Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Information

Cancer and cancer treatment can be complex, involving myriad facts, developments, resources and decisions. Learn more about cancer in general, and certain cancers in particular.

How does the immune system work? When it comes to cancer, it's complicated

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immune system

Every second of every minute of every day, a battle of good and evil goes on inside your body. The good is the immune system, armies of cells designed to defend the body from illness and infection. The evil comes in the form of pathogens, viruses, bacteria and mutated cells that are programmed to do harm. When it comes to cancer, the good guys don’t always win.

A simple blood test may help provide a clearer picture of a patient’s cancer

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Liquid Biopsy

At the root of most cancer diagnoses is a biopsy, the surgical procedure used to remove a tumor so it can be examined for the presence of cancer cells. Doctors often rely on biopsies to help make an assessment of a cancer's malignancy, stage, origin and DNA mutations that may be targeted with treatments. Some biopsies are minimally invasive; others may be more challenging, requiring stitches or anesthesia. Now, a simple blood test called a liquid biopsy offers another tool that may give doctors a more complete profile of solid tumors.

How to return to an active sex life after prostate cancer treatment

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prostate cancer treatment

No matter the cancer, treatments often cause side effects that affect patients’ quality of life. But with prostate cancer, the potential side effects can be particularly concerning to men who are trying to decide which approach is right for them. Surgery, radiation therapy and other treatments may impact a patient’s sex life, causing challenges like low sex drive, loss of penis length, dry orgasm or low sperm counts.

Can aspirin work its wonders to prevent cancer?

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aspirin

Doctors have appreciated the healing potential of aspirin for centuries. Its longevity and versatility as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory have led some to herald it as a "wonder drug." Aspirin is used to relieve headaches and arthritis. It helps reduce fevers and soothe toothaches. Because aspirin thins the blood, doctors may recommend it to some patients to help prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Now, evidence is mounting that an aspirin regimen may also help reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer.

What you need to know about gynecologic cancers: They're not as rare as you may think

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Gynecologic Cancer

It may be hard to believe today, but in the 1980s, the public knew little about breast cancer, how it forms and how it’s treated. But thanks to annual Breast Cancer Awareness efforts launched every October, when the country is awash in pink ribbons, many women are better informed about how they may reduce their risk for developing the disease, and what they should do to screen for it. But gynecological cancers get little of that public attention.

What's the difference? Endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma

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difference

Gynecologic cancers do not get the kind of public attention other cancer types do. September is Gynecologic Cancer Month, but you’re unlikely to see many purple ribbons, fundraisers or walks to raise awareness for the cause. Compared to breast cancer and its pink takeover during its awareness month in October, gynecologic cancers—cervical, ovarian, uterine (endometrial), vaginal and vulvar— are much lesser known.

How can a virus cause cancer?

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viruses

When you hear “virus,” you may think of minor, temporary illnesses, like the cold or 24-hour flu. But some viruses are also linked to certain kinds of cancer. As the medical community has learned more about these links, it has developed vaccines that, by protecting against certain viral infections, help prevent cancer.

What I wish I knew: Ways to deal with chemo brain

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chemo brain

Prior to her treatment for breast cancer in 2015, Marty Oxford taught gifted elementary school students in first through fifth grades. Teaching was a passion for the Pine Mountain, Georgia, resident, but she had to put her three-decade career on hold while undergoing surgery and chemotherapy treatments.