Cancer Research is Advancing Breast Cancer Treatment Options

February 5, 2020

By David Z. Chang, MD,PhD, FACP

Recent developments in breast cancer treatment have continued to fuel our movement toward tailored treatment for each individual patient.

Two of the newest and most promising fronts are targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Both aim to more effectively kill cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue, thereby causing fewer debilitating side effects as compared to traditional chemotherapy.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Healthcare Providers

What to Expect After Completing Ovarian Cancer Treatment

January 27, 2020

Although completing ovarian cancer treatment is a significant event on your road to recovery, you may still need time to heal, physically and emotionally. It can take time to establish a regular routine and get comfortable with your new life after cancer treatment. Whether you want to reclaim the life you once knew or redefine it, keep in mind that it's essential to proceed at your own pace.

Read More Categories: Ovarian Cancer

Cancer Survivorship: Family Counseling Helps the Healing Process

January 16, 2020

Transitioning from a cancer patient to a cancer survivor signifies that you have physically healed from cancer; however, it does not mean that you’ve physically healed from the effects of chemo, nor does it signify that you have healed emotionally. Emotional wellbeing is much harder to measure. And right now, you and your family could be experiencing a lot of different feelings. 

Read More Categories: Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship and Family

Targeted Therapy: Striking Cancer Cells from Within

January 10, 2020

By Jared Kobulnicky, MD

One of the most promising developments in cancer treatment over the past few years is the rapid emergence of targeted therapy

Unlike chemotherapy and immunotherapy, targeted therapy attacks specific mutations in the DNA of cancer cells. The goal is to interfere with growth processes inside those cells – the signals that drive a disease – with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

Read More Categories: Cancer Treatment

Do You Know Your Family Medical History?

November 25, 2019

Family history is a term often tossed around by medical professionals and the media alike.  Do you know your family history? Do you know how to take your family history? Who is an important part of your family history – parents, grandparents, children, cousins, or beyond?  Do you understand the importance of sharing your family medical history with your healthcare provider? If you answered no to any of these questions, keep reading!  

The family medical history has rapidly become one of the most important cancer screening tools we have available and yet, unfortunately, so many people know very little about their family history or have been unwilling to share this information with their relatives. While there may be a difference in cultural norms that have previously prevented – or currently prevent – discussing personal health history, we challenge you to consider the benefit of asking and sharing health information with your family members.  

Read More Categories: Genetic Testing, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk

Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment

November 21, 2019

By Daniel Atienza, MD

At Virginia Oncology Associates, we see a large volume of breast cancer patients. Because breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, it’s important that we stay on top of how breast cancer treatments are changing and evolving so we can ensure our patients have access to the right care. We encourage patients to participate in clinical trials.

Women are surviving breast cancer at higher rates than ever. We can attribute that to multiple factors, including screening (it’s extremely important to keep your mammogram appointments), new, better tolerated therapy options, and improved supportive measures.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer

Exercising Before, During and After Cancer Treatments

November 20, 2019

If you have recently received a cancer diagnosis or you’re currently undergoing treatment, it is important that you put focus on taking special care of yourself. This includes eating healthy foods, getting enough rest, and incorporating physical activity into your routine - research strongly suggests that exercise is a wonderful way to care for yourself.

Read More Categories: Cancer Management, Nutrition and Exercise

What to Expect at Your First Mammogram

November 19, 2019

A lot of women are nervous about mammograms. Mammograms are a routine screening tool for early detection of breast cancer in middle aged to older women. It's effective, inexpensive, and non-invasive, although it can be a little uncomfortable.

Read More Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

Are People of Color Safe from Skin Cancer?

November 15, 2019

It's a fairly common myth that African-Americans and other people with dark skin don't get sunburned or get skin cancer. Unfortunately, this is not true. While Caucasians are definitely at higher risk, skin cancer still represents 1 to 2% of all cancers diagnosed in non-Hispanic black people and 4 to 5% in Hispanics. Because of this myth, however, a skin cancer diagnosis tends to come at a later stage, partly because it's harder to see on dark skin and partly because dark-skinned people are less likely to be screened regularly.

Read More Categories: Skin Cancer

Debunking Common Myths About UV Protection and Skin Cancer

November 13, 2019

Since many sun protection and skin cancer myths seem logical many people what they hear without verifying the information. But, it is very important to be sure that you have the facts.

Here is a look at several common myths about UV protection and skin cancer. Identifying the myths and accepting the facts can help protect your health.

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer