Archive for Dana-Farber

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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New Statues Celebrate Sidney Farber, MD, and “Jimmy”

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund have long been connected with baseball. So it’s only fitting that the new statues of Dana-Farber founder Sidney Farber, MD, and 12-year-old Einar Gustafson, one of his early patients, reflect this historic relationship.

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How to Tell Your Children You Have Cancer

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by Richard Saltus

For many parents, their first concern after a cancer diagnosis is the impact it will have on their children. There’s a lot of medical information to digest and decisions to be made, including how and when to tell your children.

There are good reasons talk to your children as soon as possible after your diagnosis. No matter their age, children will realize something is wrong; they may discover the truth accidentally from someone else, and it’s better if you can present the information in an honest and hopeful manner.

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One Year After My Stem Cell Transplant — What I’ve Learned

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by Martha Laperle

When my son Ryan ran the Boston Marathon this year, I watched him with a special level of pride. Not only had he completed his first-ever marathon in four hours, but he was running, in large part, because of me.

Just over a year earlier, at the age of 57, I had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a diagnosis that turned my life upside down and led to weeks of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC). Ryan was running to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and had received nearly $11,000 in pledges.

Barely a minute after Ryan crossed the finish line, the area shook with explosions. Read more

Is a Preventive Mastectomy the Right Choice For You?

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Does having cancer in one breast increase the risk of cancer occurring in the other, healthy breast?

Young women with breast cancer often respond with a “yes” and overestimate the need to have the healthy breast surgically removed, according to a recent study by Dana-Farber investigators. However, the actual risk of cancer occurring in the healthy breast of those women without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is only two to four percent.

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Six Important Questions About Childhood Cancer

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We asked Lisa Diller, MD, chief medical officer at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, to answer these important questions.

What signs might lead a child’s pediatrician to suspect cancer?

Cancer is very diverse, and diagnosis is further complicated because many signs and symptoms—like fever, bruising and headaches—are normal in healthy children.

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Making ‘Em Laugh: 12-year-old Cancer Patient Compiles Joke Book

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Jack Robinson is a special kid.

Diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 11, he tackled treatment if not with a smile on his face, then with a joke on his lips… or more accurately, on paper. The Massachusetts resident compiled and edited a joke book called, “Make ‘em Laugh” to help himself, and other kids who were sick. It was drafted from hundreds of jokes, riddles, and drawings submitted by Robinson and other kids cared for in the Jimmy Fund Clinic and the inpatient oncology floors at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Dating and Cancer 101

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by Amy Atwood

SWF, Bald, Undergoing Chemo and Radiation…

Oh yeah, isn’t that the first profile you would click on if you were searching for the love of your life or even just a new ‘friend’ online? Dating in itself – or, I should say, finding someone to date – is never easy. Finding someone when you happen to be bald, going through chemo and/or making daily trips to the hospital for radiation makes it a zillion times more complicated. I know. I’ve tried it.

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Reasons for Optimism in Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer can be a frightening diagnosis. However, new treatment approaches and promising research trends have made the outlook for patients a little more optimistic, says David Jackman, MD, an oncologist in the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Read more

What Should You Do if You’re Diagnosed with DCIS?

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A group of specialists at the National Cancer Institute recently issued a report calling for a redefinition of the word “cancer,” suggesting that it no longer be applied to certain premalignant and non-lethal conditions. Such a change, the panel wrote, may ease the fears of patients, making them less inclined to seek unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments. The findings reinforce earlier studies by physicians at Dana-Farbers’ Susan F. Smith Centers for Women’s Cancers and others.

An example of this kind of condition is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), in which cancerous cells are confined to the milk ducts of the breast. It is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer, found in more than 60,000 women in the U.S. each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Read more