Behind the Science

April 3, 2018

Why Robotic Surgery is ‘the Way of the Future’

Patients with cancers of the head and neck have long been faced with a daunting reality: because of the delicate anatomy of the face, neck and throat, tumors located in these sensitive areas of the body are often difficult to remove, especially without extensive damage to the jaw, nose or other affected features. But recent […]

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February 12, 2018

Study Raises New Concerns About the Safety of Birth Control

Since the 1960s, when the birth control pill made its debut, contraceptives have played a major role in family planning. So when researchers discovered that women taking hormone-based birth control had a higher incidence of breast cancer, making the contraceptives safer became an important public health priority. Many experts believed they found a solution in options […]

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January 10, 2018

New Approach Shows Faster Recovery After Surgery

Many runners swear by a practice called carb-loading, or bulking up on carbohydrate-rich food before a long race, as a way to fortify their bodies, prevent them from breaking down in the middle of the run and guard against injuries that will haunt them afterward. Much like those advance preparations, evolving pre-surgery programs are helping […]

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December 10, 2017

A Blood Test That Can Tell You About Your Cancer

At the root of most cancer diagnoses is a biopsy, the surgical procedure used to remove a tumor so it can be examined for the presence of cancer cells. Doctors often rely on biopsies to help make an assessment of a cancer’s malignancy, stage, origin and DNA mutations that may be targeted with treatments. Some biopsies are minimally invasive; others may be […]

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November 12, 2017

The Time Has Come to Screen for Lung Cancer

November’s designation as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month offers a timely opportunity to continue a national conversation about the need for early detection and screening. Lung cancer is the second most common non-skin cancer among American men and women, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. As with most cancers, when lung […]

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November 12, 2017

Using Viruses to Help Fight Cancer

Most often when you think of a virus, you may think of a cold or the flu, illnesses you try to avoid.  New research may change that perspective because recent studies show that certain viruses can actually be a powerful weapon in the body’s fight against cancer. The class of viruses, called oncolytic viruses, attack […]

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October 9, 2017

Know Your Options for Breast Reconstruction

If you’ve had, or are scheduled to have, surgery as part of your breast cancer treatment, breast reconstruction is an option to help restore the shape of your breast, improving quality of life and self-esteem for some women. It’s estimated that only 23 percent of women understand the many options for reconstruction, which vary depending […]

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September 8, 2017

Genetic Testing May Help Identify Medications More Likely to Work for You

Do you ever wonder why one medication works for one patient but not another? The answer may lie in pharmacogenomics. This growing area of personalized medicine studies how a person’s unique genetic makeup influences his or her response to pharmaceutical drugs and medications. “Just as our genes determine our blood type and eye color, they […]

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September 8, 2017

Conveying Care

After moving from Costa Rica to the U.S. in 1997, communication issues during a doctor’s visit prompted Mercedes Illescas to begin learning English at a local city college and apply to the medical translation program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to obtain her Certified Medical Interpreter certification. “It was frustrating. People [at the […]

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September 8, 2017

Where Opioids Fit in Cancer Pain Management

It seems like today, you can’t turn on the news without hearing a negative story about opioids and the epidemic of addiction associated with these powerful painkillers. For cancer patients, hearing these stories day in and out can cause fear that something that helps them cope with their daily pain may cause bigger problems in […]

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