Brian Regan knows how overwhelming it can be to hear the words “you have cancer” as a teenager. That is why, nearly a decade after his own diagnosis, he feels compelled to help young patients and families currently grappling with the physical and emotional challenges of treatment. Regan, 27, is a member of the Pediatric … Read more
Bone marrow failure occurs when the bone marrow – the soft, spongy center of the bones – fails to produce enough healthy blood cells to keep up with the body’s needs.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in early forms of white blood cells. White blood cells are cells that typically fight infections.
This originally appeared on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s blog. Adrenoleukodystrophy — depicted in the 1992 movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” — is a genetic disease that most severely affects boys. Caused by a defective gene on the X chromosome, it triggers a build-up of fatty acids that damage the protective myelin sheaths of the brain’s neurons, leading to cognitive … Read more
This post originally appeared on Thriving, the Boston Children’s Hospital blog. Anna Protsiou was 5 when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2002. She remembers pain, and fruit-scented anesthesia masks that led her to stop eating cherries. She also remembers hospital arts and crafts projects. What she barely remembers is the pediatric oncologist who saved … Read more
Early last year, at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jesus Apolinaris Cruz’s leg hurt so much he could barely sleep. “All day, it was constant pain,” the 13-year-old recalls. His parents took him to two local pediatricians, who examined him, drew blood, and tested his platelets. No diagnosis. Finally, in April 2016, a … Read more
Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD, director of Pediatric Medical Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, spoke to pediatric patient families in a recent Facebook Live Webchat addressing pediatric brain tumor care. Kieran answered questions from audience members about the most common of the 300 brain tumor types that occur in children, including … Read more
Testicular cancer is cancer that originates in one or both testicles — the two egg-shaped glands (enclosed in the scrotum) that produce testosterone (a male hormone) and sperm. Part of what makes testicular cancer unique is that it occurs overwhelmingly more often in young men: The average age of diagnosis is 33 years old. The … Read more
Research has shown that integrative therapies can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve overall quality of life. These therapies range from individual treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, and Reiki, to group programs for movement, meditation, and creative arts. View the slideshow below to learn more about how integrative therapies can help cancer patients. Visit … Read more
For seventeen girls and patients at Dana-Farber Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Dana-Farber’s annual Girls Weekend – a three-day arts, shopping, and food extravaganza – is a much-needed opportunity to relax and connect with new friends who also know what it’s like to have cancer. “Being a teenager – especially when you’re a … Read more
For much of his 17 years, Spencer Riley has lived to play basketball. This winter, his favorite sport helped the teenager get back to life. Riley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016 and treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center that summer. He underwent an intensive three-month treatment cycle: one week of … Read more
Because of their increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, should ALL patients with Down syndrome receive modified treatment to minimize this risk? Or should they be given the same treatment as other children with ALL, to minimize the chance for relapse?
Cancer knows no borders, and pediatric patients in low- and middle-income countries often have less access to quality care. The Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center exists to change this by improving outcomes and survival rates for children with cancer and blood disorders, regardless of their place of birth. View … Read more
Cancer surgery is used to prevent, diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. It is the oldest type of cancer therapy and generally works best for solid tumors contained in one area. The goals of surgery range from diagnosing cancer to restoring the body’s appearance or function. Each cancer type has specific cancer operations that may be … Read more
After completing treatment, many cancer survivors wonder what their future will look like. Survivors can face a host of issues after they complete active treatment, including the long-term effects of treatment, as well as social, physical, and psychological hurdles. Here are some things to consider after your cancer treatment is complete, according to the experts … Read more
By Ebony Glass One day, our 2-year-old son Javon complained about a bit of pain at daycare. It seemed harmless enough. But after a visit to the pediatrician, we ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. There, they discovered that a mass in his body was causing the pain. “Cancer?” we feared, but it was … Read more
As told to Sue Morris, PsyD As director of Dana-Farber’s Bereavement Program, I regularly sit with bereaved individuals, listen to their stories, and help them navigate their lives after they have been completely turned upside down. I recently spoke with three bereaved parents who are members of Dana-Farber’s Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), … Read more
Happy to have given birth in January 2015 to two seemingly healthy boys, Levi and Colton, after an uneventful pregnancy, Kala Looks gave little thought to the routine heel prick of newborn screening. At 23 and 24, she and her husband, Phillip, were high school sweethearts starting a family with a pair of fraternal twins. … Read more
Photopheresis is a unique medical therapy that involves temporarily removing blood from a patient, mixing the blood with a medication, exposing the blood to ultraviolet (UV) light to activate the drug, and then reinfusing the blood into the patient. The technique is used to treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common and potentially severe side effect … Read more
By Dana Mendes Like many high school students, I was eager to start a new chapter of my life after graduating in 2015. I had committed to play field hockey at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, that fall, and spent the summer working out alongside my new teammates – determined to prove myself on the … Read more