Cancer research
Can Vitamin D Reduce Cancer Risk?

Scientific evidence that vitamin D can help lower the risk of cancer development, as well as the risk of metastasis or recurrence, has been mixed. But several new studies point toward such a connection for certain cancers. Numerous population-tracking studies over the years have shown that higher intake or blood […]

June 17, 2016
1
Care for adults
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 […]

June 8, 2016
0
Care for adults
How to Reduce Metallic Tastes During Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can affect how your taste buds interact with different flavors, changing the way you experience certain food. A recurring metallic taste while eating or drinking water is one of the most common taste changes reported by patients. Although this symptom typically subsides after treatment ends, Dana-Farber […]

May 20, 2016
0
Health and wellness
How Does Exercise Reduce Cancer Risk?

This much is known: A sedentary lifestyle raises the risk of cancer, while physical activity – even moderate exercise – can reduce the risk not only of developing cancer but having a recurrence following treatment. What’s not so clear is exactly why. “It’s still a little unknown,” says Jeffrey Meyerhardt, […]

May 13, 2016
0
Podcasts
Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #8: The Best Foods and Diet for Cancer Treatment and Survivorship

Good nutrition plays a key role in cancer prevention and survivorship. With the right pantry items, patients can help manage side effects of treatment and potentially lower risk of recurrence. In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, discusses the best diet for cancer patients, […]

April 22, 2016
1
Care for adults
Tips for Exercising During and After Cancer Treatment

During cancer treatment, patients may face side effects like fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and neuropathy. While some patients may seek additional medication to combat these symptoms, exercise is an excellent pill-free alternative. Dana-Farber exercise physiologist Nancy Campbell, MS, recently answered questions during a live chat on exercising during and after cancer […]

April 21, 2016
0
Health and wellness
Can Detoxing Regimens and ‘Cleanses’ Fight Cancer?

If you type “detox and cancer” into an Internet search engine, you’ll get an avalanche of websites, articles, products, patient testimonials, and practitioners claiming that cancer can be prevented or even cured by diets or “cleanses” that rid the body of “toxins.” Are these approaches safe? Are they effective? It’s […]

March 30, 2016
0
Health and wellness
What Can I Eat if I Have Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer and its treatments can often impact the way the body digests foods, fluids and absorbs nutrients. For patients and survivors, incorporating healthy, plant-based foods and lean protein into your diet can help your body stay strong and nourished during and after treatment. Many of the side effects of […]

March 17, 2016
0
Health and wellness
The Best Foods for a Cancer Patient’s Pantry [Infographic]

A pantry stocked with healthy food is an important part of a cancer patient’s treatment; with the right foods, patients can strengthen their immune system, reduce side effects of treatment, and potentially lower risk of recurrence. But which foods are best? Patients should stick to a plant-based diet filled with […]

March 4, 2016
2
Health and wellness
Grass-Fed Beef and Wild Fish: Hype or Healthy Choices?

By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO Do you feel confused, overwhelmed or downright frustrated by the trendy marketing terms used to sell food? You’re not alone! Let’s break down the science, evidence and current recommendations surrounding claims for beef and fish. The most recent report from the World Health Organization […]

February 25, 2016
1
Health and wellness
Ten Ways to Lower Your Cancer Risk

Although there is no fool-proof method for preventing cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your risk for developing disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, knowing your family history and undergoing regular screenings can all help reduce your risk of serious health issues like cancer. As February marks National Cancer […]

February 5, 2016
0
Health and wellness
How Does Obesity Cause Cancer? Three Leading Theories

This blog post was originally published on the Cancer Research UK science blog. It’s reposted here with minor edits. ‘Love handles’, ‘muffin top’, ‘beer belly’, ‘extra padding’, ‘cuddly bits’, ‘winter insulation’… We all have names for the squishy bits we keep meaning to lose – but apart from not fitting […]

January 15, 2016
1
Health and wellness
How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight During Cancer Treatment?

Patients often worry about weight gain as a potential side effect of cancer treatment. Eating behaviors triggered by chemotherapy-related symptoms, taking steroids, and inactivity due to fatigue can all contribute to weight gain. “Chemotherapy can cause certain appetite-related side effects, such as increased appetite, nausea or cravings for sweets and […]

January 8, 2016
0
Care for adults
What Should I Eat During Cancer Treatment?

When going through cancer treatment, deciding what to eat can be confusing. For patients with cancer and particularly those undergoing chemotherapy, eating healthy can be key to managing energy levels, immune function, and overall health. It is important to eat a well balanced diet and follow the healthy eating plate […]

December 9, 2015
0
Cancer research , Health and wellness
The Link Between Processed Meat and Cancer: What You Need to Know [Infographic]

Eating processed meat products, such as hot dogs and bacon, can increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer, according to research from an international cancer agency. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), said today that processed meat is “carcinogenic […]

October 27, 2015
6
Cancer research , Health and wellness
Why I Ride: Dr. Christopher Sweeney

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 […]

July 27, 2015
0
Health and wellness
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 […]

June 29, 2015
3
Health and wellness
Does Sugar Feed Cancer?

By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD One of the most common questions we hear from our patients is, “does sugar feed cancer?”  As with most nutrition research, the answer to this seemingly simple question is actually quite complex. Overall, most of the research in sugar and cancer uses data from preliminary […]

May 11, 2015
5
Health and wellness
Should Cancer Patients Avoid Fish Oil?

When starting cancer treatment, patients often have many questions about diet and which foods may help, or hinder, their recovery. A recent study published in JAMA Oncology showed the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements reduced the effectiveness of chemotherapy in mice with cancer. We spoke with Dana-Farber/Brigham and […]

April 15, 2015
1
Health and wellness
The Best Foods and Diet for Cancer Treatment and Survivorship

Regardless of diagnosis, nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. Foods and diet can help maintain overall health, control side effects, and sometimes prevent future medical problems. “Good nutrition plays a key role in cancer prevention as well as survivorship,” says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, a nutritionist with […]

April 8, 2015
3
Care for adults
What to Eat When You Have Gastrointestinal Cancer

Maintaining a healthy diet is important during all stages of cancer treatment. But, for some gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients, keeping up with a nutritious and well-rounded diet can be especially difficult. During treatment, patients with GI cancer may struggle with digestive problems, like constipation and diarrhea, along with the common […]

March 11, 2015
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Five Tips for Staying Active this Winter

Staying active during the winter months can be difficult. Weather, packed holiday schedules, and fewer daylight hours can often get in the way of a regular fitness routine. For some cancer patients, lack of energy and a weakened immune system can also make it difficult to leave the house and […]

January 5, 2015
11
General interest
Tuukka Rask, Nutrition Tips, Brokaw on Cancer, and More Video Highlights from 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite videos from the last year:     Tom Brokaw: What it Means to Have Cancer NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2013, stopped by Dana-Farber in November. We […]

December 30, 2014
0
General interest , Health and wellness
Five Questions About Vitamin D

Sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced by the body in response to sunlight, vitamin D is important for maintaining strong bones and ensuring healthy functioning of the lungs, cardiovascular system, immune system, and brain. Because of concerns that excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, some […]

August 15, 2014
2
Care for adults
Ask the Expert: Q&A on Breast Cancer, Exercise and Diet

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jennifer Ligibel, MD, recently partnered with CancerConnect to answer questions about breast cancer, exercise and diet. Ligibel is an oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. Q: I am currently on maintenance treatment for breast cancer and I need to lose weight. […]

June 18, 2014
0
General interest , Health and wellness
Eight Healthy Recipes for Your Summer Cookout

With Memorial Day approaching, we’re all looking forward to getting outside with family and friends to enjoy barbecues. Although hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad are staples at these affairs, it’s important to keep an eye on the things you’re eating and make healthy choices when possible. In general, try […]

May 22, 2014
1
Care for adults
Motherhood, Pregnancy and Breast Cancer

While visiting her obstetrician in May 2012, 30-year-old Meghan Martin received life-changing news. The mother of two, who was seven-months pregnant with her third boy, learned she had breast cancer. “My first thoughts were: Will this baby live? Will I Live? Who is going to read bedtime stores?” Martin says. […]

May 9, 2014
0
General interest , Health and wellness
Debunking Common Nutrition Myths [Infographic]

By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD For cancer patients, a healthy, balanced diet is important for managing symptoms and promoting survivorship and overall wellness. But in a world where it’s nearly impossible to tell one fad diet from the next, it can be difficult to determine which foods are actually good […]

April 2, 2014
0
General interest , Health and wellness
What Role Does Nutrition Play During Cancer Treatment: A Twitter Chat Recap

Whether it’s before, during, or after cancer treatment, nutrition plays a critical role in a patient’s overall health. Certain foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can help increase energy levels, support the immune system, and manage side effects. Dana-Farber (@DanaFarber) and HealthCentral (@healthcentral) hosted a live Twitter chat on nutrition […]

March 13, 2014
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
How Cancer Can Affect Sleep

For many cancer patients and survivors, insomnia can be a troublesome side effect of living with cancer. There are many reasons why patients and survivors may have problems with sleep. Eric Zhou, PhD, a clinical fellow at Dana-Farber and research fellow at Harvard Medical School, explains why insomnia can be […]

March 12, 2014
1
Care for adults , General interest , Health and wellness
Should I Take Vitamins and Supplements During Cancer Treatment?

Getting the nutrients your body needs isn’t always easy, especially when certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, may make food less desirable. Many people consider taking vitamins and supplements to ensure optimal health, but, according to Dana-Farber nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, it is important to think about the benefits of […]

February 19, 2014
1
Cancer research , General interest
Is Cancer More Serious If You Also Have Another Disease?

When cancer develops in someone with other diseases, it can be more serious, according to a recent annual report from several national cancer organizations. “Cancer does not occur in isolation,” says Lawrence Shulman, MD, in commenting on the report. “It occurs in a human being, who may have other medical problems.”

January 27, 2014
1
Care for adults , Health and wellness
How to Ease Chemotherapy Side Effects with Food

Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, can make eating well and enjoying food a challenge for many patients. Food may start to taste strange, appetite may diminish, and other symptoms, such as fatigue, bowel changes, nausea, and mouth sores, may make finding nutritious, delicious foods difficult. “During chemotherapy, it’s very common for […]

January 22, 2014
0
Care for adults , General interest , Health and wellness
Five Healthy Habits to Start the New Year

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just stay healthy, the New Year always brings a new set of goals and resolutions. While this change in lifestyle can often feel daunting, achieving goals does not have to be a solo mission. “Let friends, family members and co-workers know […]

January 2, 2014
0
General interest
When It Comes To Fighting Leukemia, This Patient Says, “Sharpen your Sword”

By Buck Rogers When I woke up from a 40-minute operation to remove a lymph node from my neck, my Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon approached me with another doctor and said, “I’d like you to meet your oncologist.” My life instantly changed; I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. […]

December 30, 2013
4
Cancer research , Care for adults , Care for children , General interest , Health and wellness
Top 10 Insight Stories from 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our favorite Insight posts from the last year. From inspiring patient stories to important research, here is our top 10 list:

December 27, 2013
0
General interest , Health and wellness
Six Healthy Holiday Foods and Recipes

The holidays are here and so are holiday parties, potlucks, and sweet treats. But the season doesn’t always have to be about rich, high-calorie food. “Many holiday foods can be nutritious as well as delicious,” says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, a nutritionist with Dana-Farber. Whether you’re filling your plate or […]

December 21, 2013
0
Cancer research , General interest , Health and wellness
New Study: Nuts Linked to Reduced Risk of Pancreatic and Other Cancers

An analysis of data from the decades-long Nurses’ Health Study revealed that women who ate a one-ounce serving of nuts – any kind of nuts – two or more times a week had a 35 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer than women who abstained from them. That’s a significant […]

December 18, 2013
1
General interest , Health and wellness
Seven Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays [Infographic]

As the holiday season fills with family gatherings, travel and potluck parties, it is important to be extra attentive to avoiding germs. In addition to getting a flu shot, there are a number of other ways to prevent illness. Candace Hsieh, RN, CIC, of Dana-Farber’s Center for Patient Safety, offers […]

December 13, 2013
0
Cancer research , General interest , Health and wellness
Is there a Link Between Dairy and Cancer?

While some people claim dairy products can prevent cancer, others argue that dairy could actually increase the cancer risk. There are also concerns that dairy can potentially spur growth in hormone-sensitive cancers, including some forms of ovarian and breast cancer. Is there a relationship between dairy and cancer? We consulted with the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center […]

December 11, 2013
1
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Foods That Help Ease Cancer-Related Nausea

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and certain medications can take a toll on patients, with side effects such as nausea. Although you may experience  a loss of appetite during treatment, it is important to find ways to give your body the nutrients it needs. Here are simple strategies to […]

November 6, 2013
0
General interest , Health and wellness
Can Eating an Alkaline Diet Lower My Risk of Getting Cancer?

Some people claim that if the fluids and tissues in your body become too acidic – that is, if the concentration of hydrogen in them is too high – your chance of developing cancer increases. Similar claims state that by reducing your intake of certain foods, you can lower your […]

November 1, 2013
0
Care for adults , General interest
Four Simple Tips for Eating Healthy

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. […]

October 9, 2013
1
Care for adults
Foods to Keep in Your Diet Before and After a Mastectomy

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 […]

October 2, 2013
0
Care for adults
Drinking in Early Adulthood Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Women who believe that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol won’t increase their risk of breast cancer may want to think again. Last year, Wendy Chen, MD, of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber and her colleagues published a study showing that women who drank as little […]

September 13, 2013
4
Care for adults
Cancer Patient Redefines Strength

By Stacey Carroll Watch Stacey Carroll describe how she got her strength back. In my mental dictionary, strength had to do with will power and physical ability, and I believed I was strong according to my definition. I’ve been in the US Army for 20 years, served as a Commander […]

August 12, 2013
5
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Exercise Can Help Fight Cancer Fatigue

By Nancy Campbell, MS Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common complaints among cancer patients and survivors. This type of weariness, which typically occurs during treatment or in the first year after, is particularly difficult because it can last for long periods of time and doesn’t go away after […]

July 29, 2013
15
Care for adults
Keeping a Healthy Weight During Cancer Treatment

by Eric Schuller When you think of a cancer patient, you might envision someone frail and thin. But while weight loss can be a side effect, gaining weight during cancer treatment is also quite common. That’s why it’s important to find a healthy balance during treatment. Here are some tips.

July 8, 2013
2
Health and wellness , Uncategorized
How to Enjoy Summer without Raising Your Cancer Risk

by Joanna Steere As summer takes hold, it’s often hard to resist the delicious aroma of a backyard barbecue or soaking in some rays at the beach. However, it’s important to know the health risks associated with these common activities, especially when cancer’s involved.

May 22, 2013
2
Health and wellness
How to Eat Better and Fight Cancer with Your Fork

By MacKenzie Kimball Good nutrition is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle and, according to Dana-Farber Nutritionist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, it can also help in the battle against cancer. “Good nutrition is really important for supporting a healthy immune system, which helps the healing process, […]

March 6, 2013
3
Health and wellness
Want to Fight Cancer with Your Fork? There’s an App for That

Nutrition plays a large role in our health. That’s especially true for cancer patients. Whether it is eating a diet rich in cancer-fighting nutrients or managing treatment side effects, healthy eating habits are an important part of cancer care. Dana-Farber’s free iPhone app provides recipes and nutrition information that’s helpful […]

January 17, 2013
3
Care for adults
Exercise During Cancer: Getting Started

by Nancy Campbell, MS “How soon can I start exercising after I start cancer treatment?” It’s a question I hear often from patients who visit me for a fitness consult or class at Dana-Farber. My answer? “As soon as possible.” While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise offers key benefits for […]

January 8, 2013
13
Health and wellness
Can I Eat Grapefruit When I’m Taking Prescription Medication?

by Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, and Elizabeth Lundy, DI Grapefruits are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other phytonutrients, but if you’re taking certain prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, you may need to choose other fruits.

December 20, 2012
0
General interest , Health and wellness
New Photo and Food Apps Focus on Cancer Care

Today, we wanted to take a moment to share a couple of free mobile apps. Both were developed here at Dana-Farber but they have very different uses. The first app is for the iPad and it’s very simple – a year’s worth of beautiful photos showing some of the happier […]

December 17, 2012
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Let’s Talk Turkey: Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

As we approach the Thanksgiving meal, Dana-Farber nutritionists offer some easy tips for enjoying the holiday without packing on pounds. The average Thanksgiving dinner contains at least 3,000 calories. When you add in snacks, appetizers, and drinks throughout the day, you may end up consuming approximately 4,500 calories (two to three […]

November 14, 2012
0
Care for children
A Doctor and a Dancer

As a cancer researcher, Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, says her chosen profession offers “the mystery and excitement of discovery.” And she says the same is true of her passion outside the laboratory: dance. “It’s a huge hook for me,” she says. Both in scientific research and in working on a dance […]

September 4, 2012
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Nine Foods for Cancer Patients

A pill bottle isn’t the only option for relieving stress and discomfort caused by cancer and its treatments. Sometimes you can eat your way to feeling better. Dana-Farber nutrition expert Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, suggests some common foods that can pep you up, calm you down, relieve nausea, and potentially fight […]

August 28, 2012
4
Health and wellness
How to grill safely this weekend

There’s no better time to barbecue with family and friends than the summer, but grilling meat creates chemicals that may be linked to cancer. Research has shown that high-heat grilling can convert proteins in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish into heterocyclic amines (HCAs), chemicals that have been connected to […]

August 2, 2012
0
Health and wellness
Are Organic Foods Better For You?

Processed foods have become a staple in the U.S., making up as much as 90 percent of American diets. Pre-prepared meals are often less expensive, and save working, busy people time at the end of a long day. However, research from the Organic Trade Association shows that trends are beginning […]

July 5, 2012
1
Cancer research , Care for adults , Health and wellness , Uncategorized
How are genes involved in cancer?

Genes don’t cause cancer, but genetic mutations can. Our cells have about 22,000 genes, which consist of DNA packed into chromosomes inside the cell nucleus. These genes control a wide range of functions, including cell growth and division. When the genes misbehave or mutate, cancer can develop.

June 28, 2012
0
Health and wellness
Five tips for exercising during (and after) cancer treatment

If you think a cancer diagnosis automatically means you’ll need to get plenty of bed rest and avoid activity, think again. A host of medical studies show that exercise can not only reduce the chances of developing cancer, it’s also safe during and after cancer treatment, helping improve quality of […]

June 26, 2012
22
Care for adults
Tips every new cancer survivor should know

In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship.  When I was discharged from the hospital in 1996 after undergoing a stem cell transplant to treat leukemia, I was terrified. Yes, I’d survived cancer treatment, but now I had to deal with something even scarier: the unknown. If you’ve recently […]

June 22, 2012
1
General interest , Health and wellness
Do friends, family affect your health?

In low-income, minority communities, tight-knit social connections can lead people to eat right and be physically active — but they can also sometimes be an obstacle to a healthy lifestyle, according to new research by investigators at Dana-Farber and the Harvard School of Public Health. The findings present a mixed […]

May 8, 2012
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Brain tumor doesn’t slow this fitness enthusiast

Bryan Reilly has a full-time job and a passion for exercise. He skis, climbs mountains, works out regularly, and runs a mile in under 8 minutes. Any 56-year-old could be proud of being so fit. But for Reilly, it’s a special triumph: Less than two years ago he was diagnosed […]

April 19, 2012
3
General interest , Health and wellness
Does sugar feed cancer?

Cancer cells have a voracious appetite for glucose, a form of sugar, and consume it in much greater amounts than normal cells do. The knowledge of cancer cells’ zest for sugar has led some people to wonder if eating less sugar would restrain tumors’ growth. While cancer cells do rely […]

April 5, 2012
1
Cancer research , General interest , Health and wellness
Obesity and cancer: What’s the link?

There are a lot of good reasons not to gain too much weight, but you might not be aware of this one: Growing evidence links obesity to a higher risk of developing cancer, and being overweight may worsen a cancer patient’s outlook. Although more and more studies are finding this […]

January 12, 2012
0
Cancer research , Care for adults , Health and wellness
The benefits of vitamin D

Activated by sunlight and present in some foods and supplements, vitamin D has been associated with healthy bones and reducing the risk of diabetes and cancer. But a new study says that the recommended dose of vitamin D needed to reap these health benefits remains unclear. To help shed some […]

December 21, 2011
1
Health and wellness
What are the best vitamins for cancer patients?

Walk down the vitamins and supplements aisle of a pharmacy or grocery store, and you’ll see a mind-boggling array of options. It can be hard to know which one is best. And if you’re a cancer patient looking for the right dietary supplement, there are even more issues to take […]

December 14, 2011
0

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