Cancer Treatment Centers of America

The CTCA blog

Breaking through the stigma of palliative care


The word “palliative” has a specific definition: to ease pain and discomfort. But in medicine, including the treatment of cancer patients, palliative care has taken on a somber meaning, one synonymous with hospice or end-of-life care. That stigma and confusion make the idea of palliative care difficult to accept for some patients and may prevent some doctors from offering therapies designed to lessen serious cancer-related symptoms and side effects.

Are you a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery?


If you’ve heard the words, “You have breast cancer,” you know the fears that often accompany them. You may be wondering, for example, “What will I look like after my surgery?” and “Will I still feel like myself?” Thanks to a surgical approach called oncoplastic reconstruction, you may be able to put those fears to rest.

Medical tests women should have


If you started off the New Year with a long to-do list, you’re not alone. With everything on your plate, you may be tempted to delay your annual mammogram, put off that colonoscopy or let your skin test wait. But don’t let that happen. Make 2017 the year you put your health at the top of the priority list, and you can start by scheduling important tests that may help find, and in some cases, prevent cancer.

What is a tracheoesophageal puncture and what does it do?


Treatments for cancer often come with side effects that present new challenges, from managing pain to learning what foods and techniques help ease nausea. For throat cancer patients, especially those who have had their voice box removed as part of their treatment, the side effects may affect not just how they look or feel, but how they approach a fundamental part of their daily life: communicating with others.

How to tell your boss and co-workers you have cancer


Dealing with a cancer diagnosis may be an overwhelming and confusing time, not only for you but for friends and family, too. If you work, you may be wondering how to share your diagnosis with your boss and co-workers, and when. Taking time to prepare and plan what you’ll say, how much you will share and how you will deliver the news may help ease a difficult announcement.

Addressing malnutrition: The silent diagnosis

Did you know that one in three hospitalized patients are malnourished? Malnutrition is a major contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, decreased function and quality of life, and increased frequency and length of hospital stay. In addition, when patients are malnourished, they may not be candidates for necessary surgical or chemotherapy treatments, or they may have to receive a much lower, potentially sub-optimal chemotherapy dose.

Survivorship: An important part of the cancer journey


Life changes for many patients after they receive a cancer diagnosis, and they often find that they have new needs, priorities and considerations they never had before. How will treatment affect them? What can they do to manage the risk of recurrence? How can they prepare to return to work and remain a vital member of the team? How can their friends and family support them, and receive support in return?