Meditations of an oncology geek

Archive for May, 2011

Can sunscreen CAUSE cancer?

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This week’s article comes from Josh Soto in Encinitas, CA:

Can suncreen CAUSE cancer?

There’s actually a lot of buzz on the issue in the popular press, but will the data hold up?

Writing this article required a fair amount of legwork in the scientific literature. In the end, I offer my own verdict.

Written by Ryon

May 29th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Science Blog

What’s the difference between a tumor and a cancer?

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This week’s question is from Peter Borak in San Diego, CA:

What’s the difference between a tumor and a cancer?

Short answer: Tumors can be benign, pre-cancerous, or cancerous. Diagnosis is actually very old-school and low-tech: a biopsy is performed and analyzed by experienced pathologists, like the image to the right. Many people have tumors and don’t even realize it! (though most of the time they are benign) HOW this is discerned could be the subject of a future article…

Written by Ryon

May 21st, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Science Blog

How does cancer treatment vary by stage of diagnosis?

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This week’s question comes from Barbara B. in La Jolla, CA:

How does cancer treatment vary by stage of diagnosis?

Cancer is like weeds in a garden… much easier to deal with if it has not yet begun to spread and get out of control. Early stage cancers can be curable with surgery.

I hope this helps to underscore the importance of detecting cancer early before it spreads!

Written by Ryon

May 14th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Science Blog

Why does testicular cancer mostly affect young men?

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This week’s article comes from a question asked by Andrew Ulvestad in Chicago, Illinois:

Why does testicular cancer mostly affect young men?

The answer to that question is this: It’s currently being investigated by scientists.

Now, that’s not very interesting, but there is an emerging paradigm based off of converging research in several fields, summarized by yours truly.

Written by Ryon

May 7th, 2011 at 11:13 am

Posted in Science Blog