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January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical cancer begins in the cells lining the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina.

There are two types of cervical cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common, with the American Cancer Society reporting 90% of cervical cancer diagnosis. These typically begin in the transformation zone, which is located where the exocervix joins the endocervix.

Types of Cervical Cancer Screenings

There are two tests to detect cervical cancer early. The HPV test and the Pap test. Both tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause cell changes on the cervix.

The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.

How often should you get screened for cervical cancer?

Its recommended women begin Pap tests at the age of 25. Depending on the results, you may be able to wait three years until your next Pap test. According to the CDC, there are three recommendations for women 30 to 65 years old. Be sure to ask your doctor which testing option is right for you.

An HPV test only. If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.

An HPV test along with the Pap test. If both of your results are normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait five years until your next screening test.

A Pap test only. If your result is normal, your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years until your next Pap test.

Women older than 65 may no longer need to have normal screening test results the age of 65, your doctor may tell you that you don’t need to be screened anymore if you have had normal screening test results for several years and you have not had a cervical precancer in the past, or you have had your cervix removed as part of a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous conditions, like fibroids.


At Laurel Cancer Care, we understand how hard it can be to choose the perfect team for your treatment. Gynecological cancer is any form of cancer that takes place in the female reproductive system. The most common is cervical cancer. Click on the button below to learn more.

5 Essential Facts to Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a significant health concern worldwide. However, there are proactive steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this disease. Here are five crucial facts that can help you lower your risk of colon cancer:

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing the intake of red and processed meats has been linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer. Including fiber-rich foods in your diet can also contribute to a healthier digestive system.

2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Regular exercise not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to reap the benefits.

3. Undergo Regular Screening
Early detection is key in the fight against colon cancer. It is recommended to start regular screening for colorectal cancer at age 45. Various screening methods, such as colonoscopies and stool-based tests, can help detect precancerous polyps or cancer at an early, more treatable stage.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption and Avoid Tobacco
Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use have been linked to an increased risk of developing colon cancer. By moderating alcohol intake and avoiding tobacco products, you can significantly lower your risk of this disease. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. A single drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor).

5. Increase Intake of Whole Grains and Fiber
Whole grains and fiber have been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Including foods such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and legumes in your diet can contribute to a lower risk of developing this type of cancer.

By incorporating these five facts into your lifestyle, you can take proactive steps to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Making informed choices about your diet, physical activity, and screening can significantly impact your overall health and well-being. Remember, early detection and prevention are powerful tools in the fight against colon cancer.


At Laurel Cancer Care, we understand how hard it can be to choose the perfect team for the treatment of colorectal cancer. It’s important to have the very latest treatment options with highly trained professionals in a comfortable and caring setting, close to your home. Click on the button below to learn more about our colorectal cancer care.

Know the Two Types of Lymphoma: Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, a vital part of the body’s immune system. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Both types of lymphoma affect the body differently and have distinct characteristics.

Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL)

Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, large abnormal cells found in the lymph nodes. HL is relatively uncommon, accounting for about 10% of all lymphomas. It often starts in a single lymph node or a group of lymph nodes and can spread to other lymph nodes over time.

Symptoms of Hodgkin Lymphoma

The symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma may include:
Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
Persistent fatigue
Fever and chills
Unexplained weight loss
Night sweats

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a diverse group of blood cancers that includes all types of lymphoma except for Hodgkin lymphoma. Unlike HL, NHL originates in the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell found in the lymphatic system. NHL is more common than HL, with numerous subtypes that can behave and respond to treatment differently.

Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

The symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include:
Swollen but painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
Abdominal pain or swelling
Chest pain, breathing difficulties, or coughing
Persistent fatigue
Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis and Treatment

Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas are diagnosed through a combination of physical exams, medical history assessments, imaging tests, and biopsies of lymph nodes or affected tissues. Once diagnosed, the treatment approach for each type of lymphoma may differ.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have symptoms of lymphoma, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional promptly for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical care.

Remember, knowledge is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer, and staying informed can make a significant difference in the journey toward recovery and well-being.


At Laurel Cancer Care, we understand how hard it can be to choose the perfect team for your treatment. It’s important to have the very latest treatment options with highly trained professionals in a comfortable and caring setting, close to your home. Click on the button below to learn more.

Bring the Conversation to the Table: Understand Your Family Health History

As family travels from near and far to be together during the holiday season, it’s an opportune time for you to not only cherish the time with your loved ones, but also gain a deeper understanding of your family’s health history. Take the time to have important conversations about family health history. Discussing your family’s health background doesn’t have to overshadow the festive atmosphere, however, it can be a valuable way to understand potential health issues that may be hereditary, allowing you to proactively address them with your healthcare provider.

Understanding your family’s health history is crucial for everyone. It empowers you to develop a strategy for managing any potential health concerns. For instance, a family history of breast cancer can be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Certain genetic mutations that elevate the risk of breast cancer also raise the likelihood of prostate cancer in men. Therefore, if you discover a family member has had breast cancer, it’s important to discuss your own cancer risk with your doctor.

This holiday season, take a moment to engage in discussions with your family about the significance of understanding your health history. The more you comprehend potential health impacts, the better equipped you and your doctor are to address them early on, allowing you to continue relishing those special holiday moments.

Understanding Pancreatic Cancer

Although one of the deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer is also one of the most difficult cancers to detect in its early stages. Oftentimes, symptoms are not present until the cancer has become very large or spread to other organs. To prevent this disease, it’s important to understand how it develops and some of the risk factors of pancreatic cancer.

Understanding Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow uncontrollably, forming tumors. The pancreas, a vital organ located behind the stomach, plays a key role in digestion and blood sugar regulation.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms:

While symptoms may vary, it’s essential to be aware of common signs that could indicate pancreatic cancer:

  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes.
  • Belly or Back Pain: Discomfort or pain in the abdomen, which may radiate to the back.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant, unexplained weight loss over a short period.
  • Changes in Stool: Light-colored, oily, or dark stools.
  • Loss of Appetite: A noticeable decrease in appetite and feelings of fullness.

Risk Factors

Certain factors increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, including:

  • Age: The risk increases with age, with most cases diagnosed after the age of 65.
  • Smoking: Smokers are at a higher risk than non-smokers.
  • Family History: A family history of pancreatic cancer or certain genetic syndromes can elevate the risk.
  • Diabetes: People with long-standing diabetes have an increased risk.
  • Chronic Pancreatitis: Ongoing inflammation of the pancreas can raise the risk.

Early Detection

Common forms of early testing include genetic testing and imaging.

Genetic Testing: Identifying genetic mutations can help assess the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, especially for those with a family history.

Imaging Techniques: Advanced imaging methods, such as endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provide detailed images of the pancreas, aiding in early detection.

While detecting pancreatic cancer early remains challenging, ongoing research and advancements in medical technology offer hope for improving early detection rates. Awareness of the signs, understanding risk factors, and regular health check-ups are vital in the fight against this aggressive disease. By staying informed and proactive, individuals can take charge of their health and contribute to the ongoing efforts to detect pancreatic cancer at an early, more treatable stage.


Our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

Breathe Easy this November: Three Things to Know About Lung Cancer

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer doesn’t discriminate; it affects both smokers and non-smokers, emphasizing the importance of awareness and education no matter your lifestyle. With a disease prevalent among millions worldwide, there are steps you take now to reduce your risk. Check out these three key facts about lung cancer. Keep them in mind this month and evaluate your lifestyle and health. Is it time to make some changes this November?

Fact 1: Prevalence and Impact:
Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers globally. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, responsible for approximately 2 million deaths each year.

Fact 2: Complex Causes and Risk Factors:
While smoking remains a significant contributor to lung cancer cases, non-smokers are also at risk. Exposure to secondhand smoke, environmental factors like air pollution, and genetic predisposition can increase the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Occupational hazards, such as exposure to asbestos and radon gas, are additional risk factors. Understanding these complexities emphasizes the importance of comprehensive prevention strategies, including smoking cessation programs, promoting clean air initiatives, and workplace safety measures.

Fact 3: Progress in Treatment and Early Detection:
Advances in medical research have led to significant progress in lung cancer treatments. Targeted therapies and immunotherapy have revolutionized the way we approach this disease, offering more personalized and effective options for patients. Additionally, early detection through screening methods like low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans has proven to be instrumental in diagnosing lung cancer at earlier, more treatable stages.

Understanding the facts about lung cancer is the first step towards reducing your risk of lung cancer. Stay proactive and encourage your family or loved ones to learn about lung cancer causes and prevention.


As with all cancers, an important part of the treatment process is detecting the cancer as early as possible. There are a few tests that will help determine if your symptoms are linked to lung cancer. Click on the button below to learn more.

Exploring the Five Types of Gynecological Cancer

In recognition of Gynecological Awareness Month, we’re shedding some light on the 5 types of gynecological cancer to help understand contributing risk factors and preventative detection. Women can feel confident in taking control of their health with knowledge to promote early detection, effective treatment, and overall well-being.

1. Ovarian Cancer:

Ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries, the small organs responsible for producing eggs and hormones. Often called the “silent killer,” ovarian cancer’s symptoms are vague and easily mistaken for other conditions. Risk factors include a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, and increasing age. Regular pelvic examinations and awareness of symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits are crucial for early detection.

2. Cervical Cancer:

Cervical cancer primarily arises from the cells lining the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Persistent infection with high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor. Regular Pap tests (Pap smears) can detect precancerous changes early, allowing for intervention before the cancer develops. HPV vaccines are also available for preventive measures.

3. Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer:

Uterine cancer originates in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. It is often linked to hormonal imbalances, particularly excess estrogen. Obesity, diabetes, and a late onset of menopause are risk factors. Unusual vaginal bleeding, particularly after menopause, is a common symptom. Early diagnosis can lead to effective treatment options like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

4. Vaginal Cancer:

Vaginal cancer is a rare type of gynecological cancer that forms in the cells lining the vagina. It can develop in women of any age, but is more common in older women. Risk factors include exposure to the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy, a history of cervical cancer, and smoking. Symptoms may include vaginal bleeding, pain, and discomfort.

5. Vulvar Cancer:

Vulvar cancer occurs on the external genitalia, including the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening. It can stem from changes in the skin cells of the vulva. Risk factors include HPV infection, a history of precancerous conditions, and conditions that weaken the immune system. Symptoms may involve itching, pain, and changes in the skin’s appearance.

Regular screenings, awareness of symptoms, and lifestyle choices can collectively contribute to early detection and prevention. By navigating the terrain of ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancer, women can take charge of their health and promote a brighter, cancer-free future.


No two situations are the same. That’s why our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

If You Have Prostate Cancer: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

A prostate cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and scary. You will probably have lots of questions, and wonder where to even begin. Be open with your doctor with your questions and concerns. Here’s a guide you can follow to gain understanding of what to expect.

Understand the stage and seriousness of the cancer. The stage of the cancer is how far the cancer has spread. Knowing the stage of your cancer is important so your doctor can determine what types of treatment might be best for you.

The American Cancer Society recommends these questions:

  • Do you know the stage and risk group of cancer?
  • If not, how and when will you find out?
  • Would you explain to me what the stage and risk group mean in my case?
  • What will happen next?

The big question on your mind will be, How do I fight it? Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Determining a treatment plan will consider things like the cancer type, stage and grade for the cancer, pre-existing health problems, and your personal concerns among many other factors.

The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.

What will happen after treatment?

After treatment, your doctor will want you to come back for follow-up visits. You will be asked about symptoms, get exams and potentially have blood tests and other tests to monitor indicators.

It will be hard not to worry about a recurrence, but with regular check ups with your doctor, and implementing a healthy lifestyle, you can stay ahead of recurrence and have ease of mind.

The longer you’re cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed.


Our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.

Questions About Skin Cancer? We Have the Answers


What is skin cancer?


Skin cancer is a condition characterized by the abnormal growth of skin cells, often caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds. There are different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.


How can I protect myself from skin cancer?


Protecting yourself from skin cancer involves adopting various preventive measures, including:

Limit Sun Exposure: Avoid spending extended periods in direct sunlight, especially during peak UV hours (10 am to 4 pm).
Wear Protective Clothing: Use wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants to cover exposed skin.
Apply Sunscreen: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on all exposed skin, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
Seek Shade: Stay in the shade whenever possible, especially during peak UV hours.
Avoid Tanning Beds: Artificial sources of UV radiation can also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Protective Eyewear: Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
Examine Your Skin: Regularly check your skin for any unusual moles or changes and report them to a healthcare professional.


Who is at risk of developing skin cancer?


While anyone can develop skin cancer, certain factors increase the risk, such as:

UV Exposure: Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun or artificial sources.
Fair Skin: People with fair skin, light hair, and light eyes are at higher risk due to less melanin, which provides natural protection from UV radiation.
Family History: A family history of skin cancer can increase the likelihood of developing it.
Moles: Having numerous or atypical moles can increase the risk.
Weakened Immune System: Individuals with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to skin cancer.
Previous Skin Cancer: A history of skin cancer increases the risk of developing new skin cancers.


Is it important to wear sunscreen on cloudy days?


Yes, it is essential to wear sunscreen on cloudy days as well. Clouds do not block UV rays entirely, and UV radiation can penetrate through cloud cover, leading to skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. Always apply sunscreen regardless of the weather conditions.


Can I still get enough vitamin D while protecting myself from the sun?


Yes, it is possible to get enough vitamin D without risking excessive sun exposure. While sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, you can obtain it through other means like vitamin D-rich foods, supplements, or fortified products. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the right approach for meeting your vitamin D needs safely.


How often should I perform skin self-examinations?


Regular self-examinations of your skin are crucial for early detection. Aim to conduct a thorough skin check once a month. Pay attention to changes in moles, new growths, or any unusual skin developments. If you notice anything suspicious, promptly schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.


Are there any specific precautions for children?


Yes, children are more susceptible to sunburn and long-term sun damage. Protect them by using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, dressing them in protective clothing, and encouraging them to seek shade during peak UV hours. Keep babies under six months old out of direct sunlight and dress them in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs. Always consult a pediatrician before using sunscreen on infants.

Expert Cancer Care

Our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to explore available cancer screenings and treatment options.

Men’s Health Month: Understanding BPH and Prioritizing Prostate Health

June is Men’s Health Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about various health issues that impact men. One common condition that affects a large number of men, particularly as they age, is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as an enlarged prostate, is a non-cancerous condition that affects the prostate gland in men. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and surrounding the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. As men age, the prostate can gradually enlarge, squeezing the urethra and causing various urinary symptoms.

Understanding the Causes and Risk Factors:

While the exact cause of BPH is still not fully understood, hormonal imbalances and age-related changes are believed to play a significant role. Testosterone, the male hormone, and its conversion into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) have been implicated in the growth of prostate tissue. Additionally, advancing age and genetics can contribute to the development of BPH. Certain risk factors, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and a family history of the condition, may increase the likelihood of developing BPH.

Recognizing the Symptoms:

It’s essential for men to be aware of the common signs and symptoms associated with BPH. These can include:

  • Frequent urination, especially during the night (nocturia)
  • Difficulty initiating or maintaining a steady urine stream
  • Weak urine flow or a sensation of incomplete emptying
  • Urgency to urinate or a feeling of urgency that is difficult to control
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • The need to strain or push to start urination

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional promptly. While BPH is generally non-cancerous, it’s important to rule out other potential prostate conditions, including prostate cancer.

Consider the following strategies to prompt prostate health and minimize the risk and severity of BPH:

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle:

Engage in regular physical activity, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and manage stress effectively. These lifestyle choices can contribute to overall well-being, including prostate health.

Stay Hydrated:

Drinking an adequate amount of water can help promote a healthy urinary system. Aim for at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water daily, or more if you are physically active or in a hot climate.

Limit Fluid Intake Before Bed:

Reducing your fluid intake a few hours before bedtime can help minimize nighttime urination, improving sleep quality.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Caffeine:

Both alcohol and caffeine can irritate the bladder and worsen urinary symptoms. Moderation is key.

Regular Check-ups:

Schedule routine check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your prostate health, especially if you are at an increased risk or experience symptoms.

Treatment Options:

If you are diagnosed with BPH and your symptoms significantly impact your quality of life, various treatment options are available. These can include medication, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery, depending on the severity of your condition.

Contact us or talk to your healthcare provider to help guide you in selecting the most appropriate treatment option based on your specific situation.


Our caring team of experts are here to provide you with a custom-tailored treatment plan that is unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Click on the button below to learn more.