Can X-Rays Cause Cancer?

While high doses of X-rays and other types of high-energy electromagnetic radiation are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), most studies haven’t found a connection between exposure to low levels of radiation – such as those used in dental X-rays and mammograms – and increased cancer risk. Most of the evidence linking high levels of radiation exposure … Continued

What is a Precancerous Condition?

A condition is considered precancerous if it consists of abnormal cells that have an increased risk of turning cancerous. In many cases, people with such conditions can take steps to reduce the chance that cancer will develop. Physicians may prescribe treatments to prevent the cancer or recommend monitoring the condition for signs that it is … Continued

What’s the Latest on E-Cigarettes and Cancer?

Claiming that use of electronic cigarettes among young people is reaching “epidemic proportions,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has undertaken a range of measures to ensure compliance with laws banning sales to minors and is considering toughening its stance toward manufacturers that fail to prevent widespread youth use of their products. JUUL, a new … Continued

Menthol Cigarettes: 4 Common Questions Answered

Menthol cigarettes and regular cigarettes have a similar design, but menthol cigarettes use menthol additives either within the tobacco or, in certain brands, within or near the cigarette filter to release a burst of menthol flavor while smoking the cigarette. Regular cigarettes not labeled as containing menthol may also contain small but detectable quantities of … Continued

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)? Common Questions Answered

By Benjamin S. Kematick, PharmD, BCACP A clinical pharmacy specialist in Dana-Farber’s Division of Palliative Care CBD is a phytocannabinoid, a naturally occurring compound found in the flower of cannabis species. CBD is different from the better-known phytocannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in that it does not produce an intoxicating effect. Like CBD, THC is found in … Continued

What is a Biomarker?

A biomarker—short for “biological marker”—is something that can be objectively measured and is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or a condition or disease. A biomarker can be a molecule found in the blood or other body fluids or tissues. Another type of biomarker is a genetic signature or “fingerprint”—a pattern of activity … Continued

Detecting Cancer Early: What You Should Know [Podcast]

Cancer research is often geared toward finding new and effective treatments, but researchers are also constantly trying to pinpoint ways to find cancer in its early stages, when it is often more treatable and even curable. While it’s not always possible to find cancer before it arises, incredible advancements have been made in early detection … Continued

For Patients with Rare Cancer, Tips on Finding Expert Treatment

Having a rare cancer can feel especially isolating. There are apt to be few physicians with experience treating that type of cancer and little research to guide patients. Opportunities to receive support from—and give support to—other patients with the same disease may also be scarce. But there are a variety of steps such patients and … Continued

What Causes a Cell to Become Cancerous?

Unlike bacteria or viruses, which infect the body from the outside, cancer originates in the body’s own cells. The disease begins deep in the cell nucleus, in the chromosomes that contain our genes. Of the approximately 22,000 genes in human cells, several hundred are involved in the process of cell division. These genes ensure that … Continued

10 Exercise Tips for Cancer Patients

Exercise has been shown to improve quality of life and functionality for cancer patients and survivors, if done safely. Here are some tips.

Is a Persistent Cough a Sign of Cancer?

A cough can potentially be a symptom of a health concern, but in the overwhelming majority of cases that include a cough, the cause is unrelated to cancer.

How to Find the Right Cancer Support Group

Support groups offer patients the opportunity to share their stories and the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis among a group of people who can relate. So how do you find the one that’s right for you?

Does Nicotine Cause Cancer?

An addictive substance, nicotine produces a pleasurable, relaxed feeling when inhaled in smoke or vapor or when ingested from chewing tobacco.

How to Safely Get Enough Vitamin D

Dermatologists do not recommend unprotected sun exposure as way to increase your vitamin D levels. “It is better to protect yourself from the sun and take a vitamin D supplement if you have a deficiency,” says Cecilia Larocca, MD, of Dana-Farber.