NCI Fact Sheets

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The NCI fact sheet collection addresses a variety of cancer topics. Fact sheets are updated and revised based on the latest cancer research.

Use the subject listing below to find the fact sheets you are interested in.

Cancer Therapy

  • Access to Investigational Drugs

    A fact sheet that defines investigational drugs (drugs under study but not yet FDA approved) and describes the special conditions under which patients and their doctors can apply to receive these treatments.

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors

    A fact sheet that describes the process of eliminating the blood supply to tumors. Lists the cancers in which this approach is being tested.

  • Biological Therapies for Cancer

    A fact sheet that provides an overview of how the immune system functions and describes the actions of biological therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, therapeutic vaccines, the bacterium bacillus Calmet-Guérin, cancer-killing viruses, gene therapy, and adoptive T-cell transfer.

  • Blood-Forming Stem Cell Transplants

    A fact sheet that explains the step-by-step procedures of two types of transplantations used with high-dose chemotherapy, including their risks and benefits.

  • Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

    A fact sheet that describes breast reconstruction after mastectomy, including surgical options, follow-up care, and breast cancer screening after reconstruction.

  • Cancer Clinical Trials at the NIH Clinical Center

    A fact sheet about cancer clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Cancer Vaccines

    A fact sheet about cancer vaccines. Explains how they are used to harness the body’s immune system to prevent cancers caused by viruses and as immunotherapy to treat some cancers and describes research related to their use.

  • Cryosurgery in Cancer Treatment

    A fact sheet that describes cryosurgery, the technique of using extreme cold to treat tumors. Lists the indications, risks, benefits, and side effects of cryotherapy.

  • Follow-up Care After Cancer Treatment

    A fact sheet that provides information about follow-up medical care for patients who have completed cancer treatment.

  • Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes hormone therapy (including antiestrogens, LH-RH agonists, aromatase inhibitors, and SERMs) and its role in preventing and treating breast cancer. Includes information about possible side effects.

  • Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes hormone therapy and its role in treating prostate cancer. Includes information about the different types of hormone therapy, how they are used, and possible side effects.

  • How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer

    A fact sheet that offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.

  • Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment

    A fact sheet that defines hyperthermia (treating tumors with heat) and its side effects.

  • Lasers in Cancer Treatment

    A fact sheet that describes use of high-intensity light in cancer treatment, its advantages and disadvantages, and types of procedures that use it.

  • Photodynamic Therapy for Cancer

    A fact sheet that explains photodynamic therapy, how it is administered, and indications and side effects of treatment.

  • Radiation Therapy for Cancer

    A fact sheet that defines the different types of radiation therapy and discusses scientific advances that improve the effectiveness of this treatment.

  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

    A fact sheet that describes the sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) procedure, its use in determining the extent, or stage, of cancer in the body, and the results of research on the use of SLNB in breast cancer and melanoma.

  • Surgery to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes mastectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, two prophylactic surgeries that may be performed to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at very high risk; the situations in which they may be considered; and nonsurgical options.

  • Targeted Cancer Therapies

    A fact sheet that describes targeted cancer therapies, which are drugs that interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival.

Cancer Types

  • Bone Cancer

    A fact sheet about the diagnosis and treatment of cancers that develop in the bones.

  • Cancer in Children and Adolescents

    A fact sheet about statistics, types, causes, and treatment of childhood cancers in the United States.

  • Head and Neck Cancers

    A fact sheet about the risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and rehabilitation for cancers of the head and neck.

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    A fact sheet about the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), an uncommon type of cancer in which the breast becomes red, swollen, and warm.

  • Metastatic Cancer

    A fact sheet about metastasis, the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. Discusses the diagnosis and treatment of cancer that has spread.

  • Paget Disease of the Breast

    A fact sheet about Paget disease of the breast, a rare type of cancer that is sometimes called Paget disease of the nipple or mammary Paget disease.

Clinical Trials

Detection and Diagnosis

  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scans and Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes the CT scan procedure and technology and its uses in diagnosis, screening, and treatment.

  • Mammograms

    A fact sheet that defines screening and diagnostic mammograms and outlines mammography screening guidelines. Discusses the benefits and some potential limitations of screening mammograms.

  • Pap and HPV Testing

    A fact sheet that describes cervical cancer screening, which includes the Pap test and HPV testing. The fact sheet includes information about cervical cancer screening guidelines.

  • Pathology Reports

    A fact sheet that describes the type of information that may be found in a pathology report, the document that contains results of the visual and microscopic examination of tissue removed during a biopsy or surgery.

  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

    A fact sheet that describes the PSA screening test for prostate cancer and explains the benefits and limitations of the test.

  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

    A fact sheet that describes the sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) procedure, its use in determining the extent, or stage, of cancer in the body, and the results of research on the use of SLNB in breast cancer and melanoma.

  • Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps

    A fact sheet that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several colorectal cancer screening tests.

  • Tumor Grade

    A fact sheet that discusses tumor grade and its role in prognosis. Explains concepts like normal cell biology and cell differentiation.

  • Tumor Markers

    A fact sheet that defines tumor markers and describes how they can be used to aid diagnosis and treatment.

  • Understanding Laboratory Tests

    A fact sheet that describes the role of screening and diagnostic laboratory tests. Includes a list of the common tests used in cancer medicine and a brief discussion of how to interpret test results.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Alcohol and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that summarizes the evidence linking alcohol consumption to the risk of various cancers. Includes information about factors that affect the risk of alcohol-associated cancers, such as a person’s genes and tobacco use.

  • Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet about antioxidants, substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer.

  • Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer

    A fact sheet that reviews research studies on the possible connection between artificial sweeteners and cancer.

  • Calcium and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on calcium and cancer prevention. It includes information about dietary recommendations for calcium, and the amount of calcium in foods and supplements.

  • Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that explains how certain chemicals are formed in meat that is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling, and describes the results of research on the relationship between consumption of these chemicals and cancer risk.

  • Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies about cruciferous vegetables and cancer. It includes a list of cruciferous vegetables and outlines dietary recommendations for vegetables.

  • Fluoridated Water

    A fact sheet that reviews research about the possibility of a connection between fluoridated water and cancer.

  • Garlic and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on the consumption of garlic for cancer prevention.

  • Obesity and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that summarizes research on the potential link between obesity and cancer risk.

  • Tea and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies about tea and cancer prevention. It includes information about the ingredients of tea and safety considerations regarding tea consumption.

  • Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on vitamin D and cancer prevention. It includes information about dietary recommendations for vitamin D.

Prevention

  • Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet about antioxidants, substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer.

  • Calcium and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on calcium and cancer prevention. It includes information about dietary recommendations for calcium, and the amount of calcium in foods and supplements.

  • Cancer Vaccines

    A fact sheet about cancer vaccines. Explains how they are used to harness the body’s immune system to prevent cancers caused by viruses and as immunotherapy to treat some cancers and describes research related to their use.

  • Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies about cruciferous vegetables and cancer. It includes a list of cruciferous vegetables and outlines dietary recommendations for vegetables.

  • Garlic and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on the consumption of garlic for cancer prevention.

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines

    A fact sheet about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for the prevention of infection with certain types of HPV, which is the major cause of cervical cancer.

  • Pap and HPV Testing

    A fact sheet that describes cervical cancer screening, which includes the Pap test and HPV testing. The fact sheet includes information about cervical cancer screening guidelines.

  • Physical Activity and Cancer

    A fact sheet about research on the role of physical activity in reducing cancer risk.

  • Statins and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet about results from animal research and ongoing observational studies of people taking statins that suggest that these drugs may lower the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal and skin cancers.

  • Surgery to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes mastectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, two prophylactic surgeries that may be performed to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at very high risk; the situations in which they may be considered; and nonsurgical options.

  • Tea and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies about tea and cancer prevention. It includes information about the ingredients of tea and safety considerations regarding tea consumption.

  • Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

    A fact sheet that summarizes the results of studies on vitamin D and cancer prevention. It includes information about dietary recommendations for vitamin D.

Risk Factors and Possible Causes

  • "Light" Cigarettes and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that answers questions about the health effects of smoking "low-tar," "mild," or "light" cigarettes.

  • Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet about cancer risks associated with accidents at nuclear power plants. Includes information for cancer patients who live in an area that may be affected by a nuclear power plant accident. Also contains links to information about NCI-supported research on ionizing radiation and cancer risk.

  • Acrylamide in Food and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that reviews research about a possible connection between acrylamide in food and cancer risk. Acrylamide is a chemical that has been found in certain foods, with especially high levels in potato chips, French fries, and other foods produced by high-temperature cooking.

  • Agricultural Health Study

    A fact sheet about the Agricultural Heath Study, begun in1993 by scientists from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Alcohol and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that summarizes the evidence linking alcohol consumption to the risk of various cancers. Includes information about factors that affect the risk of alcohol-associated cancers, such as a person’s genes and tobacco use.

  • Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer

    A fact sheet describing studies on whether there is a link between underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer.

  • Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer

    A fact sheet that reviews research studies on the possible connection between artificial sweeteners and cancer.

  • Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet about asbestos, asbestos-related diseases, and who to contact for more information.

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia

    A fact sheet about ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), a rare, recessive genetic disorder of childhood that occurs in between one out of 40,000 and one out of 100,000 persons worldwide.

  • BRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing

    A fact sheet about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, how BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations (changes) affect a person's risk of cancer, genetic testing for cancer risk, interpreting test results, and the benefits and risks of genetic testing.

  • Breast Cancer Risk in American Women

    A fact sheet that provides statistics about a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and information about breast cancer risk factors.

  • Cancer Clusters

    A fact sheet that describes what constitutes a cancer cluster, the process for reporting and investigating suspected clusters, and the challenges in investigating suspected clusters.

  • Cell Phones and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that outlines the available evidence regarding use of cellular/mobile telephones and cancer risk.

  • Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that explains how certain chemicals are formed in meat that is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling, and describes the results of research on the relationship between consumption of these chemicals and cancer risk.

  • Cigar Smoking and Cancer

    A fact sheet about the health risks associated with cigar smoking.

  • Common Moles, Dysplastic Nevi, and Risk of Melanoma

    A fact sheet about moles and how some moles may be related to melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer. The fact sheet includes photos of differences between moles and cancer, and discusses risk factors for melanoma.

  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and Cancer

    A fact sheet about DES (a synthetic form of estrogen) and the health problems of children who were exposed to DES while in the womb.

  • Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer

    A fact sheet about research on electric and magnetic fields and studies examining their potential connection with cancer.

  • Fluoridated Water

    A fact sheet that reviews research about the possibility of a connection between fluoridated water and cancer.

  • Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that discusses formaldehyde and its possible association with cancer. Includes resources for more information.

  • Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

    A fact sheet about genetic testing for inherited cancer risk, including types of tests, who should consider testing, how to understand test results, and who has access to a person’s test results. Also contains information about at-home or direct-to-consumer genetic tests.

  • Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that reviews research about the possibility of a connection between personal hair dye use and cancer.

  • Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting

    A fact sheet that lists some of the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke and describes the health problems caused by cigarette smoking and the benefits of quitting.

  • Helicobacter pylori and Cancer

    A fact sheet about the relationship between H. pylori infection and gastric cancer, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and other cancers.

  • HIV Infection and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that describes the increased risk of certain types of cancer by people infected with HIV. These cancers include Kaposi sarcoma, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the anus, cervix, liver, and lung. Also describes what people with HIV infection can do to lower their risk of cancer or find cancer early.

  • HPV and Cancer

    A fact sheet about the link between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cancer.

  • Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Cancer

    A fact sheet about the results of research on menopausal hormone therapy. Includes information about the effect of menopausal hormone therapy on the body. Also outlines the benefits and risks of using menopausal hormones.

  • Nasopharyngeal Radium Irradiation (NRI) and Cancer

    A fact sheet about nasopharyngeal radium irradiation, widely used from 1940 through 1970 to treat ear dysfunctions in children and military personnel.

  • Obesity and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that summarizes research on the potential link between obesity and cancer risk.

  • Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet about research on the association of oral contraceptive use with risk of various cancers.

  • Psychological Stress and Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes the effects of stress on the body, the results of research on the relationship between stress and cancer, and information about coping with stress.

  • Radon and Cancer

    A fact sheet about radon, an odorless radioactive gas, and its possible association with cancer, and how to test for radon in the home.

  • Reproductive History and Breast Cancer Risk

    A fact sheet that describes what is known about the relationship between pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, and the risk of breast cancer. It also briefly describes what is known about reproductive history and the risk of other cancer types.

  • Secondhand Smoke and Cancer

    A fact sheet that summarizes the studies on the health effects of exposure to environmental (secondhand) tobacco smoke.

  • Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer

    A fact sheet about the health risks associated with the use of smokeless tobacco.

Support, Coping, and Resources

  • End-of-Life Care for People Who Have Cancer

    A fact sheet that answers some of the questions patients, their family members, and caregivers may have about the end of life.

  • Hospice Care

    A fact sheet about hospice care, including insurance coverage.

  • How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer

    A fact sheet that offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.

  • Palliative Care in Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes the role of palliative care, which is comfort care given to a patient who has a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer, from the time of diagnosis and throughout the course of illness.

  • Psychological Stress and Cancer

    A fact sheet that describes the effects of stress on the body, the results of research on the relationship between stress and cancer, and information about coping with stress.

Tobacco and Smoking Cessation