At Home DNA Tests: Are They a Reliable Method for Cancer Screening?

Up until recently, genetic testing for cancer had to be performed by a medical professional – but that’s not the case anymore. Today, people concerned about their genetic health risks can have their DNA analyzed for health reasons, in the comfort of their own home.

23andMe, the company known for its spit-and-mail ancestry test, now offers FDA-approved genetic tests for cancer, which can be mailed directly to consumers. While there are other at-home genetic tests available, 23andMe is the first company that can offer this kind of testing without a doctor’s order.

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Categories: Genetic Testing

HPV and Cervical Cancer: What’s the Connection?

When it comes to cervical cancer, nearly all cases are caused by exposure to the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Thankfully, cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Understanding more about HPV and cervical health in general can greatly help in the prevention of this kind of cancer. Here’s some important information every woman should know.

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Categories: Gynecologic Cancers

Three Big Advancements to Watch in Prostate Cancer Research

Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Because of this, prostate cancer research has been an ongoing process of looking into causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of the disease. But with hundreds upon hundreds of published studies out there, how can patients keep up with what’s new? Since September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time to discuss the new developments that are being made in prostate cancer treatment.

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Categories: Prostate Cancer

5 Facts You May Not Know About Gynecologic Cancer

September is National Gynecologic Awareness Month -- a nationally recognized time established by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer in 1999. The month provides an opportunity to draw attention to the cancers that can develop in a woman’s reproductive system. Being informed is the first step you can take to help yourself and/or the other women in your life. Below are 5 facts you should know about gynecologic cancers that affect tens of thousands of women each year.

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Categories: Gynecologic Cancers

Bone Health After Cancer Treatment

It’s no secret that cancer treatment takes an emotional and physical toll on patients. According to the American Cancer Society, the goals of cancer treatment include shrinking cancerous tumors to make them easier to remove surgically, killing cancer cells in the body, and/or controlling cancer so it does not grow and spread. Chemotherapy, steroid medications, and hormonal therapies used to achieve these goals sometimes have unwelcome side effects in cancer survivors, including osteoporosis.

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Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Side Effects

Breast Density and Its Effect on Your Cancer Screening

If you’ve had a mammogram and were told you have dense breast tissue, you may be wondering what that means. While having dense breasts is normal and common, many women are left feeling uncertain regarding whether there is anything they should do differently or how it affects the risk of getting breast cancer.

What Does it Mean to Have Dense Breasts?

Breasts contain glandular, connective, and fat tissue. Breast density is a term that describes the relative amount of these different types of breast tissue as seen on a mammogram. Dense breasts have more glandular tissue and fibrous connective tissue and than fatty breast tissue. Dense breasts can be inherited.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Read a Sunscreen Label

From its beaches to its mountains and everything in between, the Pacific Northwest provides a wonderful backdrop for many outdoor summer activities. August is Summer Sun Safety, and with so many opportunities to get outside around the Portland-Vancouver metroplex, it’s important to keep your skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer

Alcohol After Cancer?

As a cancer survivor, your goal is probably to resume your familiar lifestyle as quickly as possible. You may be feeling more like your old self again with a growing appetite and the ability to enjoy the flavors in food once again. If also enjoyed an alcoholic beverage before cancer, you may be wondering if that’s acceptable after cancer treatment. You may be right to think twice about drinking alcohol after cancer. 

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Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Health

The Newest Top 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations

The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that cancer cases are likely to increase by 67% from 14.1 million in 2012 to 23.6 million worldwide by 2030. What you may not realize, however, is that many cancers could be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices.

What changes could you make to your life to reduce your risk of getting cancer? Here are the most recent top 10 cancer prevention recommendations published by the World Cancer Research Fund

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Categories: Cancer Prevention

How to Use the UV Index to Know When to Stay Inside

July is known as UV Safety Month; therefore, it’s a great time to learn more about safe sun exposure, including what the UV index means, when you should avoid being in the sun, and how it can play a role in the development of skin cancer. For most people, summer fun includes summer sun. As you soak up those warm rays, however, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation of the sun can be harmful to your skin. 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer