4 Things That Can Make Your Skin Sensitive to the Sun

May 22, 2018

Have you ever gotten a sunburn even after taking all the necessary precautions, such as slathering on sunscreen or wearing a hat? If so, you’re well aware that it’s not just painful, but frustrating as well.

It may be shocking to learn that certain medications, foods, skin care products, and other agents can actually increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s harmful rays (photosensitivity). While many of these “sunburn boosters” aren’t considered harmful in and of themselves, it is important to use them with caution on days you know your skin will be exposed to the sun.   

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer

When Should Men Get a Prostate Cancer Screening?

May 4, 2018

Prostate cancer is the most common [non-skin] cancer in men. Therefore, it’s important to when to some facts about prostate cancer screenings, and make sure you, or the males in your life, are getting screened for prostate cancer in a timely manner.

Early Detection of Prostate Cancer Changes Outcomes for Patients!

Many perfectly healthy men are screened for prostate cancer as part of their regular health care routine. Doctors sometimes recommend testing simply because of age or family history. Other times, patients have some symptoms, and their doctor may suggest a prostate cancer screening as the first step to understanding the problem.

Read More Categories: Cancer Screening, Prostate Cancer

Surviving Cancer Is About More Than the Disease

March 26, 2018

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the immediate concerns are his/her physical well-being, getting into a treatment center, and starting cancer treatment.

Cancer survivors need more than just chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

One of our licensed social workers here at Virginia Oncology Associates (VOA), Roshonda Poole, says there are many ways in which cancer patients or survivors, their families, and/or their caregivers need support throughout the cancer journey.

Emotional Support

Roshonda says that many cancer patients struggle with the feeling of isolation and that they often believe they are the only one struggling with the impact of the cancer diagnosis. She also says that, “Talking about it with others brings about some mixed emotions. Often, patients do not want to burden their families with the details of their cancer treatment, so having an outlet and someone to talk with can reduce their anxiety.”

Read More Categories: Supportive Care, Cancer Management

The Evolution of Genetic Testing and Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer

March 1, 2018

By Mark T. Fleming, MD

Genetic testing for cancer and targeted drug therapy regimens have changed how multiple cancers, particularly breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancers are cared for. More and more, we are finding similar benefits in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

High-quality genetic testing now can accurately pinpoint both hereditary and somatic mutations, providing crucial insights into how prostate cancer develops and grows. At the same time, new medications tailored to specific mutations have shown great promise in clinical trials, especially in a metastatic disease that has not responded to standard androgen-deprivation therapy.

Read More Categories: Genetic Testing, Prostate Cancer, Cancer Treatment

Genetic Testing: Personalized Medicine at its Best

February 16, 2018

In 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled against one company owning the patent on genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Changes in these genes are associated with a high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The ruling cited that human genes are not eligible for patents because they are a product of nature. Since this ruling, the world of cancer genetic testing has opened up both scientifically and financially.

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, only one commercial laboratory was able to offer testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Since the patent has been overturned, multiple laboratories have started to offer testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and from this, multigene cancer panels have emerged. Multigene cancer panels allow testing for many additional genes associated with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and various other cancers.

Read More Categories: Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening, Genetic Testing, Colon & Rectal Cancer

Behind Every Great Oncologist Is a Great Oncology Nurse

February 6, 2018

Oncologists get a lot of the limelight in a cancer patient’s care--and for good reason. If you talk with most cancer patients, however, you might be surprised to find out that it’s actually their nurse--not their oncologist--who they have a closer relationship with.

Since doctors must focus their patient time on identifying, treating, and managing the cancer, a nurse can take the time to ask questions about home life, side effects of the cancer treatment, and how to increase a patient’s overall quality of life. This consistent, one-on-one involvement is often why patients share most information with their oncology nurse rather than their oncologist.

Read More Categories: Cancer Management

Clinical Trials Expand Treatment Options for Cancer Patients in Hampton Roads

January 30, 2018

For people with cancer, having access to all available treatment options for their specific type of cancer can be difficult. Specialized cancer clinical trials and research may require extensive travel or even relocation to be closer to hospitals or research institutes conducting such studies. Fortunately, for residents of Hampton Roads, this is not the case.

One of the largest and most reputable cancer research networks in the world is US Oncology Research, which specializes in Phase I-IV oncology clinical trials in communities throughout the nation. Our location here in Hampton Roads is one of 16 Translational Oncology Program (TOP) sites for US Oncology Research, offering the largest clinical research program in the region.

Read More Categories: Cancer Research

What Are Your Lymph Nodes Trying To Tell You?

January 8, 2018

Lymph nodes (also called lymph glands) are part of your immune system, and they let you know when your body is fighting an infection by becoming enlarged or sensitive to the touch. They also function as an early warning system for some types of cancer.

What are Lymph Nodes?

Lymph is a clear fluid that circulates throughout your body, bringing nutrients to cells and carrying away bacteria and waste products. This fluid flows through a special system of tiny vessels in your body, passing through small bean-shaped filtering organs called lymph nodes. Some nodes are as large as an inch across, while others are as small as a pinhead. Clusters of these nodes are located at the sides of your jaws, neck and upper chest, under your arms, and in your groin on either side of the pubic bone.

Read More Categories: Cancer Screening, Lymphomas

Making the Most of Your Holidays During Cancer Treatment

December 7, 2017

Even people in perfect health can feel exhausted and overwhelmed during the holiday season; that feeling is often magnified when you’re undergoing cancer treatment. You may not have the stamina to battle Black Friday crowds, deck the halls or entertain as lavishly as you have in years past, and that’s OK. If you’re a cancer patient try not to overexert yourself, but don’t isolate yourself either.  We've put together a few tips for managing the holiday season while undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment.

Read More Categories: Cancer Management

What Does the Great American Smokeout Have to Do with Lung Cancer Risk?

November 13, 2017

What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.

Each year, the Great American Smokeout calls attention to the deaths, lung cancer diagnosis and other chronic diseases that smoking causes, and how to prevent them. As a result of this event, there have been actions taken towards reducing the health impacts that smoking can have on smokers and non-smokers including:

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Lung Cancer