Tobacco After Cancer

May 20, 2019

You probably know tobacco use is bad for your health. In fact, over-the-counter tobacco products are legally required to include one of the following warning labels reminding the public of tobacco’s dangers, especially the dangers of cancer.

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Lung Cancer, Cancer Survivorship, Survivorship and Nutrition

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: Common Sunscreen Mistakes

April 23, 2019

Keeping your skin healthy and damage-free is important for reducing your risk of developing melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. One of the best ways to do that is to prevent sun damage from occurring by using sunscreen. However, many people don't apply sunscreen properly, or they’re making other common mistakes when using sunscreen which is increasing their risks of developing skin cancer.

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer

The Expanding Role of PD-1 Inhibitors in Cancer Treatment

March 22, 2019

By: John C. Paschold, MD - Virginia Oncology Associates

Since 2006, when the first clinical trial began testing the effectiveness of PD-1 inhibitors, the use of these immunotherapy drugs has increased dramatically. Over the last two to three years, these drugs have moved from research trials into mainstream cancer treatment, particularly for late stage melanoma, lung cancers, kidney cancers, and head and neck cancers.

Read More Categories: Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

Novel Treatments in Lung Cancer See Expanded Use

January 4, 2019

By: Graham T. Watson, MD – Virginia Oncology Associates

The quickly expanding knowledge of cancer biology has led to new, highly effective treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Advances in genetics have brought about targeted therapy with drugs that “target” a specific driver mutation. With deeper understanding of the immune system’s interaction with cancer cells, we can uncloak cancer cells that previously hid from immune destruction. For years, we have leveraged these therapies only in Stage IV lung cancer, but research has shown that that Stage III patients treated first with chemoradiotherapy can also gain benefit.

 Immunotherapies such as nivolumab (Opdivo®) or pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) have helped patients with incurable, Stage IV, lung cancer live longer. While these drugs represent a major breakthrough, limiting their use to Stage IV patients is a frustration for both patients and doctors. While the goal of treatment in Stage III lung cancer patients is cure, the rates of recurrence are high. Finding treatment that can reduce this risk of recurrence is a worthy goal.

Read More Categories: Lung Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Treatment

Bone Health After Cancer Treatment

November 29, 2018

It’s no secret that cancer treatment takes an emotional and physical toll on patients, and leaves cancer survivors dealing with some long-term side effects. According to the American Cancer Society, the goals of cancer treatment include shrinking cancerous tumors to make them easier to remove surgically, killing cancer cells in the body, and/or controlling cancer so it does not grow and spread. Chemotherapy, steroid medications, and hormonal therapies used to achieve these goals sometimes have unwelcome side effects, such as accelerated bone loss, potentially leading to osteopenia and/or osteoporosis.

Read More Categories: Survivorship and Side Effects

Can I Donate My Organs After Cancer?

October 31, 2018

As a cancer survivor, it’s probably safe to assume that during your journey you’ve developed a true appreciation of life. You know firsthand what it feels like to receive a serious diagnosis, the uncertainties of living with cancer, and the feelings of joy, relief, and gratitude when you beat it. Thanks to your unique life experiences, you may feel compelled to sign up as an organ donor so you can give the gift of life to someone else.

Read More Categories: Survivorship and Helping Others

Alcohol After Cancer?

October 26, 2018

As a cancer survivor, your goal is probably to resume your familiar lifestyle as quickly as possible. You may be feeling more like your old self again with a growing appetite and the ability to enjoy the flavors in food once again. If you also enjoyed an alcoholic beverage before cancer, you may be wondering if that’s acceptable after cancer treatment. You may be right to think twice about drinking alcohol after cancer.

Read More Categories: Survivorship and Nutrition

HPV and Cervical Cancer: What’s the Connection?

October 19, 2018

 When it comes to cervical cancer, nearly all cases are caused by exposure to the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Thankfully, cervical cancer is almost always preventable. Understanding more about HPV and cervical health in general can greatly help in the prevention of this kind of cancer. Here’s some important information every woman should know.

HPV: The Root Cause of Cervical Cancer 

Cervical cancer is a disease that forms in the tissues of a woman’s cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb) that connects to the vagina (birth canal). According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), is found in about 99% of cervical cancers.

Read More Categories: Cervical Cancer, Gynecologic Cancer

5 Ways to Thank Your Cancer Caregivers

October 10, 2018

Having cancer is emotionally and physically draining. Looking back on your journey, you’ll probably agree that the unwavering support of your cancer caregivers played a huge role in your recovery. Maybe you had friends and family members who seemed to instinctively know what you needed and stepped up to help without being asked? From giving you rides to and from your appointments, making you meals, doing your laundry, taking care of your yard, helping with your children and pets, and simply providing a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, your cancer caregivers were an unofficial yet important part of your care team. Thanks to their help, you didn’t have to “sweat the small stuff” and were able to focus on your recovery.

Read More Categories: Survivorship and Family

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Read a Sunscreen Label

September 27, 2018

The state of Virginia has so much to offer. From its beaches to its mountains, as well as its “Goldilocks Climate” (not too hot; not too cold), there are so many reasons and opportunities to get outside. With that said, as you enjoy those outdoor activities, it’s important to keep your skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary cause of skin cancers and premature aging. Both of these can be largely avoided by protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays. If you’re going to be outdoors enjoying any of the 5 distinct climate regions Virginia has to offer, one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day (10 am - 4 pm) can also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

Read More Categories: Cancer Prevention, Skin Cancer