Cancer and Alcohol: What You Should Know

alcohol, wine, cancer

Questions often arise about the relationship between alcohol and cancer: Does it increase cancer risk? Is it safe to drink while in treatment? What about after treatment? Several studies have linked alcohol consumption to a higher risk of many cancers, including breast, mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, and colon and rectum. The risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Worldwide, 3.6 percent of all cancer cases and 3.5 percent of cancer deaths are caused by alcohol consumption, according to a 2006 study. The type of beverage doesn’t matter – the culprit is the alcohol itself. Many studies have specifically …

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Women Cross Globe to Run for Dana-Farber

Paris Marathon, DFMC

“Go Dana-Farber!” Clad in her brightly-colored team singlet, Sigrid Wheatley loved hearing shouts of encouragement while running the B.A.A. Half Marathon® in Boston last October in support of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. When she took on her first full marathon for the same beneficiary this April, she heard the cheers again – and even some shouts of “Go Red Sox!” – only this time the personalized support surprised her. After all, she was running the streets of Paris. “There must have been a lot of Americans in the crowd, or they were being friendly when they saw ‘Dana-Farber’ across …

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A Special Curriculum: Teachers Tell Their Students About Cancer

lymphoma, teaching

Gina Johnson and Connie Grayson have a combined 53 years teaching in the public school system. Last year, however, their cancer diagnoses prompted them to incorporate a new element into their lesson plans. “When I was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2014, one of my student’s moms had just passed away from cancer,” says Grayson, a fourth-grade teacher at the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School in Winthrop, Mass. “I wanted to teach my students about cancer and let them know that not everyone who has cancer dies from it.” Grayson gathered books and videos to help explain her diagnosis to …

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A Life-Saving Bridal Shower

bridal shower blood drive

Before Alden Coldwell and her fiancé, Peter Dearborn, were married in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire at the end of June, the couple opted for a different kind of bridal shower. On June 14, family and friends of the bride and groom gathered at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center in Boston to give blood instead of material gifts. The blood collected was donated to help save the lives of patients at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We’ve never done anything quite like this,” says Malissa Lichtenwalter, supervisor for donor recruitment at the Kraft Center. “But we are …

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Stem Cell Transplant Donor, Recipient Meet for First Time at Fenway Park

stem cell transplant, fenway

After trying chemotherapy to fight acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer, Donnie Lewis, a 56-year-old husband and father of two from Canton, Mass., learned that his best chance to return to health would be through a stem cell transplant. Because Donnie didn’t have any siblings who were a match for this procedure, his care team had to search national registries for a lifesaving donor match. They found one person who was a perfect match: Daniel Alcantor, a 21-year-old Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Alcantor donated the stem cells that saved Lewis’s life. Lewis and Alcantor, …

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One Teacher Aims to Climb His Own ‘Everest’ to Help Fight Cancer

During a year in which both his wife and mother battled cancer, Andrew Macrae often felt as if he were summiting a mountain. Now, to honor their journey and support Dana-Farber, Macrae is scaling the 29,029 feet needed to reach the peak of the world’s tallest mountain – Mount Everest – without nearing the Himalayas. Starting today, Macrae will hike to the top of Mount Washington in North Conway, New Hampshire, six times in six days, an endurance test totaling the height of Mount Everest. A Scottish-born fifth-grade teacher at the British International School of Boston, he hatched the idea …

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What Are the Most Common Cancers in Each Age Group? [Infographic]

cancer, infographic

As we age, the overall risk of cancer increases. However, the type of cancer for which we are at risk varies. For example, the likelihood of someone younger than 20 years old developing cancer is quite low; only 0.19 cases will be diagnosed per 1,000 children annually. If they do develop cancer, however, they are more likely to be diagnosed with cancers of the blood or brain and central nervous system. By contrast, approximately 16.5 cases will be diagnosed per 1,000 people age 50 and older, but the most prevalent cancers in that age group are breast, prostate, colon and lung. The …

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Young Adults Share Their Cancer Journeys Through Photos

Nature's Scars

When Jenn Jackson, a trained physician, was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in 2011 and found out she could no longer practice medicine, the news was devastating. “Getting this cancer diagnosis changed the whole trajectory of my life,” says Jackson, who was diagnosed at 35, after completing 10 years of medical training. But, craving a greater sense of purpose, Jackson soon found a new career: photography. “Now that I have cancer, I pay more attention to things that I see, and I wanted to share that beauty with other people,” she says. Jackson is now sharing that perspective through the YAP: Focus …

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What Are the Most Common Cancers in Men vs. Women? [Infographic]

SMALL_Screenshot 2015-06-18 13.17.49

Although men and women have different anatomies, they share some similarities in the types of cancers they develop. Colorectal cancer and lung cancer, for example, are common cancers developed by both men and women. The most common cancer differs in each gender, however; prostate cancer and breast cancer are the most prevalent in men and women, respectively. Learn more about the most common cancers in men vs. women in the infographic below:

Why the Pan-Mass Challenge Is My Kinetic Karma

pan-mass challenge

By Dave Lafreniere I rode in my first Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) the day after my mother died. She was a two-time breast cancer survivor who developed an unrelated, rare ocular melanoma while I was training. She passed away in the early morning of August 2, 2002, as I sat by and held her hand. After feeling her heart beat its last, I picked up my bike and headed out to the Wellesley starting line. Getting through that first PMC was much easier than I expected. I was alone, I was grieving, but once I got on the road people were …

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