What is HPV?

HPV, otherwise known as the human papillomavirus, is a sexually transmitted infection that should not be confused with HIV or HSV (herpes). There are currently nearly 80 million people in the United States alone who are living with HPV, many of whom are in their teens and early twenties.

While there are about 30 different types that affect the genitals, including the vagina, penis, vulva, cervix, and scrotum, there are another 70 additional forms of HPV that can affect other areas of the body. Of the approximate 100 different types of HPV, infectious disease doctors consider 14 of them to be “high risk” which can lead to cervical or gynecologic cancers.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Cervical Cancer, Gynecologic Cancers

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

While bladder cancer is becoming more common, it is often overshadowed by other cancers such as lung, breast, and prostate. With May being Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, there's no better time than now to discuss what bladder cancer is, possible symptoms, risk factors, and preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk. For this reason, we're going to take a closer look at bladder cancer so that you can be armed with the proper information to take control of your health. 

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Categories: Bladder Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk

When Should You Start Colon Cancer Screenings?

Did you know that the screening age for colorectal cancer was lowered to 45?

Based on recent research, the American Cancer Society (ACS) lowered the recommended age to begin colon cancer screening from 50 to 45. The five-year difference is important to note when it comes to managing your health care. The ACS predicts that in 2019 more than 23,000 Oregonians will receive a diagnosis of colon cancer. Learning more about the screening process is one step a patient can take in preventing and fighting this dreaded disease.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Screening, Colorectal Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancers

6 Tips to Quit Smoking and Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

The Compass Oncology lung cancer specialists encourage everyone to take a moment on March 20th to observe "National Kick Butts Day.” This day focuses on the health risks of tobacco use, including smoking, as a part of our practice’s efforts to reduce the number of lung cancer cases diagnosed each year. According to the National Cancer Institute, that’s close to 700 cases each year in the Portland-Vancouver area.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Lung 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

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

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

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 Reveal 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, Gastrointestinal Cancers