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. With a little will power and adequate knowledge of how fruits and vegetables can support good health, anyone can make healthier meal choices.

Advice from an oncology nurse on how caregivers can ease stress when time is short

CTCA

If anyone understands the pressures faced by family caregivers, it’s the oncology nurse. Attending to medication schedules, documentation, doctors’ orders, patients’ sanitary and comfort needs—all while conveying a sense of hope? Those are the daily responsibilities oncology nurses juggle every day. So it may not be surprising to hear that even they need to step out and regroup sometimes.

What you should know about reproductive cancers

CTCA

Cancers of the female reproductive system—cervical, uterine and ovarian—affect tens of thousands of women each year, and yet they don’t command the spotlight the way breast cancer does, so the public is relatively unaware of recent treatment advances.

E-cigarette dangers lurking in a smokescreen, experts say

CTCA

E-cigarettes are a smoking-hot $3 billion business in the United States. In fact, data shows that, for the first time, e-cigarette use has outpaced every other tobacco product, including regular cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even more troubling, considering their documented health risks, e-cigarettes have become the most popular nicotine product used by teens, and the majority of adult smokers have tried them, the American Lung Association has reported.

Stem cells studied for their role in spreading cancer

CTCA

Stem cells’ innate healing properties have fascinated researchers for over 30 years. Their ability to transform themselves into other types of cells and move to injured parts of the body has instilled hope that they may one day be harnessed to cure conditions like spinal cord injuries, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. But as restorative as healthy stem cells may be in some scenarios, researchers suspect that damaged stem cells may play an opposite role when it comes to cancer.