Walking to Give ‘Hope for Nicholas’

childhood cancer, jimmy fund walk

Before Nicholas Cleary was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, his mother, Lisa, and aunt, Nicole, often talked about participating in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai and had contributed to other Walk teams in the past. So when Nicholas was diagnosed at 22-months old, Nicole and Lisa knew right away they would start a team. “I’ve always supported organizations like the Jimmy Fund,” says Nicole. “But it has a totally different meaning when you are experiencing cancer first-hand.” A first-year team, “Hope for Nicholas” has raised a significant amount of money and recruited 34 team members. The …

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From Pediatric to Young Adult Patient: The Importance of Advocating for Yourself

madagascar, brain tumor

By Jeremy Pivor I have been living with cancer for half my life: first as a 12-year-old boy, and now as a 24-year-old young adult. In the 12 years since I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I have been cared for at Dana-Farber, where I am currently receiving treatment for an inoperable recurrence. Despite 11 years recovering and living my dreams of traveling and studying around the world, when I walk through the halls of Dana-Farber, I can’t help but feel like I have come full circle, as if nothing has changed. In reality, my tumor may be the …

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Can Two Ovarian Cancer Drugs Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

ovarian cancer, research

When Donna Gregory’s ovarian cancer came back for the third time, she began looking for alternatives to chemotherapy. She’d been diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in 2003, at age 58. After having surgery to remove her tumors, she tried platinum-based chemotherapy, but her cancer did not respond. Several more chemotherapy drugs worked, but only briefly. Gregory searched for experimental alternatives and found a clinical trial, led by Joyce Liu, MD, at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. The trial was open to women with recurrent ovarian cancer, and wasn’t restricted to BRCA mutation carriers or …

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Federally Funded Research Can Power Progress Against Cancer


This post originally appeared on the AACR Cancer Research Catalyst Blog. This week, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released the results of a national survey on American voters’ opinions about cancer and cancer research funding in conjunction with its fifth annual Cancer Progress Report. The report highlights how federally funded research can power progress against cancer and urges Congress and the administration to prioritize the growth of the budgets of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read more: Explaining the Complexities of Cancer Five Things You Should …

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Advice for Parenting During Cancer Treatment

parenting, cancer

From telling children about a diagnosis to juggling school and sports schedules with treatment, parents face many unique emotional and logistical challenges when diagnosed with cancer. Sarah Silvia, a single mom treated at Dana-Farber for lymphoma, recently shared her experience during a live Dana-Farber webchat with Dana-Farber social workers Allison Dibiaso, LICSW, and Kelly Drummond, LICSW. For Silvia, talking with her three children upfront, being honest, and maintaining structures and routines were vital in managing family life during treatment, as was finding childcare and transportation support. “Families come in all shapes and sizes now,” said Drummond, who was Silvia’s social …

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What African-American Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer


The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates there will be 220,800 cases of prostate cancer in 2015, and 27,540 deaths. African-Americans have a 60 percent higher incidence of prostate cancer compared to other ethnic groups, and a 150 percent higher risk of dying from it – in part because blacks tend to have a more aggressive form. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and to have a more advanced stage when diagnosed. For the last dozen years, Tom Farrington has been sounding the alarm about the disproportionately high risk of prostate cancer facing black …

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What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer? [Infographic]

ovarian cancer symptoms, infographic

In its early stages, ovarian cancer can be hard to detect; symptoms can go unnoticed or may be attributed to other, more common health problems. However, symptoms do exist and can include shortness of breath, bloating, feeling full quickly, and menstrual changes. Typically, symptoms worsen over time. Learn more in the infographic below: While there is no proven screening method for early-stage ovarian cancer and detection is difficult, women should remember that certain risk factors can increase the chance of developing the disease, including BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations, problems with fertility, or having a family history of breast, ovarian, or colorectal …

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Tips for Managing Neuropathy


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a condition that is a result of nerve damage caused by cancer treatment, can be a frustrating side effect patients face. People with CIPN can experience tingling, numbness and pain in the arms, hands, legs and feet. Although there is no clear CIPN treatment that can improve nerve damage, a combination of vitamins, supplements, pain medications, adaptive techniques and complementary therapies may help reduce symptoms. Clare Sullivan, MPH, BSN, OCN, clinical program manager for Patient Education at Dana-Farber, recently answered questions about neuropathy during a live text chat. Sullivan covered safety, prevention, symptom management, and more. …

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What Is a Checkpoint Inhibitor?


Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs – often made of antibodies – that unleash an immune system attack on cancer cells. They’ve scored some impressive successes in recent years, particularly in some patients with metastatic melanoma or Hodgkin lymphoma, and are showing promise in clinical trials involving patients with other types of cancer. Checkpoint inhibitors seek to overcome one of cancer’s main defenses against an immune system attack. Immune system T cells patrol the body constantly for signs of disease or infection. When they encounter another cell, they probe certain proteins on its surface, which serve as insignia of the cell’s …

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What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Childhood Cancer?


Childhood cancers are very rare; in fact, they make up less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed annually. Therefore, there are not any regular screening tests, unless a child has an increased risk due to genetic predisposition. As September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at some of the common symptoms, and when parents should seek advice from a doctor. The symptoms of childhood cancer can be difficult to recognize because they often mimic those of typical childhood illnesses, such as the common cold. “Parents should only be concerned when symptoms persist, when they are getting …

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