Can I Donate My Organs After Cancer?

As a cancer survivor, it’s probably safe to assume that during your journey you’ve developed a true appreciation of life. You know firsthand what it feels like to receive a serious diagnosis, the uncertainties of living with cancer, and the feelings of joy, relief, and gratitude when you beat it. Thanks to your unique life experiences, you may feel compelled to sign up as an organ donor so you can give the gift of life to someone else.

There is a Huge Need for Organ Donors

According to Donate Life Northwest, while 95% of Americans support the idea of being an organ donor, only 56% are registered as organ donors. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS):  

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Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship & Helping Others

Is Your Weight Affecting Your Risk of Developing Cancer?

It’s no secret that carrying excess pounds can lead to serious health consequences–but did you know that it can also raise your risk for certain types of cancer? Alarming numbers from recent studies conclude that the vast majority of American adults are overweight or obese--and it appears to be a trend that is a growing problem among US children as well.

Research shows that higher amounts of body fat can increase the risk for several types of cancer, including kidney cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, thyroid cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and breast cancer (in women past menopause). Obesity also increases the risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, which is the most dangerous stage of the disease. 

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Categories: Cancer Risk

4 Easy Ways to Lower Your Risk for Skin Cancer This Summer

Summer is here, which means it’s the perfect time to get outdoors to have some fun. As you enjoy those fun moments, however, don’t forget to protect your skin – especially with the more intense summer sun.

Does this mean you have to skip all those fun events? Absolutely not--but you should be aware of the risks the sun poses to unprotected skin.

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. This includes an estimated 4.3 million basal cell carcinoma cases (the most common form of skin cancer) and more than 1 million cases of squamous cell carcinoma (the second most common form of skin cancer). It is also estimated that more than 9,000 Americans will die in 2018 from melanoma – the least common, yet most dangerous type of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Annual Update June 2018

Medical Update:  Ovarian Cancer 2018 How is our definition of Ovarian Cancer changing?
Presented by Lisa McCluskey, MD

Genetics in Cancer: The Future is Now
Presented by Becky Clark, MS, CGC

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Categories: Gynecologic Cancers

Video Presentations from the Advancements in Breast Cancer Review 2018

Dr. Kati Dunham, Dr. Lucy Langer, and Dr. John Smith presented highlights from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to patients and community members on May 1, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland. Ten local community partners attended the event and shared information about the services and resources they offer. This 9th annual event was free to the public and developed in an effort to share the most recent advancements in breast cancer treatment, clinical trials and research.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

How Does Your Family’s History of Melanoma Affect You?

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It forms in the cells that produce melanin, which is the substance responsible for your skin's color. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun or tanning beds increases the risk of developing any skin cancer. In the case of melanoma, experts say there's also a strong link between family genetics and your risk of developing melanoma. 

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

A Simple Test Could Let You Know if You’re at High Risk for Developing Colon Cancer

Cancer researchers from Johns Hopkins have concluded that some patients may develop colon cancer due to two specific digestive bacterias that form a film on the colon.

The two bacteria the doctors found working together to heighten cancer are known as Bacteroides fragilis and Escherichia coli (or E. coli). The B. fragilis strain, called ETBF, appears to cause inflammation in the colon, while the E. coli strain causes DNA mutations. 

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Cancer Screening, Colorectal Cancer

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