What is Scalp Cooling and How Does It Work?

Scalp cooling is a simple treatment developed to help prevent or reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells, and hair is the second fastest dividing cell — which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Scalp cooling reduces the blood flow to the cells that produce hair and … Continued

Lawn Care and Cancer Risk: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Timothy Rebbeck, PhD Lawn care can help grass become and stay full, green, and healthy, but are the chemicals and fertilizers that you use to take care of your lawn increasing your cancer risk? Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are common lawn care products. Although frequent exposure to chemicals in these products can … Continued

Do Morning People Have a Lower Risk of Breast Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD There may be more advantages to being a morning person than waking up bright-eyed and eager to take on the day. In a recent study involving nearly 400,000 women, British researchers found evidence that a preference for mornings was associated with a slight reduction in breast cancer risk. … Continued

Which Countries Have the Highest and Lowest Cancer Rates? [Updated 2019]

There were an estimated 18 million cancer cases around the world in 2018, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Of those cases, the United States had the fifth highest number of new diagnoses, with 352 cases per 100,000 people. These statistics are age-standardized — a summary measure of the rate of disease that … Continued

Is Itching a Sign of Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Buchbinder, MD, and Jennifer Crombie, MD Got an itch that just won’t go away? Also known as pruritus (proo-rai-tuhs), itchy skin can have a wide variety of causes, including seasonal allergies and dry skin; various skin conditions, such as eczema; and even certain detergents and lotions. The good news is that … Continued

What is the JUUL?

Medically reviewed by Andy Tan, MPH, PhD JUUL is a brand of electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, that enables users to inhale vapor infused with nicotine, flavorings, and other compounds. Introduced in 2015, JUULs work much as other e-cigarettes do, but because they’re small and sleek — resembling a USB flash drive — and come in … Continued

What is a Gene Mutation?

Medically reviewed by Huma Rana, MD A mutation is a change in the sequence of DNA units, which are like the letters of the alphabet, that make up the genetic instructions that determine a cell’s structure and function. A mutation in a gene could be compared to a simple misspelling of a word by a … Continued

What are PFASs and Are They Linked to Cancer?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are chemicals whose ability to repel oil and water has led them to be used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, and food containers that resist grease and oil. They’re highly stable chemicals, so they can persist … Continued

What’s the Difference Between Cancer Grade and Cancer Stage?

When solid tumors are diagnosed, they are often assigned a grade and a stage. Both factors are key considerations when physicians devise a treatment plan. Tumors are assigned a grade based on the appearance of their cells under a microscope: Low-grade tumor cells resemble normal cells more closely than high-grade tumor cells do. The grade … Continued

Does Burnt Food Cause Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Stacy Kennedy MPH, RD/LDN, CSO Have you ever left a meal in the oven for too long or set the toaster too high? Maybe you’ve fried something in a pan and really fried it. Burning food is a common occurrence — but can these seemingly minor incidents put you at an increased … Continued

How to Live (and Thrive) with an Ostomy

Medically reviewed by Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH An ostomy, or stoma, is a surgical opening in the skin that functions as an alternate way to remove waste products from the body. An ostomy may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including bowel disease, birth defects, and cancer. There are three different types of ostomy: … Continued

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Treatment-Related Nausea

Medically reviewed by Kristen Uhl, PhD Treatment-induced nausea is an unpleasant side effect that can occur before, during, or after cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Antiemetic medications are typically used to treat nausea and vomiting, but there are other strategies that can help. Kristen Uhl, PhD, of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s … Continued

Worth the Shot: No, Vaccines Won’t Give You Cancer

Medically reviewed by Patrick Ott, MD, PhD There are a lot of concerns about the potential risks of vaccines, including fears that vaccines can cause autism, can infect the recipient with the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent, and are generally unsafe. Rest assured: Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventative … Continued

Does WiFi Exposure Lead to Cancer?

Medically reviewed by David E. Kozono, MD, PhD WiFi and the electronic devices that connect to it, such as cellphones, laptops, and wireless headphones, are all around us. So far, there is no consistent evidence that WiFi routers or WiFi-powered devices increase cancer risk. What is WiFi? WiFi uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. … Continued

Understanding Your Pathology Report

Medically reviewed by Stuart J. Schnitt, MD, and George L. Mutter, MD A pathology report describes the findings in a tissue sample (biopsy or excision), which are always submitted to a pathologist after being removed from a patient. The tissue is sliced very thin and stained on a glass slide for a pathologist to examine … Continued

Why is Nutrition Important? [Podcast]

Why is nutrition so important, and what should cancer patients should keep in mind during and after treatment? With the help of Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD/LDN, CSO, senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we debunk a few nutrition myths in this podcast — and provide tips on what you can do to eat healthfully. Austin … Continued

What’s the Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Buchbinder, MD While the warmth of sunlight can be inviting after cold winter months, it is important to remember healthy habits to keep your skin safe in the sun. Prolonged and frequent sun exposure without the proper protection can result in an uncomfortable sunburn at best and significant skin damage at … Continued

How to Maintain Muscle Health During Cancer Treatment

Medically reviewed by Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD Cancer can present a host of physical challenges. During treatment, a patient may not be able to move far from their bed or room; therapy can also lead to metabolic changes that disrupt the way the body processes food to create energy. Add that to a hectic appointment … Continued

What Does a Lymphoma Lump Feel Like?

Medically reviewed by Eric Jacobsen, MD One symptom of lymphoma can be the development of lumps under the skin, usually in the neck, armpit, or groin. The lumps have a rubbery feel and are usually painless. Not all such lumps are a sign of lymphoma, but when they occur at these sites, it’s advisable to … Continued

Beyond Age: Treatment and Support for Older Patients with Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH Regardless of age, a cancer diagnosis can be stressful, and everyone will process it differently. An older patient will have particular needs, and you and your support system have a unique blend of factors to consider. “As the population becomes healthier, we’re living longer, fuller lives,” says Rachel … Continued