Tag Archive for cancer care

Lung Cancer: Five Things You Need to Know

Share

More than 228,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2013, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

With November marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, answers some key questions about the disease: Read more

How to Prepare for Your First Visit with a Cancer Specialist

Share

By Karen Lee Sobol

I used to think of hospitals as halls of science. But recently I learned the word “clinic” comes from the Greek, meaning “bedside art.” While we’d all rather avoid a visit to a cancer clinic, there’s a lot we can do to make the first visit a productive, positive experience.

For my first visit to Dana-Farber, my husband joined me, along with my own wild emotions—anxiety, fear, and fury among them—and four pages of questions.

I found that at that first visit, an oncologist gets to know you in two ways: clinically and personally.

Read more

Video: Nearly 100 Patients Inspire Others with Stories of Hope

Share

Each year, Dana-Farber patients join clinicians, staff, and the Boston Red Sox to share their stories of inspiration and their belief in the research advances at Dana-Farber during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon at Fenway Park.

This year, nearly 100 patients, including Rayquan Fregeau, who used art and resources from the Betty Ann Blum and Marjorie Blum Pediatric Resource Room to cope with his diagnosis; Debbie Whitmore, a mother of five who hopes for a cure for future generations; and Jack Robinson, who compiled a joke book to help other children during their treatment, shared their experiences battling cancer. Stephen Hodi, MD, Ursula Matulonis, MD, and other clinicians discussed the research and treatment strides donors help make possible.

Watch this video of highlights from the 36-hour event, which raised more than $3.5 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber:

Read more

Four Simple Tips for Eating Healthy

Share

By Robert Foley

There is a vast amount of information available on nutrition and how to live a healthy lifestyle, but according to Dana-Farber Nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, “the best approach is to start small.”

“When it comes to nutrition, small changes can make a big difference,” Kennedy says.

One of those changes can be as simple as eating an extra piece of fruit every day. In a recent study, done by the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland, men and women who ate two or more apples a day reduced their risk of colon cancer by 50 percent. That extra apple a day also helped decrease pancreatic cancer by 25 percent, the study said.

Read more

Foods to Keep in Your Diet Before and After a Mastectomy

Share

During cancer treatment, a nutritious and well-rounded diet can help you cope with side effects of chemotherapy, maintain energy and support the immune system. If you are preparing for a mastectomy or other major surgery, a healthy diet will also provide nutrients to help optimize healing time.

Most patients who undergo a mastectomy can return to regular eating habits two weeks after the surgery, but nutritionists recommend a healthy diet to be ideally implemented before the procedure to help you heal and set up long-term healthy eating habits. There are several foods we suggest make it to your plate both before and after the procedure:

Read more

Four Lessons from a Cancer Caregiver

Share

By Patrick Palmer

In June 2001, my wife, Angela Palmer, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer while we were living in Tucson, Arizona. This was a huge shock. She had annual mammograms and never had any indications of disease.

Patrick and Angela Palmer

Angela and Patrick Palmer

She had a lumpectomy and completed about 50 percent of her chemotherapy protocol before we moved to the northeast where our family was located. We arrived in Boston in December 2001, bought a house and became engaged with a tremendous Dana-Farber team including Wendy Chen, MD, MPH, medical oncologist and Jennifer Bellon, MD, radiation oncologist. Angela immediately resumed her therapy and I became her caregiver.

Read more

Chemotherapy Related Neuropathy: Managing this Nerve Wracking Problem

Share

While chemotherapy can kill cancer cells, certain chemotherapy drugs can also cause an uncomfortable and distressing condition that may produce numbness, tingling, and discomfort in the arms or legs. This condition, known as peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), can make it difficult for people to perform day-to-day activities.

Although there is no sure prevention for CIPN, there are ways to control the pain and minimize its effects on quality of life, says Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of South Florida and post-doctoral fellow at Dana-Farber and the University of Massachusetts.

Read more

What Should I Expect for my PET/CT Scan?

Share

By Melanie Graham

Patients undergo different types of scanning procedures to produce detailed images of potential cancer growth. Depending on the cancer, physicians may use MRI, mammography, CT, PET/CT or other technologies.

While some of these procedures use only x-rays or radio waves to create images, a PET/CT scan uses a combination of traditional x-rays and computer imaging. A radioactive substance similar to glucose is given to the patient, and because cancer cells tend to use more glucose than normal cells, PET/CT scans can help detect the biological activity of those cancer cells.

Read more