What is an Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test?

Tumor markers are substances in the human body that are produced by tumors and secreted into the blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. Certain benign conditions can also raise these markers, but significant elevations or a progressive rise can indicate a malignant process.  An AFP, or alpha-fetoprotein, tumor marker test—one of many different types of … Continued

What Should I Eat if I Have Esophageal Cancer?

Eating with esophageal cancer can present difficulties for patients before, during, and after treatment. Patients may go through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or any combination of these in an effort to eliminate or beat back the cancer. Esophageal cancer and its treatment can also cause the esophagus to narrow and/or become dry, sore, and irritated, … Continued

How Has Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers Advanced Recently?

Scientists have made numerous gains recently in treating gastrointestinal malignancies, which include cancers of the colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, liver, esophagus, and related tissues. Some advances are reflected in the approval of new drug therapies or changing practice to use existing drugs more effectively. In other cases, protocols are being revised to reduce toxic … Continued

BRCA2 and Pancreatic Cancer: What’s the Connection?

Pancreatic cancer is notorious for being difficult to treat—and it is often not detected until it advances beyond the pancreas. While smoking and obesity are two established risk factors that impact this disease, another risk factor can be mutations in the BRCA2 gene, also associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Research studies have identified a … Continued

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. Colon and rectal cancers are often collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths … Continued

Healthy Diet, Exercise Improve Survival in Colorectal Cancer

A diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight can improve the five-year survival rate for patients with stage III colorectal cancer, according to a new report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.

Infections and Cancer: What You Should Know

Common infections, such as those that cause the common cold, do not cause cancer or make cancer more likely to occur. However, infections with specific types of viruses, bacteria, or parasites can increase an individual’s risk for certain kinds of cancer.

Is Heartburn a Sign of Cancer?

Most of us are familiar with the burning feeling in the chest associated with heartburn, a common ailment caused by acid regurgitation into the esophagus.

Stomach Cancer: How Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy are Changing Treatment

The approval of a targeted therapy and an immunotherapy drug for some patients with advanced stomach cancer reflects recent new approaches to this difficult-to-treat cancer that hasn’t had many therapeutic advances in recent years. Stomach cancer, uncommon in the United States but a leading cause of cancer death globally, causes few definitive symptoms in early … Continued

Is Nausea a Sign of Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH  Nausea and cancer are often related in that nausea can be a side effect of treatment, but can nausea be a symptom of cancer itself? If there is a tumor that lives in the colon, esophagus, stomach, or somewhere else in the bowel, it can cause a bowel … Continued

Why is Pancreatic Cancer So Difficult to Treat?

Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected early enough for curative treatment to be performed – and even if it were, it would still be very difficult to vanquish. The pancreas, a narrow, six-inch-long gland that makes digestive juices and hormones such as insulin, is tucked away deep inside the body behind the stomach, small intestine, liver, … Continued

Pancreatic Cancer: What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Pancreatic tumors are sometimes discovered during imaging studies — such as an MRI or CT scan — performed to investigate the onset of new symptoms or during evaluation for another condition. They may also be identified during screening for families with a known history of pancreatic cancer. The pancreas produces fluids that help digest (break … Continued