Archive for November 29, 2013

Video: Blogging Through Cancer

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When Tara Shuman was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012, blogging was not the first thing that came to mind.

“I put together an email to my friends and family to tell them about my diagnosis, and I realized when writing the email that it was very therapeutic,” Shuman says.

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Managing the Holidays When You Have Cancer

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By Julie Salinger, LICSW

The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful, especially for cancer patients and their family caregivers. In addition to the extra time spent on shopping, cooking, and socializing, family interactions may bring complex dynamics, old grievances, and varying expectations to the forefront. The pressure to be “festive” can make even the healthiest person weary.

Here are some tips for patients and their families for an enjoyable holiday season. Read more

Photo History: The Legacy of Dr. Sidney Farber

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This Thanksgiving, as we continue to look for better ways to care for our patients today, and in the future, we also look back and give thanks to the foresight of our founder, Sidney Farber, MD.

Sidney Farber at microscope

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Fighting the Lung Cancer Stigma

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Despite the research, the promising new drugs, the many ongoing clinical trials, lung cancer remains a disease that affects too many people, too often. For patients and family members, the disease carries an added burden: a stigma that lung cancer and smoking go hand in hand, and that lung cancer patients brought this on themselves. Not only must these patients and family members face their disease, but they also must carry the guilt and blame that some people cast their way.

When we posted a recent infographic on smoking and cancer, we unintentionally helped promote that stigma. We’re deeply sorry and have removed the infographic.

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What’s the Difference Between Donating Bone Marrow and Donating Stem Cells?

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Stem cell transplantation (sometimes called bone marrow transplants) is a treatment for certain forms of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, as well as other diseases. But before a patient can receive a transplant, stem cells must be collected from a donor (an allogeneic donation) or from the patient (an autologous transplant). Read more

Research Report: New Treatments for Melanoma

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by Richard Saltus

As recently as five years ago, progress in treating life-threatening malignant melanoma was slow. Since then, several molecularly targeted drugs have burst on the scene, and new strategies for awakening the immune system to attack the cancer cells have yielded dramatic long-term survival benefits for some patients.

“The outlook for patients has never been so good – and we anticipate that in the next year or two it will be much better,” says Louise M. Perkins, PhD, chief science officer for the Melanoma Research Alliance, which funds research on the skin cancer.

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Infographic: Pancreatic Cancer by the Numbers

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As November marks Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, view the infographic below to learn more about the disease:

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Clinical Trials and the Future of Lymphoma Treatment

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Current lymphoma therapies are a far cry from the mustard gas used more than 50 years ago. More treatment options, including ones that may be more effective and less toxic, are being studied in ongoing clinical trials.

“Clinical trials really are the future of lymphoma treatment,” says Ann LaCasce, MD, a medical oncologist in the Adult Lymphoma Program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

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ABC’s Amy Robach Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at Age 40

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One month after undergoing a mammogram live on “Good Morning America,” ABC reporter Amy Robach announced Monday she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will undergo a double mastectomy later this week.

At 40-years old, Robach is among a population of younger women with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States occur in women age 40 and younger.

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Marine Conquers Leukemia with Support from Family and the Massachusetts State Police

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By Tim Crowley

This Veteran’s Day, Dana-Farber thanks our patients, survivors, families, and friends who have served or are serving in the armed forces, including survivors Stacey Carroll, Ben Groen, and Tim Crowley, who tells his story below.

In June 2010, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-moving disease where too many immature white blood cells are present in the blood and bone marrow, after doctors found abnormalities in routine blood work for the Marines. My wife, Julie, and I were in shock. We had just celebrated Father’s Day with our two young children, Jack and Kate, and now we would be spending the foreseeable future at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

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