Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Risk Factors

Various risk factors, from family history and lifestyle choices to age, ethnicity and other demographics, have been linked with various cancers. Learn more about what they are, and what you can do with the information.

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.

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.

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.

Is there such a thing as a safe suntan?

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Safe tan

With summertime comes warm days in the sun, baseball games, barbecues and lazy days at the beach. And, for many, it's the time to celebrate the end of winter with a deep, "healthy" summer tan. But is there a way to safely tan your skin without exposing it to the damage that may lead to skin cancer?

What are the signs of breast cancer?

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Signs of breast cancer

If your tire goes flat, a warning sign may appear on the dashboard. If your smartphone battery is low, it may send you an alert. The human body has a similar alarm system. From hives and rashes to pains, fever and vomiting, your body has its own way of letting you know something’s wrong. Some signs are more subtle than others. Breast cancer is one disease that often causes a variety of more obvious signs and symptoms that may alert you to a potential concern to share with your doctor.

What does a BRCA gene mutation mean for men?

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BRCA mutation

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.