Genetic vs Genomic Testing: What’s the Difference?

Although the terms “genetic” and “genomic” are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different. Learning more about the differences between them can help clear up some of the confusion we often see related to hereditary genes linked to developing cancer.

Genetic Testing  

Genetics usually refers to the study of specific, individual genes and whether they are passed from one generation to the next. Cancer researchers have studied hereditary gene mutations (changes) that can play a role in the development of cancer.  

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Categories: Genetic Testing

It’s Time for Awareness: Common Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

Although multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer, not many people are familiar with the disease or aware of what the signs and symptoms are. Considering this, our cancer specialists at Compass Oncology have decided that now seems like the perfect time to both educate and empower people regarding this disease.

Multiple myeloma is defined as a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections in the body. When myeloma cells form and multiply beyond control, they crowd out normal plasma cells, which causes cancer.

While the exact cause of multiple myeloma is still unclear, scientists have made progress in understanding how the disease develops. Recently, researchers have found that genetic factors (changes or mutations in the DNA) may influence the development of multiple myeloma.

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Categories: Blood Cancers, Cancer Screening, Multiple Myeloma

Kidney Cancer Treatments are Improving in 2018

Since March was Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, it inspired us to share a closer look at this disease that is among the top 10 most common cancers in men and women. Let us share with you some encouraging news about the latest advances in both understanding kidney cancer and the development of new treatment options.

Understanding Kidney Cancer Better

The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In most cases, RCC is diagnosed in older people who are typically age 64 or older. It is very uncommon to see kidney cancer in people younger than age 45.

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Categories: Cancer Treatment, Genetic Testing, Kidney Cancer

Skin Cancer Detection Guide

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more people being diagnosed each year than all other cancers combined. Knowing what to look for can help catch it early when it’s much easier to treat.

The Importance of Skin Cancer Self-Examination

When detected early, skin cancer is almost always curable. This is why getting to know your skin through regular self-exams is so important so that any new or changing marks or lesions can be caught quickly.

Lesions, ulcers, or tumors on the skin should be checked out by a skin cancer specialist right away.

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Categories: Cancer Screening, Skin Cancer

Eat Healthy and Get Active for Cancer Prevention

Daily habits like diet and exercise can affect your risk for cancer more than you may realize. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), poor diet and inactivity are two key factors that can put a person at a higher risk for cancer.

Eat a Healthy Variety of Foods

Although eating healthy foods does not guarantee cancer prevention, it can certainly help reduce your risk. Making wise decisions about what you eat not only provides your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs, it also helps make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

The ACS has some guidelines to consider in regards to what you eat from day to day, including: 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk

5 Common Cancer Myths Debunked

The internet can be an extremely useful tool for people seeking information on specific healthcare topics like cancer. And while there is a lot of data out there to be read, it is important to keep in mind that not all online sources offer reliable information. We’ve come a long way when it comes to understanding cancer--yet many myths and misconceptions continue to leave people confused and searching for answers. Busting these cancer myths, and learning more about what has actually been proven, is a great way to get people closer to truly understanding this complex group of diseases known as cancer.

Here are 5 commonly held myths about cancer: 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Cancer Screening, Genetic Testing

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Something every woman should know is that cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Understanding more about cervical health is the best action you can take to help prevent this kind of cancer. Here’s what you need to know.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that connects to the vagina (birth canal). According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, about 99% of cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease (STD).

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Cervical Cancer

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Cancer Patients

Making and implementing New Year’s resolutions that can improve your lifestyle while undergoing cancer treatment can seem too difficult to tackle. But it can be done! Working towards maximizing your emotional and physical strength during this time is an excellent  goal with long-term benefits.

There are several ways you can improve your lifestyle, helping you to better cope with the challenges involved in battling cancer. Here are five ideas and how you can incorporate them into your routine this new year.

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Categories: Cancer Management

Five Ways to Say "Thank You" to a Cancer Caregiver

A cancer caregiver, whether they are family or a friend, selflessly offers an unparalleled and irreplaceable gift. Caregivers are the most important members of a cancer patient's team on a day-to-day basis. They're the unsung heroes and are always willing to put their loved one's needs before their own.

Caregivers transport their loved one to all their cancer treatment appointments, as well as consults with the cancer specialists on a regular basis to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment and at-home care. At-home care can be everything from making meals to cleaning and laundry – taking over for the things the cancer patient may have normally done for the family.

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Categories: Supportive Care, Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Family

What Does the Great American Smokeout Have to Do with Lung Cancer Risk?

What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. This year, 2017, that means it’s on November 16th. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.

Each year, the Great American Smokeout calls attention to the deaths, lung cancer diagnoses and other chronic diseases that smoking causes, and how to prevent them. As a result of this event, there have been actions taken towards reducing the health impacts that smoking can have on smokers and non-smokers including:

  • Many states and local governments have banned smoking in restaurants, public spaces, and workplaces.
  • Increased taxes on cigarettes
  • Limiting of cigarette advertisements and product placements.
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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Lung Cancer