Brain Cancer

"There are many young scientists in a similar position that could greatly benefit from the support at the early stages in their career."


Justin Lathia, PH.D.
Cleveland Clinic

Molecular Studies

"The Ohio Cancer Research award was instrumental in getting my laboratory off the ground as a new faculty member."


Denis Guttridge, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Breast Cancer

"For many in my position such achevements would not be possible without these early investments and I thank you for supporting OCR and enabling the cutting edge scientific projects of Ohio's talented young researchers."

Matthew Summers, PH.D.
Cleveland Clinic,
The Ohio State University

Gene Mutation

"The Ohio Cancer Research grant really sowed the seed of success for me to acquire $1.8 million federal funding since I joined the University of Toledo."


Song-Tao Liu, PH.D.
University of Toledo

Lung Cancer

"Research matters because lung cancer is poorly understood and current therapies are insufficient to save the lives of patients."

Anne Strohecker, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Funded with the support of Celeste and David Loewendick

Breast Cancer

"The lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer is 1 in 8 in women in the United States and 20% of the breast cancer patients die. We are exploring strategies to reduce breast cancer deaths in the clinic."


Huiping Liu, M.D., PH.D.
Case Western Reserve University

Cancer Therapy

"Metastasis, the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other sites in the body, is the main cause of death in most cancer patients. We believe our research will contribute to the identification of new therapeutic targets to reduce cancer cell invasion and metastasis."


Jennifer Leight, PH.D.
The Ohio State University

Cancer Awareness and Prevention

What is prevention?

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.

Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including: 

  • Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
  • Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
  • Taking medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting. 

 - Information sources: National Cancer Institute Mayo Clinic website 

About Bladder Cancer

More than 9 of 10 Americans with bladder cancer have a type called transitional cell cancer (TCC). TCC begins in the cells on the surface of the inner lining of the bladder. These cells are called transitional cells. They are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it’s emptied.

Estimated new cases and deaths from bladder cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 76,900
  • Deaths: 16,390
  • Bladder cancer represents 2.8% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Smoking causes most of the cases of bladder cancer. People who smoke for many years have a higher risk than nonsmokers or those who smoke for a short time.
  • Chemicals in the workplace: Some people have a higher risk of bladder cancer because of cancer-causing chemicals in their workplace. Workers in the dye, rubber, chemical, metal, textile, and leather industries may be at risk of bladder cancer. Also at risk are hairdressers, machinists, printers, painters, and truck drivers.
  • Personal history of bladder cancer: People who have had bladder cancer have an increased risk of getting the disease again.
  • Certain cancer treatments: People with cancer who have been treated with certain drugs (such as cyclophosphamide) may be at increased risk of bladder cancer. Also, people who have had radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis may be at increased risk.
  • Arsenic: Arsenic is a poison that increases the risk of bladder cancer. In some areas of the world, arsenic may be found at high levels in drinking water. However, the United States has safety measures limiting the arsenic level in public drinking water.
  • Family history of bladder cancer: People with family members who have bladder cancer have a slightly increased risk of the disease.

Symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine (making the urine slightly rusty to deep red)
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without results

Treatment:

Treatment options for people with bladder cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy, and radiation therapy.

You may receive more than one type of treatment.

The treatment that’s right for you depends mainly on the following:

  • The location of the tumor in the bladder
  • Whether the tumor has invaded the muscle layer or tissues outside the bladder
  • Whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body
  • The grade of the tumor
  • Your age and general health 

About Brain Tumors

A tumor that begins in the brain is called a primary brain tumor. Cancer that spreads to the brain from another part of the body is different from a primary brain tumor.

Lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma, and other types of cancer commonly spread to the brain. When this happens, the tumors are called metastatic brain tumors. Treatment for secondary brain tumors depends on where

Treatment for secondary brain tumors depends on where the cancer started and the extent of the disease.

Estimated new cases and deaths from brain and other nervous system tumors in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 23,770
  • Deaths: 16,050
  • Brain cancer represents 2.8% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk Factors:

  • Ionizing radiation: Ionizing radiation from high dose x-rays (such as radiation therapy from a large machine aimed at the head) and other sources can cause cell damage that leads to a tumor. People exposed to ionizing radiation may have an increased risk of a brain tumor, such as meningioma or glioma.
  • Family history: It is rare for brain tumors to run in a family. Only a very small number of families have several members with brain tumors.
  • Researchers are studying whether using cell phones, having had a head injury, or having been exposed to certain chemicals at work or to magnetic fields are important risk factors. Studies have not shown consistent links between these possible risk factors and brain tumors, but additional research is needed.

Symptoms of an adult brain tumor:

  • Headaches (usually worse in the morning)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in speech, vision, or hearing
  • Problems balancing or walking
  • Changes in mood, personality, or ability to concentrate
  • Problems with memory
  • Muscle jerking or twitching (seizures or convulsions)
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs

Treatment:

People with brain tumors have several treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people get a combination of treatments.

The choice of treatment depends mainly on the following:

  • The type and grade of brain tumor
  • Its location in the brain
  • Its size
  • Your age and general health 

About Breast Cancer

Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New Cases: 246,660 Females 2,600 Males
  • Deaths: 40,450 Females 440 Males

To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Risk Factors:

  • Estrogen
  • Hormone replacement
  • Radiation therapy to the chest
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Inherited Risk

Protective Factors:

Exercise: Exercising four or more hours a week may decrease hormone levels.

Estrogen: Decreasing the length of time a woman’s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer.

Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways:

  • Pregnancy: Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy.
  • Breast Feeding: Estrogen levels remain low while a woman is breast feeding.
  • Ovarian ablation: Removal of one or more of the ovaries which make estrogen.
  • Late menstruation: menstrual periods at age 14 or older.
  • Early menopause: Estrogen levels decrease with menopause. Selective estrogen receptor modulators are drugs that act like estrogen on some tissues in the body, but block the effect of estrogen on other tissues.
  • Prophylactic mastectomy: The removal of both breasts when there are no signs of cancer.
  • Prophylactic oophorectomy: The removal of both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer.
  • Fenretinide: A type of vitamin A called a retinoid. When given to premenopausal women who have a history of breast cancer, fenretinide may lower the risk of forming a new breast cancer.

What you should do:

Screening mammogram:

Women in their 40s and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years.

Clinical Breast Exams:

During a clinical breast exam, your health care provider checks your breasts.

Breast Self-Exams:

Perform monthly breast self-exams to check for any changes in your breasts. Breast self-exams cannot replace regular screening mammograms and clinical breast exams.

About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer forms in tissues of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina). It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests (a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope). Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Estimated new cases and deaths from cervical cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 12,990
  • Deaths: 4,120
  • Cervical cancer represents .07% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • HPV Infection: HPV is a group of viruses that can infect the cervix. An HPV infection that doesn’t go away can cause cervical cancer in some women. HPV is the cause of nearly all cervical cancers
  • Lack of regular pap test: Cervical cancer is more common among women who don’t have regular Pap tests. The Pap test helps doctors find abnormal cells. Removing or killing the abnormal cells usually prevents cervical cancer
  • Smoking: Among women who are infected with HPV, smoking cigarettes slightly increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Weakened immune system (the body’s natural defense system): Infection with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) or taking drugs that suppress the immune system increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Sexual History: Women who have had many sexual partners or who has sex with a man who has had several sexual partners are at a greater risk of HPV infection and developing cervical cancer.
  • Reproductive History: Having a high number of full-term pregnancies (5 or more) increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Use of Oral Contraceptives: Long-term use of oral contraceptives (5 years or more) increases the risk of cervical cancer.
  • DES (diethylstilbestrol): DES may increase the risk of a rare form of cervical cancer in daughters exposed to this drug before birth. DES was given to some pregnant women in the United States between about 1940 and 1971. (It is no longer given to pregnant women.)

Preventative measures:

  • Screening: Regular pelvic exams and Pap tests help find abnormal cells in the cervix before cancer develops
  • Preventing HPV infection:
    • Avoiding sexual activity: HPV infection of the cervix is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
    • Using barrier protection or spermicidal gels: Some methods used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) decrease the risk of HPV infection.
    • Getting an HPV Vaccine: An HPV vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The HPV vaccine has been shown to prevent infection with the two types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.

About Colon Cancer

Estimated new cases and deaths from colon and rectum cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 134,490
  • Deaths: 49,190
  • Colon and rectum cancer represent 8.3% of all cancer deaths.

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectum cancer is cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men, after skin, prostate, and lung cancer. It is also the fourth most common cancer in women, after skin, breast, and lung cancer.

Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers. Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms.

Symptoms:

A common symptom of colorectal cancer is a change in bowel habits. Symptoms include:

  • Having diarrhea or constipation
  • Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
  • Finding your stools are narrower than usual
  • Frequently having gas pains or cramps, or feeling full or bloated
  • Losing weight with no known reason
  • Feeling very tired all the time
  • Having nausea or vomiting

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems can cause the same symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

The following risk factors may increase the risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Age (especially 50 and over)
  • Colorectal polyps
  • Family History of colorectal cancer
  • Genetic alterations
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Diet
  • Cigarette Smoking

Not all polyps become cancerous, but nearly every colon cancer starts out as a polyp.

Finding and removing polyps may prevent colorectal cancer. Also, treatment for colorectal cancer is more likely to be effective when the disease is found early.

About Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer forms in tissues lining the esophagus (the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach). Two types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

Estimated new cases and deaths from esophageal cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 16,910
  • Deaths: 15,690
  • Esophageal cancer represents 2.6% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors include:

Age 65 or older, male, smoking, heavy drinking, diet, obesity.

Acid reflux: Acid reflux is the abnormal backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Reflux is very common. A symptom of reflux is heartburn, but some people do not have symptoms. The stomach acid can damage the tissue of the esophagus. After many years of reflux, this tissue damage may lead to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus in some people.

Barrett esophagus: Acid reflux may damage the esophagus and over time cause a condition known as Barrett esophagus. The cells in the lower part of the esophagus are abnormal. Most people who have Barrett esophagus do not know it. The presence of Barrett esophagus increases the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. It is a greater risk factor than acid reflux alone.

Symptoms:

Early esophageal cancer may not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, the most common symptoms are: 

  • Food gets stuck in the esophagus, and food may come back up
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Pain in the chest or back
  • Weight loss
  • Heartburn A hoarse voice or cough that doesn’t go away within 2 weeks

These symptoms may be caused by esophageal cancer or other health problems. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Treatment:

The options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments. 

The treatment that’s right for you depends mainly on the following: 

  • where the cancer is located within the esophagus whether
  • whether the cancer has invaded nearby structures whether
  • whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other organs 
  • your symptoms
  • your general health

Esophageal cancer is hard to control with current treatments. For that reason, many doctors encourage people with this disease to consider taking part in a clinical trial, a research study of new treatment methods.

About Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer

Kidney cancer forms in tissues of the kidneys. Kidney cancer includes renal cell carcinoma (cancer that forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products) and renal pelvis carcinoma (cancer that forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects). It also includes Wilms tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under the age of 5.

Estimated new cases and deaths from kidney (renal cell and renal pelvis) cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 62,700
  • Deaths: 14,240
  • Kidney cancer represents 2.4 % of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco is an important risk factor for kidney cancer. People who smoke have a higher risk than nonsmokers. The risk is higher for those who smoke more cigarettes or for a long time. 
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of kidney cancer: People with a family member who had kidney cancer have a slightly increased risk of the disease. Also, certain conditions that run in families can increase the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome: VHL is a rare disease that runs in some families caused by changes in the VHL gene. An abnormal VHL gene increases the risk of kidney cancer.

Many people who get kidney cancer have none of these risk factors, and many people who have known risk factors don’t develop the disease.

Treatment:

Common treatment options for people with kidney cancer are surgery, targeted therapy, and biological therapy. You may receive more than one type of treatment.

The treatment that’s right for you depends mainly on the following:

  • The size of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor has invaded tissues outside the kidney
  • Whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body
  • Your age and general health

Symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine (making the urine slightly rusty to deep red) 
  • Pain in the side that does not go away
  • A lump or mass in the side or the abdomen
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Fever Feeling very tired

About Kidney Leukemia

Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are made from stem cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work.

Estimated new cases and deaths from leukemia in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 60,140
  • Deaths: 24,440
  • Leukemia represents 4.1% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • Radiation - People exposed to very high levels of radiation.
  • Smoking - Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Benzene - Exposure to benzene in the workplace can cause acute myeloid leukemia. Benzene is used widely in the chemical industry. It’s also found in cigarette smoke and gasoline.
  • Chemotherapy - Cancer patients treated with certain types of cancer-fighting drugs sometimes later get acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphocytic leukemia.
  • Down syndrome and certain other inherited diseases.
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome and certain other blood disorders.
  • Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I).
  • Family history of leukemia - It’s rare for more than one person in a family to have leukemia.

Symptoms:

  • Swollen lymph nodes that usually don’t hurt (especially lymph nodes in the neck or armpit)
  • Fevers or night sweats
  • Frequent infections
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Bleeding and bruising easily (bleeding gums, purplish patches in the skin, or tiny red spots under the skin)
  • Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen (from a swollen spleen or liver)
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Pain in the bones or joints

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. An infection or other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure.

Treatment:

  • Watchful Waiting
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Biological Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplant

About Liver Cancer

The liver is the largest organ inside your abdomen. It’s found behind your ribs on the right side of your body.

The liver does important work to keep you healthy:

  • It removes harmful substances from the blood.
  • It makes enzymes and bile that help digest food.
  • It also converts food into substances needed for life and growth.

Estimated new cases and deaths from liver and intraheptic bile duct cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 39,230
  • Deaths: 27,170
  • Liver cancer represents 4.6% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV): Liver cancer can develop after many years of infection with either of these viruses. Around the world, infection with HBV or HCV is the main cause of liver cancer.

  • Heavy alcohol use: Having more than two drinks of alcohol each day for many years increases the risk of liver cancer and certain other cancers. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol that a person drinks.
  • Aflatoxin: Liver cancer can be caused by aflatoxin, a harmful substance made by certain types of mold. Aflatoxin can form on peanuts, corn, and other nuts and grains.
  • Iron storage disease: Liver cancer may develop among people with a disease that causes the body to store too much iron in the liver and other organs.
  • Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is a serious disease that develops when liver cells are damaged and replaced with scar tissue. Many exposures cause cirrhosis, including HBV or HCV infection, heavy alcohol use, too much iron stored in the liver, certain drugs, and certain parasites.
  • Obesity and diabetes: Studies have shown that obesity and diabetes may be important risk factors for liver cancer.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen on the right side 
  • A lump or a feeling of heaviness in the upper abdomen
  • Swollen abdomen (bloating) 
  • Loss of appetite and feelings of fullness
  • Weight loss 
  • Weakness or feeling very tired
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellow skin and eyes, pale stools, and dark urine from jaundice
  • Fever

Treatment:

Treatment options for people with liver cancer are surgery (including a liver transplant), ablation, embolization, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. You may have a combination of treatments.

About Lung Cancer

Definition of lung cancer: Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.

Estimated new cases and deaths from lung cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 224,390
  • Deaths: 158,080
  • Lung cancer represents 26.5 % of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • Tobacco smoke: Tobacco smoke causes most cases of lung cancer. It’s by far the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Harmful substances in smoke damage lung cells. That’s why smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars can cause lung cancer and why secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers.
  • Radon: Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It forms in soil and rocks.
  • Asbestos and other substances: People who have certain jobs (such as those who work in the construction and chemical industries) have an increased risk of lung cancer.
  • Air pollution: Air pollution may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Family history of lung cancer: People with a father, mother, brother, or sister who had lung cancer may be at slightly increased risk of the disease, even if they don’t smoke.
  • Personal history of lung cancer: People who have had lung cancer are at increased risk of developing a second lung tumor.
  • Age over 65: Most people are older than 65 years when diagnosed with lung cancer.

Symptoms:

  • a cough that gets worse or does not go away
  • breathing trouble, such as shortness of breath
  • constant chest pain coughing up blood
  • a hoarse voice
  • frequent lung infections, such as pneumonia
  • feeling very tired all the time
  • weight loss with no known cause

Treatment:

Lung cancer is hard to control with current treatments. Many doctors encourage patients with this disease to consider taking part in a clinical trial Treatment options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One kind is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course.

Estimated new cases and deaths from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in the United States in 2015:

  • New cases: 71,850
  • Deaths: 19,790
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma represents 3.4% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

 

Risk factors:

  • Weakened Immune System: The risk of developing lymphoma may be increased by having a weakened immune system.
  • Certain Infections: Certain types of infections increases the risk of developing lymphoma. However, lymphoma is not contagious.

The following are the main types of infection that can increase the risk of lymphoma:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People who have HIV infection are at much greater risk of some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV): Infection with EBV has been linked to an increased risk of lymphoma.
  • Helicobacter pylori: H. pylori are bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. They increase a person’s risk of lymphoma in the stomach lining.
  • Human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-1): Infection with HTLV-1 increases a person’s risk of lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Hepatitis C virus: Some studies have found an increased risk of lymphoma in people with hepatitis C virus.
  • Age: Although non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in young people, the chance of developing this disease goes up with age. Most people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma are older than 60

Symptoms:

  • Swollen, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin 
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever Soaking night sweats
  • Coughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain
  • Weakness and tiredness that don’t go away
  • Pain, swelling, or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen

Treatment:

  • Watchful Waiting: Not getting cancer treatment right away.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation

The choice of treatments depends on the type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the stage where it is found, how quickly the cancer is growing, age and whether you have any other health problems.

About Ovarian Cancer

Estimated new cases and deaths from ovary cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 22,280
  • Deaths: 14,240
  • Ovarian cancer represents 2.4% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history: Women who have a mother, daughter or sister with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease.
  • Personal history of cancer: Woman who have had cancer of the breast, uterus, colon or rectum have a greater chance of ovarian cancer. 
  • Age over 55: Most woman woman are over the age of 55 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • Never pregnant: Older woman who have never been pregnant have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Menopausal hormone therapy: Some studies have suggested that women who take estrogen by itself (estrogen without progesterone) for 10 or more years may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Symptoms:

  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Vaginal bleeding that is heavy or irregular, especially after menopause.
  • Vaginal discharge that is clear, white, or colored with blood.
  • A lump in the pelvic area.
  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea.

Treatment Methods:

Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results. Most women have surgery and chemotherapy.

 

  • Hysterectomy: Surgery to remove the uterus and, sometimes, the cervix.
  • Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
  • Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
  • Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.

 

New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.

Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.

About Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. There are two kinds of cells in the pancreas. Exocrine pancreas cells make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body digest food.

Estimated new cases and deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 53,070
  • Deaths: 41,780
  • Pancreatic cancer represents 7% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco is the most important risk factor for pancreatic cancer. People who smoke tobacco are more likely than nonsmokers to develop this disease. Heavy smokers are most at risk.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely than other people to develop pancreatic cancer.
  • Family history: Having a mother, father, sister, or brother with pancreatic cancer increases the risk of developing the disease.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas: Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Having pancreatitis for a long time may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity: People who are overweight or obese are slightly more likely than other people to develop pancreatic cancer.

Many other possible risk factors are under active study. For example, researchers are studying whether a diet high in fat (especially animal fat) or heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Another area of active research is whether certain genes increase the risk of disease.

Symptoms:

Early cancer of the pancreas often doesn’t cause symptoms. When the cancer grows larger, you may notice one or more of these common symptoms:

  • Dark urine, pale stools, and yellow skin and eyes from jaundice
  • Pain in the upper part of your belly
  • Pain in the middle part of your back that doesn’t go away when you shift your position
  • Nausea and vomiting Stools that float in the toilet

Advanced cancer may cause these general symptoms:

  • Weakness or feeling very tired
  • Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness
  • Weight loss for no known reason

These symptoms may be caused by pancreatic cancer or by other health problems. People with these symptoms should tell their doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Treatment:

Treatment options for people with cancer of the pancreas are surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy. You’ll probably receive more than one type of treatment.

About Prostate Cancer

Estimated new cases and deaths from prostate cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 180,890
  • Deaths: 26,120
  • Prostate cancer represents 4.4% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Risk factors:

Prostate cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable though not all can be avoided.

  • Age over 65: Age is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are over 65. This disease is rare in men under 45.
  • Family history: Your risk is higher if your father, brother, or son had prostate cancer.
  • Race: Prostate cancer is more common among black men than white or Hispanic/Latino men. It’s less common among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native men.
  • Certain prostate changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk of prostate cancer. These prostate cells look abnormal under a microscope.
  • Certain genome changes: Researchers have found specific regions on certain chromosomes that are linked to the risk of prostate cancer. According to recent studies, if a man has a genetic change in one or more of these regions, the risk of prostate cancer may be increased. The risk increases with the number of genetic changes that are found. Also, other studies have shown an elevated risk of prostate cancer among men with changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Symptoms:

A man with prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. For men who do have symptoms, the common symptoms include:

  • Weak or interrupted (“stop-and-go”) flow of urine.
  • Sudden urge to urinate.
  • Frequent urination (especially at night).
  • Trouble starting the flow of urine.
  • Trouble emptying the bladder completely.
  • Pain or burning while urinating.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • A pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
  • Shortness of breath, feeling very tired, fast heartbeat, dizziness, or pale skin caused by anemia.

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. BPH, an infection, or another health problem may cause them. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated.

About Skin Cancer

Estimated new cases and deaths from skin cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 76,380
  • Deaths: 10,130
  • Skin cancer represents 1.7% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

Skin cancer forms in tissues of the skin. There are several types of skin cancer. Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) is called melanoma. Skin cancer that forms in basal cells (small, round cells in the base of the outer layer of skin) is called basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells (flat cells that form the surface of the skin) is called squamous cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in neuroendocrine cells (cells that release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system) is called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (nonmelanoma skin cancer) are the most common forms of skin cancer, but are easier to cure than melanoma.

Prevention:

People with skin cancer are at risk of developing another skin cancer. Limit your time in the sun and stay away from sunlamps and tanning booths. Keep in mind that getting a tan may increase your risk of developing another skin cancer.

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun:

  • Avoid outdoor activities during the middle of the day. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When you must be outdoors, seek shade when you can.
  • Protect yourself from the sun’s rays reflected by sand, water, snow, ice, and pavement. The sun’s rays can go through light clothing, windshields, windows, and clouds. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Tightly woven fabrics are best.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim all around that shades your face, neck, and ears. Keep in mind that baseball caps and some sun visors protect only parts of your skin.
  • Wear sunglasses that absorb UV radiation to protect the skin around your eyes.
  • Use sunscreen lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. (Some doctors will suggest using a lotion with an SPF of at least 30.) Apply the product’s recommended amount to uncovered skin 30 minutes before going outside, and apply again every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Sunscreen lotions may help prevent some skin cancers. It’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion that filters both UVB and UVA radiation. But you still need to avoid the sun during the middle of the day and wear clothing to protect your skin.

Early detection of melanoma can save your life. Carefully examine all of your skin once a month. A new or changing skin lesion in an adult should be evaluated.