Cancer Basics

These resources provide general information about the basics of cancer and research.

Last updated: August 2022

What Is Cancer?

The National Cancer Institute provides information about the definition of cancer, differences between cancer cells and normal cells, how cancer develops, types of genes that cause cancer, when cancer spreads, and types of cancer.

Questions To Ask About Cancer

The American Cancer Society provides a detailed list of sample questions you could ask the health care team that might help you better understand your loved one’s cancer diagnosis and the treatment options.

Gynecologic Cancer Care Team

The Foundation for Women's Cancer provides information on the medical care providers who receive specialized training to treat gynecologic cancers and manage care from diagnosis to completion of treatment.

About Gynecologic Oncologists

Experts at the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program

Cancer Genetics

The National Cancer Institute provides basic information about the genetics of cancer including hereditary cancer syndromes, genetic tests, and identifying genetic changes in cancer.

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer has a seven-minute video about understanding genetics in gynecologic cancers which includes information on inherited cancer syndromes, genetic testing and genetic counselors.

The National Cancer Institute provides information on BRCA gene mutations and the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

What Are Clinical Trials?

The National Cancer Institute provides information covering the basics of cancer clinical trials, including what they are, where they take place, and the types of clinical trials. Also, the NCI explains trial phases, randomization, placebo, and members of the research team.

The site provides current information about clinical research studies to patients, their families and caregivers, health care professionals, and the public. Each study record includes a summary of the study protocol, including the purpose, recruitment status, and eligibility criteria. Study locations and specific contact information are listed to assist with enrollment.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Clinical Trial website provides a tool to browse current clinical trials and research studies that are taking place within UPMC.

UPMC Chemotherapy Drug Sheets

Comprehensive list of treatments for cancer including chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

UPMC Radiation Therapy Information

Information regarding radiation therapy and potential side effects.