What is Genomic Testing?

Genomic testing, a newer field to genetics, refers to the process of observing an entire genome (genes that make up an organism) of an organism; for example, the human body. A person has about 25,000 different genes that are made up of about 3 billion DNA units. Genomic testing is different from genetic testing because it … Continued

I Have BRCA1 or BRCA2. What Should I Do?

If you carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, you may be at an increased risk for developing certain types of cancers—but it’s important to understand that cancer genetics are complex and other factors influence risk as well. Depending on certain factors like family history, it may be advisable to seek proper genetic counseling to be … 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

4 Common Prostate Cancer Myths, Debunked [Podcast]

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer forms in the prostate, a gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in males. In the United States, a man has a one in five chance of being diagnosed with this disease in his lifetime. But there are still a lot of … Continued

6 Common Myths About What Causes Cancer

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.

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.

Can Obesity Cause Cancer?

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.

How Common are BRCA Mutations?

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.

Can Antioxidants Prevent Cancer?

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

Is There a Connection between Cancer Medications and Increased Sunburn Risk?

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

When Should I See a Dermatologist?

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

Cancer Mythbusters Episode #4: Is Cancer Contagious?

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

How Does Radiation Raise the Risk of Other Cancers?

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

Do I Need Genetic Testing to Assess My Cancer Risk?

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