A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
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Community Outreach

As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope plays an important role in the community. We continually use the knowledge gained from our ongoing research to influence the standards of prevention and care, and to educate physicians, caregivers, and patients alike.
 
 

General Information About Cancer

What Is Cancer?
Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide and grow abnormally.
 
Normally, cells throughout the body divide and grow as children's bodies develop, and as adult bodies replace old or injured cells. During this methodical system, new cells form, grow, and stop growing at the appropriate time. When cancer occurs, cell growth becomes uncontrolled. Often, but not always, these cancer cells form into a solid mass called a tumor. Not all tumors are cancerous, however: cancerous tumors are called “malignant,” while non-cancerous tumors are known as “benign.” If the cancerous cells are blood cells, as in leukemia, there is no solid tumor. Early detection and treatment are very important to increasing the patient's chances of recovery.
 
Cancer can occur in many parts of the body, and can take many different forms. The various forms can behave very differently from one another--they may grow at differing rates, and respond to treatments inconsistently. Cancer can also spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system (this is called metastasis), but the original site of the cancerous cells determines the cancer type.
 
What Causes Cancer?
The unusual cell growth that brings about cancer is the result of damage to DNA -- the substance inside all cells that directs cell behavior. Damaged DNA can be caused by genetics, by behavior (such as smoking or diet), or by things in the environment (such as air pollutants, radiation or occupational exposure to certain chemicals). Usually, the body can repair damaged DNA, but cancer cells evade this natural process.
 
Treating Cancer
Cancer is traditionally treated using three types of therapy: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Depending on the type of cancer and its stage (how far the cancer has progressed), your doctor may use one of these methods or a combination of them in order to achieve the best possible result.
 
Today, in addition to these three approaches, new and promising therapies for cancer are being developed and used. These new approaches include gene therapy and immunotherapy, and may offer new hope to those who have not benefited from conventional treatment methods.
 
The City of Hope Approach
City of Hope, one of just 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of many different types of cancer. City of Hope has a world-class staff of researchers and physicians who are constantly developing new approaches to treating cancer.Last year, City of Hope conducted more than 300 studies enrolling more than 5,000 patients.
 
In just one example of our leading-edge research, City of Hope is the first – and currently only – institution in the world to perform a clinical study using genetically-engineered T-cells to recognize and attack glioma, a highly lethal (and unfortunately, quite common) form of brain cancer. Learn more about our treatment approaches.
 
Cancer Prevention
Through painstaking effort and years of research, scientists have been able to identify many of the causes of cancer. Today, it is believed that about 75 percent of cancer cases are tied in some way to how we live our lives. Since our lifestyle does contribute to the risk of having cancer, prevention often depends on knowing as much as possible about our own risk factors. It’s important to remember that cancer prevention is an ongoing process.
 
  • Carefully identify lifestyle factors such as smoking, dietary habits, or occupational hazards that might contribute to your risk of developing cancer.
  • Think about which of these lifestyle risk factors you can control.
  • Begin to make simple changes in lifestyle that may help lower your cancer risk. These changes often involve choices that are made every day.
  • The American Cancer Society recommends a cancer-related checkup every three years for people between the ages of 20 to 39 and annually for people age 40 or older.

Additional Information and Resources
This website is designed to provide information about the advanced treatment services and leading biomedical research available at City of Hope.
 
For general information on all types of cancers, as well as cancer causes and prevention, the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) and American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) are excellent sources.
 
Become a Patient
City of Hope is committed to making the process of becoming a patient here as easy as possible. Call 800-826-HOPE (4673) or complete the online appointment form.
 

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope plays an important role in the community. We continually use the knowledge gained from our ongoing research to influence the standards of prevention and care, and to educate physicians, caregivers, and patients alike.
 
 

General Information About Cancer

General Information About Cancer

What Is Cancer?
Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide and grow abnormally.
 
Normally, cells throughout the body divide and grow as children's bodies develop, and as adult bodies replace old or injured cells. During this methodical system, new cells form, grow, and stop growing at the appropriate time. When cancer occurs, cell growth becomes uncontrolled. Often, but not always, these cancer cells form into a solid mass called a tumor. Not all tumors are cancerous, however: cancerous tumors are called “malignant,” while non-cancerous tumors are known as “benign.” If the cancerous cells are blood cells, as in leukemia, there is no solid tumor. Early detection and treatment are very important to increasing the patient's chances of recovery.
 
Cancer can occur in many parts of the body, and can take many different forms. The various forms can behave very differently from one another--they may grow at differing rates, and respond to treatments inconsistently. Cancer can also spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system (this is called metastasis), but the original site of the cancerous cells determines the cancer type.
 
What Causes Cancer?
The unusual cell growth that brings about cancer is the result of damage to DNA -- the substance inside all cells that directs cell behavior. Damaged DNA can be caused by genetics, by behavior (such as smoking or diet), or by things in the environment (such as air pollutants, radiation or occupational exposure to certain chemicals). Usually, the body can repair damaged DNA, but cancer cells evade this natural process.
 
Treating Cancer
Cancer is traditionally treated using three types of therapy: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Depending on the type of cancer and its stage (how far the cancer has progressed), your doctor may use one of these methods or a combination of them in order to achieve the best possible result.
 
Today, in addition to these three approaches, new and promising therapies for cancer are being developed and used. These new approaches include gene therapy and immunotherapy, and may offer new hope to those who have not benefited from conventional treatment methods.
 
The City of Hope Approach
City of Hope, one of just 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of many different types of cancer. City of Hope has a world-class staff of researchers and physicians who are constantly developing new approaches to treating cancer.Last year, City of Hope conducted more than 300 studies enrolling more than 5,000 patients.
 
In just one example of our leading-edge research, City of Hope is the first – and currently only – institution in the world to perform a clinical study using genetically-engineered T-cells to recognize and attack glioma, a highly lethal (and unfortunately, quite common) form of brain cancer. Learn more about our treatment approaches.
 
Cancer Prevention
Through painstaking effort and years of research, scientists have been able to identify many of the causes of cancer. Today, it is believed that about 75 percent of cancer cases are tied in some way to how we live our lives. Since our lifestyle does contribute to the risk of having cancer, prevention often depends on knowing as much as possible about our own risk factors. It’s important to remember that cancer prevention is an ongoing process.
 
  • Carefully identify lifestyle factors such as smoking, dietary habits, or occupational hazards that might contribute to your risk of developing cancer.
  • Think about which of these lifestyle risk factors you can control.
  • Begin to make simple changes in lifestyle that may help lower your cancer risk. These changes often involve choices that are made every day.
  • The American Cancer Society recommends a cancer-related checkup every three years for people between the ages of 20 to 39 and annually for people age 40 or older.

Additional Information and Resources
This website is designed to provide information about the advanced treatment services and leading biomedical research available at City of Hope.
 
For general information on all types of cancers, as well as cancer causes and prevention, the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) and American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) are excellent sources.
 
Become a Patient
City of Hope is committed to making the process of becoming a patient here as easy as possible. Call 800-826-HOPE (4673) or complete the online appointment form.
 
Cancer Information
Find out more about cancer and how it develops, including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment. You can also find additional resources, statistics and a glossary from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society that may help in your search for more information about cancer.
Discover the wide range of progressive cancer treatment options at City of Hope designed to meet the individual needs of each patient. Here, medical research and clinical care are integrated, speeding the application of scientific discoveries toward better, more effective patient cancer treatments.
Only a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center such as City of Hope offers a full complement of services designed to address all aspects of cancer, from understanding its origins to developing new therapies.
NCICCC
Community Outreach
As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope plays an important role in the community. We continually use the knowledge gained from our ongoing research to influence the standards of prevention and care, and to educate physicians, caregivers, and patients alike.
 
    CCARE - Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education

    Sitio web de City of Hope en español - City of Hope Spanish-language website
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • Although chemotherapy can be effective in treating cancer, it can also exact a heavy toll on a patient’s health. One impressive alternative researchers have found is in the form of a vaccine. A type of immunotherapy, one part of the vaccine primes the body to react strongly against a tumor; the second part dire...
  • The breast cancer statistic is attention-getting: One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. That doesn’t mean that, if you’re one of eight women at a dinner table, one of you is fated to have breast cancer (read more on that breast cancer statistic), but it does mean that the ...
  • Rob Darakjian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 19 years old. He began chemotherapy and was in and out of the hospital for four months. After his fourth round of treatment, he received a bone marrow transplantation from an anonymous donor. Today, he’s cancer free. In his first post, ...
  • Advanced age tops the list among breast cancer risk factor for women. Not far behind is family history and genetics. Two City of Hope researchers delving deep into these issues recently received important grants to advance their studies. Arti Hurria, M.D., director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program, and ...
  • City of Hope is extending the reach of its lifesaving mission well beyond U.S. borders. To that end, three distinguished City of Hope leaders visited China earlier this year to lay the foundation for the institution’s new International Medicine Program. The program is part of City of Hope’s strategi...
  • A hallmark of cancer is that it doesn’t always limit itself to a primary location. It spreads. Breast cancer and lung cancer in particular are prone to spread, or metastasize, to the brain. Often the brain metastasis isn’t discovered until years after the initial diagnosis, just when patients were beginning to ...
  • Blueberries, cinnamon, baikal scullcap, grape seed extract (and grape skin extract), mushrooms, barberry, pomegranates … all contain compounds with the potential to treat, or prevent, cancer. Scientists at City of Hope have found tantalizing evidence of this potential and are determined to explore it to t...
  • Most women who are treated for breast cancer with a mastectomy do not choose to undergo reconstructive surgery. The reasons for this, according to a recent JAMA Surgery study, vary. Nearly half say they do not want any additional surgery, while nearly 34 percent say breast cancer reconstruction simply isn’t imp...
  • The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. The second top risk factor is getting older. Obviously, these two factors cannot be controlled, which is why all women should be aware of their risk and how to minimize those risks. Many risk factors can be mitigated, and simple changes can lead...
  • All women are at some risk of developing the disease in their lifetimes, but breast cancer, like other cancers, has a disproportionate effect on minorities. Although white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer, African-American women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethni...
  • First, the good news: HIV infections have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years. Doctors, researchers and health officials have made great strides in preventing and treating the disease, turning what was once a death sentence into, for some, a chronic condition. Now, the reality check: HIV is still a worl...
  • Screening for breast cancer has dramatically increased the number of cancers found before they cause symptoms – catching the disease when it is most treatable and curable. Mammograms, however, are not infallible. It’s important to conduct self-exams, and know the signs and symptoms that should be checked by a h...
  • Rob Darakjian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 19 years old. He began chemotherapy and was in and out of the hospital for four months. After his fourth round of treatment, he received a bone marrow transplantation from an anonymous donor. Today, he’s cancer free.   In his previ...
  • In a single day, former professional triathlete Lisa Birk learned she couldn’t have children and that she had breast cancer. “Where do you go from there?” she asks. For Birk, who swims three miles, runs 10 miles and cycles every day, the answer  ultimately was a decision to take control of her cancer care. Afte...
  • More and more people are surviving cancer, thanks to advanced cancer treatments and screening tools. Today there are nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. But in up to 20 percent of cancer patients, the disease ultimately spreads to their brain. Each year, nearly 170,000 new cases of brain ...