Adopting a healthy lifestyle, in terms of diet and exercise, is especially important for cancer patients in reducing stress, minimizing side effects, and boosting energy levels to power through treatment and recovery.
Risk and Prevention
Many factors are involved in cancer, so it’s not always easy to tell why cancer develops, or what causes it—but we know for sure that the following six factors do not play a role in the development of cancer.
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.
Genetic testing provided a father and son with a proper diagnosis for their rare colon condition.
Methods of early detection can include cancer screening, which means to search for cancerous cells or tissue when no symptoms are present.
Researchers have established some of the main factors that can increase or decrease your overall cancer risk.
What is the relationship between obesity and cancer? Being obese increases one’s risk for a multitude of health complications and diseases, including several types of cancer. Obesity has been linked to thirteen types of cancer with a stronger risk associated with breast, esophageal and endometrial cancers, among others.
“Overall, contraceptives still have a favorable risk benefit for women as contraception,” says Wendy Chen, MD, a senior physician in Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers.
Harmful BRCA mutations are uncommon in the general population. About one in every 500 women in the United States has either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
Exercising, even at a moderate level, is one thing cancer survivors can do to lower the odds of cancer recurrence.
Antioxidants are substances that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules. That damage, called “oxidative stress,” is linked to the kind of damage in DNA mutations that can contribute to the risk of certain cancers, as well as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Some studies have shown that … Continued
By Nicole LeBoeuf, MD, MPH, clinical director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Cutaneous Oncology While many people know that traditional chemotherapy drugs can increase sensitivity to the sun, some of the newer targeted therapies do as well. In fact, the risk of sun-related skin damage may be even higher with certain targeted drugs than with chemotherapy agents. … Continued
Skin cancer is very common – one in five Americans will develop the disease at some point in their lifetime. Usually, it is caused by overexposure to the sun and harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as those in tanning beds. Melanoma – the least common but most dangerous form of skin cancer – typically begins … Continued
A cancer diagnosis can inspire many questions, one of the most common being, “How did I get this disease?” There are a host of different causes, and in many cases, researchers do not have a definitive answer. But is it possible for cancer to spread from person to person? In this episode of Cancer Mythbusters, … Continued
Along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a common method for treating cancer; about half of patients receive the therapy, which uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells, during the course of their treatment. While radiation therapy is effective against cancer cells, it also leaves its mark on any normal cells it comes … Continued
The vast majority of cancers do not have a strong hereditary link, but for people who have been diagnosed with cancer or have a significant family history of the disease, genetic testing can often shed light on the cause of the disease or an individual’s likelihood of developing it or other cancers. This information can … Continued
Christina Crespi experienced extreme fatigue, weakness, and bowel changes for two years before doctors determined the cause of her symptoms: colon cancer. At 27, after many doctors’ visits, she was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer. She found the diagnosis “mind-blowing.” For Kara Stoughton, it was constipation that brought her to the doctor. She was … Continued
A fire truck pulls into the truck bay and idles for a minute or two as a firefighter attaches tubing to filter the exhaust out of the station. The firefighter’s face may be close to the exhaust for 30 seconds while the tubing is attached. It’s a routine task, one that’s performed by the same … Continued
Despite the fact that cancer survivorship is on the rise, it may seem that cancer is everywhere — and that there’s nothing we can do about it. But are we really powerless to stop certain cancers from coming our way? Or, at least, to lessen the chances of developing those cancers? With the help of … Continued
While not all cancers can be prevented, there are a number of strategies and techniques to help reduce cancer risk, even for those with inherited cancer genes. It’s important to start implementing healthful habits early in life, and as a parent, to educate kids about the importance of cancer prevention. However, it can be difficult … Continued