How Cancer Patients Can Benefit from a Lifestyle of Mindfulness

Dan Harris speaking at Dana-Farber about the importance of mindfulness.

There are many ways to define mindfulness. In a recent talk given at Dana-Farber, ABC news correspondent Dan Harris said mindfulness is the “ability to know what’s happening in your head right now without getting carried away by it.” Patricia Arcari, PhD, RN, of Dana-Farber’s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, descibes it as paying attention and being fully aware of what you’re doing in the present moment. Definitions aside, mindfulness and meditation have proven to be powerful tools to help people through difficult circumstances. The practices are ancient but the research is relatively new – and findings suggest mindfulness and …

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Ten Myths About Breast Cancer [Infographic]

breast cancer infographic

More than 230,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, making it the most common cancer among American women. With so many people affected by breast cancer, there is a lot of information — and unfortunately, misinformation — available. As October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re dispelling the top ten myths about breast cancer. View the infographic below to learn more: More information on breast cancer treatment and research.

Can Coffee Affect Colon Cancer Risk or Survival?

colon cancer, coffee

Colon cancer patients who drink several cups of coffee daily may have a significantly lower risk of recurrence after treatment and an improved chance of cure. That’s the provocative finding of a large study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The research is the first to link colon cancer recurrence and coffee;  it comes on the heels of a number of reports in recent years suggesting coffee consumption may offer some protection against various types of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, advanced prostate cancer. However, the researchers, led by Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the …

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How to Care for Your Skin After Cancer Treatment

skin care, cancer treatment

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause changes to your skin during and after cancer treatment. Follow these tips and check in with your doctor regularly to ensure your skin is in the healthiest condition possible throughout your cancer experience. Chemotherapy Dry skin is a common side effect of chemotherapy. If you experience dry skin, using mild soaps and lukewarm (not hot) water, cleansing lotions, and creams may help. You should also avoid hormone creams, such as hydrocortisone, which can be harmful to the skin. Moisturizers may also help combat dry skin. For the most effective results, apply moisturizer while your …

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Five Things You Need to Know About Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Nuts may help prevent certain cancers.

While one of the most common cancers in both men and women, colorectal cancer remains a very preventable disease, says Jeffrey Meyerhardt, MD, MPH, clinical director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology. “Most of these cancers develop over a period of years,” he says. “While not preventable in everyone, the earlier you detect the disease, the more curable it is.” Here are some tips from Meyerhardt on ways to reduce your risk. Live a healthy lifestyle. “There are various dietary factors that play a role in colorectal cancer,” explains Meyerhardt. “The one that’s the most consistently shown in studies is …

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Why I Ride: Dr. Christopher Sweeney

Team Shawmut PMC

Since 1980, more than 88,000 cyclists have taken to Massachusetts’ roads for the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) to raise funds for cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber. Among the riders are many patients, their family members, and their doctors. Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, medical oncologist in Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, is one of them. We recently spoke with Dr. Sweeney about what motivates him to ride. Why did you start riding the PMC? In addition to treating patients with genitourinary cancers, particularly prostate and testicular cancer, I do clinical and translational research, with a focus on trying to find …

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Coping with Breast Cancer as a Young Adult

Young women breast cancer Hangout

Young women with breast cancer face many unique emotional challenges: They may be in college, dating, starting a career, raising a family, or trying to start one. “Cancer disrupts many aspects of young adulthood such as family planning, careers, relationships, sexuality, and sexual health,” said Karen Fasciano, PsyD, clinical psychologist and director of Dana-Farber’s Young Adult Program, who recently joined four young women in different stages of breast cancer treatment to discuss their experiences. During a Google+ Hangout, Heidi Floyd, Nadia Tase, Danielle Ameden, and Beverly McKee, MSW, LCSW, shared with viewers the challenges they faced, ways they found support …

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What Is the Link Between Diet and Melanoma?

By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD When it comes to sun safety, lathering on sunscreen, sporting broad-brimmed hats and staying in the shade surely come to mind. But diet may also play a key role in the prevention of skin cancer and melanoma. Here is some information on the emerging research around obesity, antioxidant intake, vitamin D and other potential nutrition-related links to melanoma. Obesity & Melanoma At any age, maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important strategies for cancer prevention, including melanoma. While there have not been many in-depth studies on the topic, obesity is emerging as …

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Super Bowl Champion Joe Andruzzi Shares His Cancer Experience

Joe Andruzzi

With six surgeries, multiple injuries, and many knee problems by the time he was 31 years old, three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Andruzzi was no stranger to doctors. But when the former New England Patriots player started experiencing stomach pains in May 2007, everything quickly changed. He and his wife, Jen, recently shared their experience at Dana-Farber’s 12th annual Young Adult Cancer Conference. Everything was put on hold. Joe: I had just finished my tenth year in the NFL, and was ready to train and show people I still had something in the tank, because you get old really fast …

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Melanoma – What’s the Latest?

PF_Jennifer Lin166from BWH

Sun safety applies to everyone, regardless of skin color, gender, or age. That was the message emphasized in a recent live video webchat with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) dermatologist Jennifer Lin, MD. During the chat, Lin answered questions about the latest in melanoma treatment and prevention. “The bottom line is that UV radiation causes mutations in our genes, which can lead to cancer,” says Lin, who works in DF/BWCC’s Melanoma Treatment Center. “We have to live with the sun, so it’s important that we learn to limit exposure and minimize a lifetime risk of accumulating genetic mutations. ” …

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