6 Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

July 9, 2020

Even though the medical field has made tremendous progress, there is still much to discover about cancer. However, we do know that there are several biological and environmental factors that can increase a person’s risk of getting the disease.

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Understanding the Prostate Biopsy Gleason Score

June 21, 2020

If you’ve received a prostate cancer diagnosis, the first thing your doctor may discuss with you is the Gleason Score. This is used to describe your stage of prostate cancer. Here we will review prostate cancer, the purpose of the Gleason Score, how it is calculated, and why it is so important.  

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What’s the Difference Between Direct-to-Consumer and Formal Genetic Testing?

June 16, 2020

Today, more and more people are becoming proactive about their health. And one major way they’re doing so is through genetic testing. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), there are “thousands of genetic tests available to aid physicians in the diagnosis and therapy of many diseases.” And that’s not even counting the tests that can be taken without the assistance of a physician. While taking appropriate measures to get a better handle on your health— and potentially the health of your relatives— is a good thing, it’s highly important to understand that not all genetic tests are created equal and they don’t all test for the same things. In fact, the two major types of available genetic tests have enough differences worth noting before making any final decisions. 

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How to Understand a Prostate Cancer Pathology Report

June 12, 2020

To test a tumor for cancer, your doctor will schedule you for a prostate biopsy. A biopsy is an outpatient procedure in which tissue will be removed from the tumor using a needle. This tissue will then be analyzed by a pathologist — a doctor who reviews the results of the biopsy and provides information about the findings. A pathology report shows you the results of your biopsy.

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Meet Tifany Lewis, Genetic Counselor at VOA

June 5, 2020

How does genetics contribute to diseases like cancer?

TL: Cancer is a genetic disease. We have approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in every cell of our body. Multiple genes are involved in regulating cell growth and repairing errors in our DNA. These genes typically protect us from developing cancer. Over time, we can acquire mutations (changes) in these genes leading to cancer development.

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Considering a Clinical Trial for Cancer Treatment: What You Need to Know

April 10, 2020

Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors find new treatments, improve existing treatments, and increase the quality of life for people with cancer. Sometimes the term “clinical trial” may make patients concerned the treatment is less safe or less effective than treatments currently available. Institutional review boards carefully review each study to ensure it is safe, comparable in effectiveness to standard treatments, and designed to yield important information.

You may be able to benefit from the treatments offered in a clinical trial if you meet certain criteria. Your decision to begin and continue with treatment on a clinical trial is always voluntary. The research team at Virginia Oncology Associates is dedicated to working with your cancer care team to see if you are a good fit for certain trials.

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Inherited Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

April 8, 2020

In 2020 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates about 21,750 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While this is much lower than the 276,480 women estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, ovarian cancer is often more deadly and is not talked about as frequently. Therefore, knowing your risk for ovarian cancer and taking precautions before a diagnosis can help save your life and the lives of your family members.

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The 9 Signs of Ovarian Cancer Every Woman Needs to Know

March 4, 2020

Ovarian cancer begins when the genes that regulate cell growth mutate and allow abnormal cells to thrive. These rogue cells multiply at a rapid rate and eventually form a tumor. Left untreated, ovarian cancer can spread to other areas of your body. Ovarian cancer rates are highest in women in their early to mid-60s.

Read More Categories: Ovarian Cancer, Gynecologic Cancer

Genetic Counseling for Hereditary Cancers: Empowering Patients

February 21, 2020

By Alison Johnson

Fifteen years ago, it was rare for someone to call an oncologist before they had a cancer diagnosis. Today, genetic counseling and testing is increasingly helping high-risk patients determine if they have a mutation that could cause disease.

Next-generation gene sequencing can now uncover hundreds of cancer-causing mutations in more than 80 genes in one tube of blood, delivering results in two to three weeks. That advanced technology can guide decisions on possible preventative measures, from lifestyle changes to extra screening tests to medications or prophylactic surgery.

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Lee’s Friends: Helping People Live With Cancer To Present 3rd Annual Legacy Award

February 13, 2020

LEE’S FRIENDS, an award-winning cancer support non-profit celebrating 41 years of service to the cancer community of Hampton Roads will celebrate this anniversary by awarding their Third Annual Legacy Award to Virginia Oncology Associates (VOA), the largest Oncology/Hematology practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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