A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that has formed a lump. It’s called benign if it grows slowly and is self-limiting; that is, if it doesn’t have the capacity to invade nearby tissues and spread beyond its original site.
A malignant, or cancerous, tumor, on the other hand, is innately dangerous because its cells can divide uncontrollably and produce virtually immortal daughter cells. Malignant tumor cells can penetrate and destroy adjacent tissue, and can metastasize, or travel through the circulation to distant parts of the body and form new tumors.
Win or lose, Miss America contestant Allyn Rose made news with her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. According to the Associated Press, Rose, who lost her mother to breast cancer, inherited a rare genetic mutation which might put her at greater risk for developing cancer.
Her decision to have the preventive surgery has sparked questions about genetics, cancer risk and strategies for preventing cancer.
If you have a question about genetic factors that increase cancer risk, you can ask the Dana-Farber cancer genetics team.
Asking an editor to pick his or her favorite story is like asking a kid to pick out just one piece of candy. It’s a tough task. Luckily, we’re not bound by the one-piece rule. So here are a few stories that you might have missed, or might want to view again.
Today, we wanted to take a moment to share a couple of free mobile apps. Both were developed here at Dana-Farber but they have very different uses.
The first app is for the iPad and it’s very simple – a year’s worth of beautiful photos showing some of the happier moments in the lives of our patients and staff. Read more
by Anne Tonachel
In 1997, when our children were all grown up, my husband Dick and I moved from the suburbs to Cambridge, right near many Boston hospitals. We bought a condo with an extra bedroom, and we shortly thereafter read about Hospitality Homes in the paper. Getting involved with them seemed like a great way to do something useful with the space.
We’ve been hosting people for more than 15 years now, and every individual and family is different. We’ve celebrated with some, cried with others, but it’s always meaningful. We love having people from all over the world stay at our home. One couple from Italy stayed with us while their baby was being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital. When we traveled to Italy on vacation they returned the favor. It felt like we were visiting old friends.
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are upon us – again. The stores are overflowing with holiday goods as families gear up for their celebrations.
However, if someone you love has recently died, thinking about the holidays may bring you anguish. What were once happy times might now fill you with tremendous sadness and heartache. You may even wish that this year, you could skip the holidays all together. Read more
by Erica Mayer, MD, MPH
In 1974, when First Lady Betty Ford announced that she had undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer, it was a turning point in people’s willingness to talk about the disease. Prior to that, discussing cancer of any type, even with one’s family or friends, was often taboo. The First Lady’s openness about her cancer helped create a space in which women felt more comfortable talking about their experience – and about being screened for the disease.
This Sunday, 7,000 runners will step up to the starting line for the 12th annual Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. 500 of them will run not only to set a personal record on the 13.1-mile course, but also to raise money for Dana-Farber. Included in that group are a number of runners we’re happy to call our colleagues. Here are two of their stories.
Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen are the smiling faces once found on every container of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The Burlington, Vt. company’s co-founders have become as famous for their charitable work as they are for Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.
Here Jerry talks about his company’s support of Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl® presented by FedEx, the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival to be held this year from noon to 8 p.m. on June 5-7 at Boston’s City Hall Plaza.
For most people, a cancer diagnosis brings the daily routine of life to a grinding halt, at least temporarily. But after the initial shock wears off, many patients strive to resume their everyday activities, including vacation or travel plans.
Being treated for cancer doesn’t necessarily mean cancelling your summer vacation. Many people travel during and after cancer treatment. But it can require a little planning. Read more