Lung cancer deaths have plummeted across the United States for the better part of the last two decades, thanks in large part to stronger anti-smoking efforts and an increased awareness of what causes lung cancer.

However, a recent study published on June 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology says that lung cancer deaths are “steady or rising” among middle-aged women who live in the South or Midwest.

What could be the cause of such a dramatic, unexpected spike?



Arijit Guha has been battling Stage IV colon cancer for nearly a year and a half.

The 31-year-old doctoral student at Arizona State University reached his lifetime cap of $300,000 on his student insurance plan in January and spent most of his spare time raising money in order to meet the costs of his escalating medical bills.

Through his website, PoopStrong.org, Guha managed to raise $50,000 through selling bracelets, buttons and t-shirts with his PoopStrong logo on them to continue his medical care, but that money wasn’t nearly enough to keep him out of medical bankruptcy.

So the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was going to have a direct impact on the quality and quantity of his care.

How did Guha feel when he heard that the majority of the provisions would be upheld? Well, tired, for one thing. He was up until 3 a.m. the night before, too nervous to sleep in anticipation of this landmark decision.

“It is clearly a win for so many millions of Americans,” Gupta told Stephanie Innes of the Arizona Daily Star. “Many others have been denied insurance, maxed out on their plans and would have been in pretty dire straits had the ACA (Affordable Care Act) not passed.”


Image courtesy of bestdoctors.com

Twenty-six Tucson-area physicians affiliated with the University of Arizona Cancer Center are included among the 2011-2012 Best Doctors in America® database.

The database includes about 40,000 U.S. physicians in more than 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine. They represent the top 3 to 5 percent of specialists in the country, according to Best Doctors Inc. of Boston.

Click “Read More” to see which UACC affiliated doctors made the list.



Chances are that regardless of where you live, it’s way too hot outside right now.

According to The Associated Press, more than 1,000 temperature records have been shattered across the country, including a jaw-dropping 251 new daily high temperatures on Tuesday. And it’s only June! July and August probably aren’t going to give us a break.

So what should we do? Well, for starters, if at all possible, stay indoors during the hot daytime hours. But if you must spend a significant portion of your day outside, make sure you keep your skin covered and wear sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher on any exposed areas.

At the University of Arizona Cancer Center, our Skin Cancer Institute aims to spread the message of sun safety to the Southern Arizona community through a variety of initiatives.


Photo courtesy of the NCI

According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 70,000 adolescents and young adults (ages 15-39) are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States.

For those 70,000 individuals, their lives – their hopes, dreams, goals – are all too often derailed by this horrible illness. Many of these patients will survive the disease, but recent studies show that their challenges are just beginning.

A new analysis, which used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, suggests that Survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers have worse health and unhealthier behaviors than people without a history of cancer.



Everyone knows how important regular exercise is when it comes to maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle, but some folks find the idea to be a little overwhelming.

Perhaps you used to exercise, but fell out of a routine for any number of reasons and you’ve struggled to get back into the swing of it. Perhaps you find the idea of a gym to be a bit too intimidating. Perhaps you think you don’t have enough time in your busy schedule.

Recent studies have shown that no exercise at all poses the greatest health risk. Even mild physical activity has numerous health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Substantial weight gain, on the other hand, will almost certainly negate these benefits.

A new analysis done by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers has found that physical activity – either mild or intense and before or after menopause – may reduce breast cancer risk.


Cynthia Thomson (photo by Chris Richards)

Eat your vegetables.

It’s the three magic words every parent says to a child, and every doctor says to a patient. It’s widely recognized as one of the keys to good health, but few people realize that a vegetable-heavy diet can be the most effective form of cancer prevention.

University of Arizona Cancer Center member Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, CSO, is at the forefront of nutrition-related cancer prevention research, and her latest work is being recognized as a major advancement in the field.

Dr. Thomson has been selected as a winner of the 2011 Huddleson Award for her manuscript, “A Systematic Review of Behavioral Interventions to Promote Intake of Fruit and Vegetables,” published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (now the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).



This is “Act Against Cancer,” the University of Arizona Cancer Center’s news and wellness blog. We’ll be covering the latest cutting-edge treatments and therapies developed by UACC researchers and physicians, as well as the research and developments that are impacting cancer care and prevention throughout the world.

This blog will feature helpful health, diet and exercise tips — both for cancer prevention and cancer survivorship, along with the latest updates from the National Cancer Institute and the University of Arizona Health Network.

“Act Against Cancer” will also provide a forum for patients to tell their uniquely inspiring stories. Our goal is for this blog to be an interactive way for patients, physicians, researchers, and cancer survivors to share stories with one another.

In the future, we hope to showcase our best community outreach events, along with the fundraising efforts that are so vital to the UACC’s mission — to prevent and cure cancer.

Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at nprevenas [at] azcc.arizona.edu with your story tips and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you!