Archive for August 30, 2012

A Closer Look at Childhood Cancer

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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Beginning next Wednesday, and over the next four weeks, we’ll introduce four children – Caitlynne, Fernando, Sarah and Steven – who while still young, have already overcome one of the biggest challenges of their lives.

These four represent just a few of the many faces of childhood cancer across the United States and the world. We hope you’ll join us in September in honoring all of the children who come to Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, as well as their caregivers—doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, researchers, administrators and more—who work tirelessly until every child is well.

We begin with a conversation with Lisa Diller, MD, chief medical officer and clinical director of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.

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Nine foods for cancer patients

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A pill bottle isn’t the only option for relieving stress and discomfort caused by cancer and its treatments. Sometimes you can eat your way to feeling better.

Dana-Farber nutrition expert Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, suggests some common foods that can pep you up, calm you down, relieve nausea, and potentially fight cancer at the same time.

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Swollen lymph nodes in children: When to seek care

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 Although swollen lymph nodes (also known as swollen glands) are usually a sign of an infection or inflammation, they can, very infrequently, be a sign of cancer or a rare disorder.

Rachael Grace, MD, and Christopher Weldon, MD, PhD, co-directors of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center’s Node Assessment Program in Waltham, Mass., offer the following tips for families worried about “lumps and bumps” in their children.

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Desensitization Helps Patients Overcome Allergy to Chemotherapy

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Just as people may wheeze and itch in the presence of cats or pollen, a minority of cancer patients become allergic to the very drugs that are fighting their disease. Read more

Making a party out of cancer

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Every Sunday, the Cutter family holds a Chemofeast. The door to their home is open to any and all who wish to attend. It’s a day full of food, beverages, and a lot of laughter, and 15-year-old Blake Cutter gets to choose the menu. Then on Monday, his mother, Lois, drives him to chemotherapy at Dana-Farber. Read more

Cancer survivor, 17, has ‘go for it’ approach

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Maddie Dillon, 17, did not really understand what cancer was when she was diagnosed at age 8. With the help of Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, she beat her leukemia, but only briefly. Six months later it came back, and she went through more treatment. Read more

Survivorship care brings peace of mind

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Award-winning photographer Richard Conboy understands the value of enjoying the moment, both in his pictures and in his life. Conboy had Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a teenager, and 40 years later, he beat colon cancer with the help of the Dana-Farber. Read more

Meet Henry: a cancer survivor who was diagnosed before he was born

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Henry Fenollosa’s problems began before he was born, when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

His infancy was was spent largely at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, where he received treatment for his disease with his family looking on.

Today, Henry’s an active seven-year-old, who loves to show off his lacrosse stickhandling abilities and his skill on a bicycle. Meet the amazing seven-year-old in this video.

Tune into WEEI or NESN to hear Henry live on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon on August 22, 2012. Henry is scheduled to be on WEEI during the 11 a.m. hour on Wednesday.

 

Black Hawk Pilot Ben Groen battles lymphoma diagnosis

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New Year’s Eve 2010. In a military hospital in Hawaii with much of the staff away for the holidays, Army pilot Ben Groen learned he’d been diagnosed with T cell lymphoblastic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare, aggressive cancer of the white blood cells and lymph nodes. His doctor told him that his treatment – which would need to begin almost immediately and require months of hospitalization – would exceed the capacity of the base’s blood bank. Read more

‘Blood brothers’ celebrate stem cell transplant

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Craig Johnson (left) with stem donor Henrik Janssen

Their last names are practically identical. They are both fathers, and their oldest sons, now 6’3, were born on the same day – just two hours apart. “Blood brothers” Craig Johnson and Henrik Janssen had much to celebrate recently. Read more