University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Take On Cancer

Take On Cancer is what we do at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. In a world where 1 in 2.5 people will hear "it's cancer," we want to make sure that you are able to take on cancer too.

Knowledge is everything - stay engaged, informed and prepared.

What a Plastic Surgeon Wants You to Know About Breast Reconstruction

Women undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer already have a lot to manage in regard to treatment and recovery. Beyond monitoring their health, they must also weigh a decision that could alter their appearance and quality of life after cancer treatment: whether to have breast reconstruction surgery -- and, if they do, which type to choose. The procedure can have physical and mental implications for patients whose cancerous breasts are surgically removed. Opting for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy comes with questions and choices. A U-M plastic surgeon helps address them.

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Lifestyle Changes Women Should Consider to Prevent Cancer

While it is not clear how nutrition and physical activity may relate to ovarian cancer risk, there is strong evidence that a few basic lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of breast and endometrial cancers. The strongest risk factor for both is being overweight or obese. Researchers think that as fat mass increases, estrogen levels do too, so lifestyle changes that focus on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are key to decreasing a person’s risk of endometrial and breast cancers.

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Genetic Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Many factors can increase the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Some of these factors are due to behaviors, like exposure to the sun. However, some risk factors for skin cancers are inherited in families.

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Family genetic counseling can identify children at risk for cancer

As advances in next generation sequencing technology becomes increasingly important in treating adult cancers, the same advances are equally important in managing treatment for pediatric cancer patients. For example, recent work by researchers at the University of Michigan on the Peds-MiOncoSeq study found that identifying mutations present in tumor tissue can lead to changes in treatment recommendations.

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What Cancer Patients Should Know About Preserving Fertility

Ask Molly Moravek, M.D., why she pursued a career in fertility preservation for cancer patients, and she’ll tell you that it’s because her heart breaks every time she sees a patient who has had her fertility taken from her. It's why she built a program in partnership with Michigan Medicine’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center that works with patients facing treatment and their oncologists to preserve the patients’ opportunity to have children once they are healthy.

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Gaining Weight During Cancer Treatment

It’s important to include enough carbohydrates, protein and fat in your meals to maintain weight during treatments because too much weight loss can actually slow down/delay treatment. But, side effects of treatment, including loss of appetite, can make it challenging to eat enough food to get the calories your body needs.

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Finding a Clinical Trial That is Right for You

Enrolling in a clinical trial is a treatment option that can be beneficial for both the patient and others who can benefit from the findings. Almost all current treatments started out being tested in clinical trials. Medicine would not advance without the use of trials and people to participate in them.

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My doctor wants me to have brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is sometimes a preferred method of treatment, depending on your physician’s advice, because of its precision. Rather than using a machine such as a linear accelerator outside of the body to direct radiation through healthy tissue to get to the cancerous cells, brachytherapy radiation is implanted inside the body either temporarily or permanently, depending on the type and location of the cancer.

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Medical assistant's cancer opens a door

Mimi Schork, a breast cancer survivor, used her diagnosis to move her toward a healthier lifestyle -- and led her to get involved in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

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Men and Breast Cancer

There is no question that breast cancer disproportionately affects women, but we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the risk to men. As we continue to learn more about the ways our genes influence our cancer risk, involvement of male relatives in genetic counseling and genetic testing can provide important information for your family's breast cancer risk evaluation.

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Joint Pain: Is it Just the Weather?

Too often people blame the winter weather and extreme temperatures for their new or increased joint pain and inflammation, also called arthralgia. If these same people are patients being treated with chemotherapy, the pain could be related to treatment. Joint pain can be debilitating, and can cause a decrease in daily functioning and quality of life.

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Physical Rehabilitation and Cancer Symptom Management

For all our patients, we look at nutrition, pain management and range of motion, and may order tests or treatments to optimize patients’ ability to move and reduce pain or fatigue. Our goal is to improve and maintain function by diagnosing and treating side effects of these various medical conditions.

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The PROMPT Registry

The PROMPT Registry (Prospective Registry of Multiplex Testing) is collaborative registry project that will begin the process of collecting data for patients with mutations in genes that are currently less well described and understood.

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Colorectal cancer risk and genetics

Everyone is at risk for colon cancer, but that risk is not the same for everyone. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer affecting men and women and each year, there are about 93,000 new cases of colon cancer and 39,610 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in the United States. The average person has a 5 percent chance of developing colon cancer, but some people are at a higher risk.

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Is our treatment of DCIS psychologic rather than oncologic?

There has been a lot of confusion since the study was published in September, 2015 examining mortality after a DCIS diagnosis. Specifically, the study looked at differences in outcome among women who were treated for DCIS by different methods. The differences among these women did not provide evidence that no treatment is an option.

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Living the best life you can with a chronic illness

Each of us is challenged in some way, be it our health, our work situation, or our interpersonal relationships. Living with any chronic illness takes courage, perseverance, and acceptance. Below are a few principles that may be helpful regardless of the challenge you are facing.

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Work and Cancer

Many people newly diagnosed with cancer have questions about working through their treatment -- as well as questions about how/when they can return to work after treatment. It really depends on the person, their diagnosis and their treatment plan, but there are some things to consider about work and cancer.

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Abnormal Pap Test — What should you do?

You've learned you have an abnormal pap test -- and are overwhelmed with questions. What does it mean? What happens next? One thing to keep in mind is the majority of abnormal Pap tests do not mean you have cancer. We outline some of the other causes of abnormal pap tests, and what you can expect to happen next.

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I found a lump in my breast, what next?

Whether it was discovered during a breast self-exam or incidentally as you were putting on your deodorant, finding a breast lump can be terrifying. Somehow it seems human nature for us to think the worst when we find a mass or lump anywhere there should not be one.

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One-Third of Breast Cancer Patients Consult PCPs About Treatment Options

As more people survive cancer, primary care physicians and oncologists must work together to manage patient care. That’s because once cancer treatment ends, patients eventually transition back to their primary care physician.

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