• Cancer

    Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.


    Symptoms of cancer depend on the type and location of the tumor. For example, lung cancer can cause coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Colon cancer often causes diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stool.

    Some cancers may not have any symptoms at all. In certain cancers, such as gallbladder cancer, symptoms often do not start until the disease has reached an advanced stage.

    The following symptoms can occur with most cancers:

    Loss of appetite
    Night sweats
    Weight loss


    Treatment also varies based on the type of cancer and its stage. The stage of a cancer refers to how much it has grown and whether the tumor has spread from its original location.

    If the cancer is confined to one location and has not spread, the most common goals for treatment are surgery and cure. This is often the case with skin cancers, as well as cancers of the lung, breast, and colon.

    If the tumor has spread to local lymph nodes only, sometimes these can also be removed.

    If surgery cannot remove all of the cancer, the options for treatment include radiation, chemotherapy, or both. Some cancers require a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

    Although treatment for cancer can be difficult, there are many ways to keep up your strength.

    If you have radiation treatment, know that:

    Radiation treatment is painless.

    Treatment is usually scheduled every weekday.

    You should allow 30 minutes for each treatment session, although the treatment itself usually takes only a few minutes.

    You should get plenty of rest and eat a well-balanced diet during the course of your radiation therapy.

    Skin in the treated area may become sensitive and easily irritated.

    Side effects of radiation treatment are usually temporary. They vary depending on the area of the body that is being treated.

    If you are going through chemotherapy, you should eat right. Chemotherapy causes your immune system to weaken, so you should avoid people with colds or the flu. You should also get plenty of rest, and don’t feel as though you have to accomplish tasks all at once.

    It will help you to talk with family, friends, or a support group about your feelings. Work with your health care providers throughout your treatment. Helping yourself can make you feel more in control.


    Cells are the building blocks of living things. Cancer grows out of normal cells in the body. Normal cells multiply when the body needs them, and die when the body doesn’t need them. Cancer appears to occur when the growth of cells in the body is out of control and cells divide too quickly. It can also occur when cells “forget” how to die.

    There are many different kinds of cancers. Cancer can develop in almost any organ or tissue, such as the lung, colon, breast, skin, bones, or nerve tissue.

    There are many causes of cancers, including:

    Benzene and other chemicals
    Certain poisonous mushrooms and a type of poison that can grow on peanut plants (aflatoxins)
    Certain viruses

    However, the cause of many cancers remains unknown.

    The most common cause of cancer-related death is lung cancer.

    The three most common cancers in men in the United States are:

    Prostate cancer
    Lung cancer
    Colon cancer

    In women in the U.S., the three most common cancers are:

    Breast cancer
    Colon cancer
    Lung cancer

    Some cancers are more common in certain parts of the world. For example, in Japan, there are many cases of gastric cancer, but in the U.S. this type of cancer is pretty rare. Differences in diet may play a role.

    Some other types of cancers include:

    Brain cancer
    Cervical cancer
    Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    Kidney cancer
    Liver cancer
    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    Ovarian cancer
    Skin cancer
    Testicular cancer
    Thyroid cancer
    Uterine cancer

    Tests & diagnosis

    Like symptoms, the signs of cancer vary based on the type and location of the tumor. Common tests include the following:

    Biopsy of the tumor
    Blood chemistries
    Bone marrow biopsy (for lymphoma or leukemia)
    Chest x-ray
    Complete blood count (CBC)
    CT scan

    Most cancers are diagnosed by biopsy. Depending on the location of the tumor, the biopsy may be a simple procedure or a serious operation. Most patients with cancer have CT scans to determine the exact location and size of the tumor or tumors.

    A cancer diagnosis is difficult to cope with. It is important, however, that you discuss the type, size, and location of the cancer with your doctor when you are diagnosed. You also will want to ask about treatment options, along with their benefits and risks.

    It’s a good idea to have someone with you at the doctor’s office to help you get through the diagnosis. If you have trouble asking questions after hearing about your diagnosis, the person you bring with you can ask them for you.


    The outlook depends on the type of cancer. Even among people with one type of cancer, the outcome varies depending on the stage of the tumor when they are diagnosed.

    Some cancers can be cured. Some cancers that are not curable can still be treated well. And some patients can live for many years with their cancer. Other tumors are quickly life-threatening.


    One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to not smoke or chew tobacco. Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding risk factors such as excessive exposure to sunlight and heavy drinking.

    Cancer screenings, such as mammography and breast examination for breast cancer and colonoscopy for colon cancer, may help catch these cancers at their early stages when they are most treatable. Some people at high risk for developing certain cancers can take medication to reduce their risk.


    One complication is that the cancer may spread. Other complications vary with the type and stage of the tumor.

    When to contact a doctor

    Contact your health care provider if you develop symptoms of cancer.

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    September 26, 2014 – Black mothers who don’t breast-feed may be at higher risk for an aggressive type of breast cancer, a new study suggests.
    Some Birth Control Pills Linked To Higher Breast Cancer Risk
    August 4, 2014 – Women who used certain types of birth control pills may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer within the following year, compared to women who have never used oral contraceptives or have not used them recently, according to a new study.
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    June 26, 2014 – 3-D mammograms may be better at finding cancer than regular scans, a large study suggests, although whether that means saving more lives isn’t known.
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    May 12, 2014 – A new study finds that cervical cancer rates in the United States are much higher than previously reported, especially among women in their 60s and black women.
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    Study Discovers Metastasis Process Of Brain Cancer
    Carcinogenic cells establish themselves in the brain and form new tumors as they cling to capillary blood vessels and synthesize proteins that block the brain’s natural defenses against them, according to a study published in Cell magazine.
    Cancer And African Americans
    African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers.
    Preventing And Detecting Skin Cancer In People Of Color
    People of color have a lower risk of developing skin cancer than Caucasians, but they are not immune to the disease. In fact, skin cancer is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage in people of color, which can make it more difficult to treat.
    Study On Nearly 90,000 Women Shows Mammograms Don’t Lower Risk Of Dying
    A Canadian study that many experts say has major flaws has revived debate about the value of mammograms. The research suggests that these screening X-rays do not lower the risk of dying of breast cancer while finding many tumors that do not need treatment.
    Guitarist Nile Rodgers: ‘I’m All Clear’ Of Cancer
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    Vigorous exercise on a regular basis might help protect black women against an aggressive form of breast cancer, researchers have found.
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    Black Americans with advanced colorectal cancer are less likely than white patients to see cancer specialists or to receive cancer treatments, according to a new study.
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    Help yourself to some nuts this holiday season: Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease — in fact, were less likely to die of any cause — during a 30-year Harvard study.
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    Black people with advanced colon cancer are less likely to get consultations with specialists and treatment with complex medicines than white people, according to a new study.
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    Death rates from pancreatic cancer in the United States are increasing among whites and decreasing among blacks, but rates among blacks remain much higher than among whites, study findings show.
    U.S. May See Leveling Off Of Colon Cancer Testing
    After years of steady increases, testing for colon cancer may be leveling off, a federal report suggests.
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    A biotech drug from Roche has become the first medicine approved to treat breast cancer before surgery, offering an earlier approach against one of the deadliest forms of the disease.
    Obese Cancer Patients Shorted On Chemo Doses, Affecting Their Likelihood To Survive
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    Baby Boomers Facing Cancer Care Crisis, Report Finds
    A report from government advisers shows that the U.S. is facing a crisis in how to deliver cancer care. While baby boomers reach their tumor-prone years, doctors have a hard time keeping up with complex new treatments.
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    A drug used to treat enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness also reduces a man’s risk of prostate cancer by nearly a third, according to a large new study.
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    Researchers trying to develop a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer are hoping dogs’ keen sense of smell will lead them down the right path.
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    Black men diagnosed with very-low-risk prostate cancer are much more likely than white men with the same diagnosis to actually have aggressive cancer that is not detected by current diagnostic methods, a new study reveals.
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    Black Americans who have surgery for stage 2 and stage 3 colon cancer have worse overall and recurrence-free survival rates than whites, a new study finds.
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    Few media stories on cancer venture into issues of death, dying and end-of-life care — and outlets directed at African Americans are particularly unlikely to do so, a new study suggests.
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    Genes May Explain Blacks’ Bleaker Prostate Cancer Stats
    Differences in the genetic makeup of prostate cells could explain why black men in the United States are more likely to get prostate cancer and die from it than white men, a new study suggests.
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    Black women are more likely to have two or more children and are less likely to breast-feed, putting them at greater risk of developing a difficult-to-treat type of breast cancer, according to a new study.
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    Men of African-American descent are at a significantly higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white men. Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease…..
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    Black Americans with early-stage liver cancer are more likely to die of the disease than Asian, Hispanic or white patients, say researchers.
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    Black Women Wait Longer For Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment
    Insured black women and uninsured white women waited more than twice as long to be given a definitive breast cancer diagnosis than insured white women…..
    Breast Cancer Stats Differ Racially Despite Similar Mammogram Rates
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    Minorities And Colorectal Cancer
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