Should I have a Lumpectomy or Mastectomy?

If surgery to remove breast cancer is a part of your treatment plan, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about what’s best for you. There are two primary types of surgery to remove breast cancer: a lumpectomy also called breast-conserving surgery and a mastectomy which removes the entire breast. There are important differences between the two surgeries and what’s best for one patient may not be right for another. Let’s take a look at these two types of breast cancer surgeries and how you and your breast cancer care team will decide how to move forward.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

Top 5 Causes of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

While smoking can cause lung cancer, it isn't the only risk factor. Lung cancer is also diagnosed in people who have never smoked. There are several important factors, besides tobacco use, that increase the risk of developing lung cancer. These factors can cause lung cancer even if you've never smoked or chewed tobacco in your entire life. 

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Categories: Lung Cancer

How Ulcerative Colitis Affects Your Risk for Developing Colorectal Cancer

Did you know there’s a significant link between ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer? Ulcerative colitis patients have a six times greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than those of average risk. But, that being said, only about 5% of people with severe ulcerative colitis will end up developing this type of cancer. Plus, there are ways you can lower your risk.

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Categories: Colorectal Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancers

Can You Detect Pancreatic Cancer in Its Early Stages?

Early detection of just about any type of cancer will make treatment a lot easier. This is especially true with pancreatic cancer. If detected early, in stage 1, oncologists will have more treatment options than when it’s found in later stages and has moved to other areas of the body.

The problem is, early detection can be hard because there aren’t a lot of obvious signs that pancreatic cancer has developed. Because of this, many pancreatic cancer patients have a late-stage disease by the time it’s found. Thankfully new pancreatic cancer treatments will soon be more widely available. Several cancer research studies – including some available in the Portland area – are underway to find better treatment options. This includes targeted therapies and immunotherapies that have the potential to increase survival rates. 

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Categories: Gastrointestinal Cancers

How Does Immunotherapy Work for Gynecologic Cancers?

Immunotherapy is a category of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to recognize, target, control, and eliminate certain types of cancer cells. Because the immune system is so precise, using it to fight cancer is unlike other treatments out there. 

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Categories: Cancer Treatment, Gynecologic Cancers

Alternatives to Prostate Removal Surgery for Cancer Patients

Prostate cancer is unlike other types of cancer because most men have time to consider their options before treatment needs to begin. Naturally, there are a lot of questions. Although your oncologist will ultimately help you determine the treatment plan that’s best, educating yourself on options can be useful in understanding the recommendations you receive.

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Categories: Prostate Cancer

What is the Difference Between Bone Cancer and Multiple Myeloma?

Both bone cancer and multiple myeloma are often mistaken for one another because they both involve the bones. Symptoms are even similar with bone pain and easily broken bones. However, they are in fact two different types of cancer. Bone cancer tumors develop inside the actual bone and are usually contained in that bone if found early enough. Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that forms in white blood cells that are inside the bone marrow. It usually spreads to other bones and is treated as a widespread disease.  

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Categories: Blood Cancers

When Should You Get a Prostate Cancer Screening?

Cancer screening is the best way to find cancer early. An early diagnosis means easier, more effective treatment and less chance of it spreading. Many cancers, including prostate cancer, have no symptoms in the early stages. If you don’t have symptoms or regular screenings, prostate cancer can grow without you knowing you have it. Age is one of the factors associated with your risk, so identifying when you should get a screening can depend on many different factors. While men that don’t have existing high risk factors may be able to wait longer than other men to receive screening, it is important to evaluate each case individually.

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Categories: Cancer Screening, Prostate Cancer

Does Acid Reflux Cause GI Cancer?

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is in charge of tightening the esophagus after food is passed into the stomach. When the LES is weak, the acid from your stomach washes up into the lower part of your esophagus causing a burning sensation. This is acid reflux. But does acid reflux have a connection to stomach or esophageal cancer?

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Categories: Gastrointestinal Cancers

At-Home DNA Tests: Are They a Reliable Method for Cancer Risk Assessment?

If you have ever considered finding out more about your genetics, there are a variety of different companies that have been providing at-home services for more than a decade! Genetic testing has become increasingly popular and not just for people. You can even have your dog tested to determine lineage and other information. However, human DNA testing is increasingly used to help identify potential risk factors for a variety of different conditions from the comfort of your own home. 

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Categories: Genetic Testing