What’s New in Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer?

For patients with advanced head and neck cancers, immune-based therapies have started to show results against these hard-to-treat tumors. Two immunotherapy drugs were approved in 2016 for use when standard treatments failed, and many other agents are being tested in clinical trials. Immunotherapies work by enhancing the body’s natural defenses against malignancies, and have made … Continued

Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of many related viruses passed through sexual contact. A number of HPV strains can lead to the development of cervical cancer, as well as vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancer, which occurs in the middle part of the throat. Two strains – 16 and 18 – are … Continued

Do Hot Drinks Increase the Risk of Esophageal Cancer?

Based on a review of numerous scientific studies, the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) recently concluded that routine consumption of “very hot” drinks probably raises the risk of esophageal cancer. The review, by a panel of 23 experts around the world, found that drinking beverages such as coffee or tea at very high … Continued

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that may affect the larynx, the area of the throat used for speaking; the nasopharynx, the area of the throat behind the nose; or the oropharynx, the middle part of the throat. Throat cancer symptoms vary depending on the location of the cancer, but may … Continued

Managing Oral Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Oral problems such as mouth sores, dry mouth, jaw pain, and sensitive gums are a common complaint for cancer patients, because the very treatments that target fast-growing cancer cells can also affect healthy cells in the mouth. Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy may cause mouth sores and dry mouth, while some newer targeted therapies … Continued

What Is the Best Diet for Someone with Oral Cancer?

Side effects from oral cancer and its treatment can make it challenging to eat essential nutrients that can maintain strength and support recovery. Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, a senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, shares strategies for reaching your nutritional goals:   Eat small meals often Have six to eight small meals or … Continued

What Are the Most Common Cancers in Women?

While there is no sure method for avoiding cancer, understanding risk factors can help you make decisions about prevention and screening for early signs of disease. As we recognize National Women’s Health Week, here’s a look at the five most common cancers in women* and steps you can take to help find these diseases early: … Continued

What Does a Thyroid Cancer Lump Feel Like?

While 80 to 90 percent of reported thyroid lumps are not cancerous, performing “neck checks” can help you become familiar with what your thyroid looks and feels like, so you can tell your heath care professional if you notice any changes. Jochen Lorch, MD, director of the Thyroid Cancer Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer … Continued

How to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer

Each year, more than 48,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer, which occurs in the oral cavity – lips and cheeks, gums, tongue, floor or roof of the mouth – and the oropharynx, referring to the back of the mouth, the tonsils, and the base of the tongue. While … Continued

Tips for Quitting Chewing Tobacco

Often associated with professional athletes, smokeless or chewing tobacco is a major risk factor for several cancers, including oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancer. While “chew” and “snuff” won’t be making their way to ballparks in Boston this baseball season, thanks to a citywide ban at all professional and amateur sporting venues, the habit is addictive … Continued

Five Things You Need to Know About Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and can sometimes be a precursor for esophageal cancer. The condition occurs when the tissue lining the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) begins to resemble tissue that lines the intestines as a result of chronic regurgitation of … Continued

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that forms in tissues of the oral cavity (the mouth) or the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth). The oral cavity includes the lips, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the front two thirds of the tongue, the … Continued

Comedian Gets Last Laugh on Cancer

Joe Yannetty earns a living making people laugh, so when it came to thanking his caregivers at Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology (DF/NHOH) for the successful treatment of his throat cancer, candy or flowers just wasn’t going to cut it. For Yannetty, a Boston-based comedian since 1983, gratitude was best expressed by doing what he does best: taking the … Continued

Why the Pan-Mass Challenge Is My Kinetic Karma

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 … Continued

The Link Between HPV and Cancer [Infographic]

Approximately 5 percent of cancers worldwide are caused by strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), including cervical, anal, and some head and neck cancers. Learn more about the link between HPV and cancer in the infographic below:

Five Things You Need to Know About Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancers represent a group of cancers that affect the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth. While these diseases only represent 2.5 percent of new cancer cases in the U.S., they affect vital functions, including swallowing and speaking. Here are five things to know about head and neck cancer: 1. What are the … Continued

Common Myths About the HPV Vaccine

When it comes to vaccines, particularly the HPV vaccine, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that girls and boys aged 11 or 12 years be vaccinated against HPV, the human papillomavirus, which can be spread during sexual activity and can cause cervical cancer in … Continued

How Robotics are Improving Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck (oropharyngeal) cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the U.S., with nearly 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Though tobacco and alcohol use can raise the risk of developing the disease, exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) poses an even greater risk. People who have had an oral HPV infection have a 50 … Continued

How is Research Improving Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers?

Head and neck cancers account for 3 to 5 percent of all cancers in the United States and can occur in the oral and nasal cavities, the sinuses, the throat, the larynx, the salivary glands, and the thyroid. When diagnosed early, many head and neck cancers can be cured with combinations of surgery, radiation, and … Continued

Facts About Throat Cancer

Throat cancer is one of many cancers that affect the head and neck area, including the nasopharynx, the area of the throat behind the nose; the oropharynx, middle part of the throat; the hypopharynx, the bottom section of the throat; the oral cavity where the tongue sits; and the larynx, the area of the throat … Continued