Many of the body's tissues do not last long. Every day used skin cells are shed, and billions of blood, bowel and liver cells serve the body and then are replaced by new cells. Cancer is the opposite of this essential repair work in the body. In the organs where a lot of new cells grow, a kind of mistake happens - and the growth of cells gets out of control.
Feature: Bowel cancer screening
Statutory health insurance funds in Germany have offered bowel cancer screening for over 30 years. In 2003 endoscopy of the bowel was added to the tests offered for screening. Recent trials make it possible to better assess what benefits can be expected from the tests and what their disadvantages are. Read about what the different tests can do in our feature on screening.
Feature: Breast cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer often makes people feel very frightened and anxious. But if you get breast cancer for the first time and it has not spread, there is a good chance that treatment will lead to a full recovery. Our feature describes the symptoms and course of the disease, as well as the diagnostic and treatment options.
Feature: Cancer treatments at a glance
Malignant tumours can be life-threatening. There are a variety of treatments that aim to remove them, or at least stop them from growing and spreading. You can read about the most commonly used cancer treatments in this feature.
Feature: Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is nearly always a rare consequence of an infection with particular sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPV). Infections are probably just as common in men as they are in women. But men are even less likely than women to develop health problems as a result of the infection, such as cancer. Read this feature to find out which risk factors play a role, how cervical cancer develops, and how precancerous conditions are diagnosed and treated.
Feature: Fungal infection of the mouth in people who have cancer or HIV/AIDS
Most of us are familiar with our teeth feeling somewhat “fuzzy” after eating sweets. But if your entire mouth feels cottony all the time, your sense of taste is impaired, and you are having trouble swallowing, an oral fungal infection may be the cause. It is hardly ever a danger to your health, but it is very unpleasant to have. This feature is about how people who have cancer or HIV/AIDS can prevent this kind of infection (often called “oral thrush”), as well as what treatment options are available to them.
Feature: HPV vaccine
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) play an important role in the development of cervical cancer. There is now a vaccine against some of these sexually transmitted viruses. However, the vaccine only works against the most common cancer-causing HPV viruses so it does not offer complete protection. You will find objective, neutral and up-to-date information on the HPV vaccine in our feature.
Feature: Living with metastatic breast cancer
In Germany and many other countries, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. It is usually detected at an advanced age. Sometimes breast cancer is only detected when it has already formed metastases. But it can still be treated then, and many women continue to live with this disease for years. Our in-depth feature explains what therapies are available and how women can cope with this serious disease. Please note that all information on public health care reflects the situation in Germany, and may not apply to other countries.
Feature: Positron emission tomography (PET)
An imaging technique, something to do with rays, being put in a tube – many people do have a vague idea of what a PET scan is about. If you’d like to know more, you can now find information about PET on our website: for example, the reason you need to get an injection first and why this method is used for tumors.
Feature: Preventing bowel cancer
There is no shortage of recommendations about how to prevent bowel cancer: more fibre, less meat, vitamin supplements and even medicines feature in the long list of suggestions that have been propagated for years. We have studied the latest evidence to see how much scientific support there now is for these common recommendations.
Feature: Preventing skin cancer
What someone considers to be a threat is mostly a very personal issue. This is also true for skin cancer. Most people never get dangerous skin cancer, and particularly melanomas are relatively rare. So a lot of people do not worry about it too much. On the other hand, there are ways to prevent skin cancer. This feature aims to help you find your own way of dealing with the sun.
Feature: Prostate cancer screening
Men’s opinions on prostate cancer screening vary greatly. Some prefer not to think about it at all, while others would like to use every opportunity to screen for prostate cancer. The PSA test is the only screening test for prostate cancer that has been well studied. But does it live up to expectations? Our in-depth information on this topic might be helpful when deciding whether or not to have the test.
There are three main options in the treatment of cancer (malignant tumours): Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy aims to destroy the cancerous tissue by exposing it to certain high-energy rays. The source of radiation can be located outside the body (external radiotherapy), inside the body or very close to the tumour (internal radiotherapy or brachytherapy).
Feature: Recurrent breast cancer
About 5 out of 100 breast cancer patients will have local or regional tumor recurrence within ten years. In this feature we will look at what this diagnosis means for the women affected and their families.
You will find interesting facts on the benefits and risks of screening tests in this feature. You can find out, for example, why some screening tests cannot prevent diseases, why false test results can have serious consequences, what questions can help make decisions about a screening, and what “IGeL” stands for in the German health care system.
Feature: Stem cell transplantation
Autologous, allogeneic, or reduced-intensity – there are different ways of transplanting stem cells. We explain what these differences are and what kinds of complications can be expected. You can also read how blood stem cells can be obtained for use in transplantation.
Bowel cancer: Do PET scans improve treatment for recurrent tumors?
If there is good reason to suspect bowel cancer recurrence, positron emission tomography (PET) or a combination of PET and computed tomography (PET/CT) can detect new tumor growth better than conventional methods. Yet it remains unclear whether this improves treatment, giving those affected by bowel cancer noticeable benefits. more...
Ovarian cancer: Can a PET scan improve treatment?
Positron emission tomography (PET) alone or PET in combination with computed tomography (PET/CT) can detect recurrence of ovarian cancer more reliably than conventional tests and examinations. It is unclear, however, whether PET and PET/CT do indeed lead to better treatment of women with ovarian cancer. more...
Family medical histories: How accurate are they and what information might be important to know?
When someone in the family has breast cancer, it is likely that many of the other adults in the family will know about it. But this does not hold true for all types of cancer. If a family member has developed bowel cancer, for example, it is quite common for the other family members to not know anything about it. It is not clear whether or not preparing a cancer family medical history will improve health outcomes, nor is it apparent what the best way is to collect the information. more...
Bone and soft tissue tumors: Can PET scans improve treatment?
It is not clear whether positron emission tomography (PET) or a combination of PET and computed tomography (PET/CT) can improve treatment of bone and soft tissue cancer. It is also not possible to draw any conclusions about whether these imaging techniques can detect tumors and possible recurrences better than conventional approaches. more...