When Is Weight Loss a Sign of Cancer?

Everyone’s weight fluctuates over the course of life, rising or falling with changes in diet and exercise, and with the normal slowing of metabolism that occurs as we age. When weight loss occurs for no apparent reason – especially if the drop is dramatic – a variety of physical or psychological causes could be responsible. … Continued

Tips for Dealing with Lung Cancer Stigma

By Allison DiBiaso, LICSW A cancer diagnosis can fundamentally alter a person’s life, and it can often add an unexpected burden: stigma. Lung cancer patients are some of the people who experience this stigma most, as others may look at or treat them differently because of their diagnosis. In some cases, the patients themselves may … Continued

Cancer Mythbusters Episode #3: Smoking and Lung Cancer

Every time tobacco is inhaled, it creates conditions in the body almost ideally suited to the formation of cancer. So how do experts explain lung cancer in non-smokers – and what are the significant risk factors for lung cancer other than smoking?

Why Is It Difficult to Pinpoint the Exact Cause of a Person’s Cancer?

A diagnosis of cancer always comes as a shock, and the patient naturally asks the physician, why did this happen? Is it something I did or didn’t do, or did I inherit it, or were chemicals in the environment to blame? “Why patients develop cancers is not well known,” explains Irene Ghobrial, MD, of Dana-Farber. … Continued

How Does Cigarette Smoke Cause Lung Cancer?

Tobacco smoke is the number one risk factor for lung cancer – and every time it is inhaled, it deals a double blow to lung cells, creating conditions almost ideally suited to the formation of cancer. Chemicals such as tar and formaldehyde within tobacco smoke penetrate the cells and damage DNA. This can wreak havoc … Continued

Olympian Aly Raisman Honors Grandmother with Support of Lung Cancer Research

Nurses at Dana-Farber are used to hearing patients gush about their children and grandchildren during chemotherapy treatments, but Stephanie Ann Benoit, RN, still smiles when recalling how Nancy Raisman sang the praises of her granddaughter. “Aly is going to be in the Olympics,” the lung cancer patient would say proudly, a prediction that came true … Continued

Finding Happiness Despite Stage IV Lung Cancer

By Joann Totten As a non-smoker, I never imagined I would be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, let alone at age 50. But that’s what happened on Aug. 5, 2015, just six weeks after I started experiencing a non-productive cough. The doctors felt certain it was bronchitis, but as a radiation therapist for more … Continued

What is the Difference Between Small Cell and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is divided into two general categories based on its appearance under the microscope: small cell and non-small cell. Non-small cell is the more common type and currently accounts for about 87 percent of lung cancers. Doctors make a distinction between the two types of lung cancers because treatment approaches differ for each. Symptoms … Continued

Why Does Cancer Risk Increase As We Get Older?

Age is the biggest single risk factor for cancer. Risk increases significantly after age 50, and half of all cancers occur at age 66 and above. According to the National Cancer Institute, one quarter of new cancer diagnoses are in people aged 65 to 74. The median age of diagnosis varies in different cancer types … 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 Is a Liquid Biopsy?

A traditional biopsy is a test in which a piece of tissue is removed from a patient for analysis in a laboratory. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope, noting the shape, structure, and internal activity of the cells to determine whether the cells are cancerous and, if so, what type of cancer they … Continued

How a Car Accident Helped Diagnose Lung Cancer

We all know what to expect following a car accident: insurance claims, whiplash, maybe even a broken bone. Cancer, though? Not so common. For 40-year-old Laura Greco, this is what happened following a collision on a snowy day in February 2015.   If I hadn’t been in the car accident, I wouldn’t have found the … Continued

The Latest in Lung Cancer Treatment and Research

Over the last decade, treatment options for lung cancer patients have evolved drastically. Even in just the last few months, promising research has led to new, approved therapies, and researchers anticipate more advances are on the way. “Drugs are emerging at a rapid pace now,” says Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, of Dana-Farber’s Lowe Center for Thoracic … Continued

Tips for Lung Cancer Patients: What Not to Do

This post is adapted from an article that originally appeared on the Huffington Post. Over the past decade, researchers have made great strides in targeted therapy and immunotherapy for lung cancer, offering hope to patients with the deadliest form of cancer in the United States. In addition to seeking innovative medical care, patients can also … Continued

Immunotherapy and Lung Cancer: Exploring the Latest Research

The year 2015 marked a milestone in the treatment of lung cancer, with two new immunotherapy drugs approved for patients with advanced disease, bringing a new approach to this hard-to-treat cancer. Several other immunotherapy agents are also moving forward in clinical trials. In the past few years, scientists have found ways to disable the molecular … Continued

FDA Approves New Drug for Some Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The FDA announced today it has approved a new pill to treat certain patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The oral medication, Tagrisso (osimetinib), has been approved for NSCLC patients whose tumors have a specific epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation (T790M) and whose disease has worsened after treatment with other EGFR-blocking therapy. … Continued