Prostate Cancer Rates Raise Concerns: What You Should Know

Overall, cancer death rates have declined by 33% since 1991, according to a Jan. 2023 American Cancer Society report. Multiple cancers like leukemia, melanoma, and kidney cancer have seen significant declines in mortality due to great advances in treatments.   Prostate cancer rates had been on the decline for two decades, but the ACS report remarks that … Read more

Do Contraceptives Reduce or Increase the Risk of Cancer?

Millions of people regularly take or use contraceptives, such as birth control pills, to avoid unwanted pregnancy or relieve menstruation-related side effects such as cramps or heavy bleeding.   There is some evidence that contraceptives may affect cancer risk — specifically, that oral contraceptives may increase the likelihood of developing breast and cervical cancers but reduce … Read more

Mother with Rare Type of Brain Metastasis Doing Well on Novel Treatment

Langley Perer thought her breast cancer was in the rearview mirror. In 2017, she had received a shocking diagnosis at age 35 of ductal in situ carcinoma (DCIS), the earliest form of breast cancer. “As far as I knew, I had no family history of breast cancer,” she says. DCIS is sometimes referred to as … Read more

Mother, Community Leader with Breast Cancer Has Remarkable Response to Immunotherapy

Nancy Arsenault was taking a lunch break from driving her elementary school bus route in her hometown of Stow, Massachusetts, when she began to experience double vision. She had been first diagnosed with pre-invasive breast cancer in 2006, which recurred in 2011. In 2019, she developed an invasive breast cancer in her chest wall and … Read more

What is a Tumor, Exactly?

A tumor, also known as a neoplasm, is an abnormal swelling or enlargement within the body caused by cells dividing more than they should or not dying when they should.  What is the difference between a tumor and cancer?  Although the words “tumor” and “cancer” are often used interchangeably, they aren’t synonymous. A noncancerous (benign) … Read more

Can Marijuana Benefit Cancer Patients?

Marijuana occupies a complicated position among the substances used to alleviate symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment. On the one hand, most U.S. states have legalized cannabis (the plant from which marijuana is derived) for medical purposes. On the other hand, federal law prohibits the prescription or possession of marijuana.   Although cannabis has been … Read more

Cancer, Herbicides, and Pesticides: What’s the Link?

While pesticides and herbicides — substances used to control pests and weeds, respectively — can be toxic to humans when ingested, researchers are not sure if exposure to these compounds are linked to a higher risk of cancer. Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, a cancer epidemiologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of … Read more

How Can Melanoma Affect People of Color?

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, gets its name from the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes from which tumors can develop. Melanocytes manufacture melanin, a substance in your body that produces hair, eye, and skin pigmentation. Melanin absorbs sunlight and helps to protect skin from DNA damaging ultraviolet light which can contribute to the development of … Read more