Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Conditions and Treatment

Cancer and its treatment may lead to a number of symptoms and side effects. Learn more about those challenges, and the strategies and therapies designed to help you manage them.

Tips for cancer patients: How to deal with information overload

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Information

A cancer diagnosis often comes with an overwhelming amount of information for patients to sift through and remember. Between appointments, meeting with various doctors and clinicians, and digesting treatment and nutrition information, it can be difficult to keep track of it all. There’s so much to focus on at a time when you’re dealing with an experience that has likely turned your life upside down.

FDA approves first cancer treatment based on genetic makeup, not tumor location

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Immunotherapy drug

Cancer has traditionally been identified by where in the body it develops. Breast cancer forms in the breast, lung cancer in the lungs, and so on. Even when a cancer metastasizes to a different part of the body, it is defined by its original location. If colorectal cancer travels to the brain, for instance, it is called metastatic colorectal cancer, not brain cancer. But many doctors, including Dr. Shayma Master Kazmi, Medical Oncologist at our hospital in Philadelphia, call that old-school thinking.

How can flexible robotic surgery help head and neck cancer patients?

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Flexrobotics

Many head and neck cancer patients undergo treatments that end up disrupting their quality of life. For example, surgery to remove tumors in the head or neck area typically requires large incisions that may affect the patient’s ability to eat, speak and swallow. If the incisions were smaller, the lasting impacts may be less severe, experts say.

What I wish I knew: Live in the moment

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Live in the moment

Dan Cuccherini always considered himself a typical guy’s guy. “I was a pretty athletic, outdoors kind of a guy,” he says. The Virginia native had a busy life with a lot on his plate—he and his wife have nine children. In 2013, his stressful job as a safety director was taking its toll on him. “I was sick all the time,” he says. “As time went on, I just grew more and more fatigued.”

What's the difference in skin cells? Melanocytes and basal, squamous and Merkel cells

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Skin

Consider the remarkable functions the skin performs every day. It's only 1.5 millimeters at its thickest point, but it protects the muscles and organs from outside threats. It can take a pounding, enduring bumps and bruises, the sun’s burning rays and the grime left by dirt and dust. It moves and stretches when you do, but even when the body is at rest, the skin is a bustle of cellular activity.

Unraveling the mystery of radiation therapy

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radiation

The confusion and mystery that often surrounds radiation therapy has led to a number of myths and misconceptions. Some cancer patients, for example, mistakenly believe that radiation is painful or that it may make them radioactive, instilling fear or hesitation about undergoing the treatment. “Radiation may be scary to some patients,” says Dr. Marnee Spierer, Radiation Oncologist at our hospital near Phoenix. “They don’t understand what it is.