What Are the Differences Between Lymphocytic and Myelogenous Leukemia?

Medically reviewed by Martha Wadleigh, MD Leukemia arises from malfunctions in stem cells within the bone marrow that cause abnormal white blood cells to flood into the bloodstream. Leukemias are classified as either myelogenous (also called myeloid) or lymphocytic, depending on which types of white blood cells are affected. What is the difference between these types … Continued

How Long Does Chemotherapy Stay in Your Body?

Chemotherapy agents are powerful drugs that are used to treat cancer throughout the body. Chemotherapy drugs work by a variety of different mechanisms, but their general effect is to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, which divide and proliferate quickly. Chemotherapy is administrated with the intention of eliminating cancer cells so that the infected body can survive … Continued

Adult Leukemia: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Richard M. Stone, MD More than 60,000 new cases of adult leukemia are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Although it is one of the more common childhood cancers, leukemia occurs more often in older adults. How does leukemia develop in adults? Leukemia is a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues that results in large … Continued

Should I Take Aspirin to Prevent Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to reduce fevers and relieve mild to moderate pain deriving from muscle aches or strains, toothaches, headaches, and symptoms of the common cold. Research so far suggests that taking a small dose of daily aspirin over … Continued

Five Things You Need to Know About Barrett’s Esophagus

Medically reviewed by Peter C. Enzinger, MD 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 … Continued

What Are the Most Common Blood Cancers in Adults?

Medically reviewed by Ann S. LaCasce, MD, MMSc Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system, part of the body’s immune system. There are many kinds of NHL that develop from various types of white blood cells, including B cells, T cells, and NK cells. The majority … Continued

Cancer and the Holidays: How to Cope and Celebrate

The holidays can be a festive time, but for people dealing with cancer, they can also be stressful and full of anxiety. For many patients and their families, the thought of preparing for the season may be met with mixed emotions. And while parties and gift-giving often go hand-in-hand with the holiday season, you might … Continued

The Link Between HPV and Cancer [Updated 2019]

Medically reviewed by Sarah Feldman, MD, MPH Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells. It can be spread through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity, and it can be carried by all sexes. There are over 100 different types (or strains) of the virus, which are … Continued

New Options for First-Line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Brown, MD Most patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) now have several options for first-line therapy, thanks to new clinical trial results and novel targeted agents. Many patients with CLL, a slowly progressive blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells, don’t need immediate treatment but … Continued

Facts to Know About Throat Cancer

Medically reviewed by Robert Haddad, MD 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 … Continued

What Are Myelodysplastic Syndromes and How Are They Treated?

Medically reviewed by David P. Steensma, MD Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases of the blood and marrow that result in the body being unable to produce enough healthy, mature blood cells. MDS develops when the blood stem cells found in the bone marrow become injured (i.e., they acquire a mutation in the … Continued

What African American Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

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 … 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. If you experience any of the symptoms described below, contact your doctor, who … Continued

What Are the Common Treatments for Cancer?

Every cancer patient is different, and there are many different types of cancer treatment that a patient may receive—all of which is dependent on their unique circumstances. A patient may only receive one type of treatment or a combination of multiple different treatments. Treatment can also have different goals. In some cases, treatment is used … Continued

What to Expect in Your First Meeting with Your Oncologist

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when you prepare for treatment with your care team. However, knowing what to prepare for can help make the process a little easier. Here’s what you can generally expect in your first meeting with your oncologist, and care team, after your diagnosis. Information collecting Before you meet with … Continued

For 95-Year-Old Dana-Farber Volunteer, Serving Cancer Patients is a Proud Privilege

Ingersoll “Sandy” Cunningham has the dignified, silver-haired appearance of a man you’d expect to find sipping tea with friends. So what is this Harvard-educated great-grandfather doing pushing food carts through the hallways of Dana-Farber, handing out sandwiches to patients? “You’ve got to have some objective when you get up in the morning, a purpose and … Continued

What Is Brain Metastasis and How Is It Treated?

When cancer spreads from its original site to the brain, it’s known as brain metastasis. While a significant percentage of all patients with cancer develop brain metastases, the most common cancers to spread to the brain are lung, breast, melanoma, colon, and kidney tumors. Every year, an estimated 100,000-400,000 people in the United States are … Continued