Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community: Information to Know

Communities of color, particularly Black Americans, have long faced health disparities and a disproportionate burden of cancer. Colorectal cancer is no exception. Colorectal cancer occurs at a higher rate in Black Americans than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. African Americans are more than 20% more … Continued

The Color of Cancer: The Importance of Advocating for Health Equity

Although disparities in the treatment of cancer and other diseases have been an endemic part of the American healthcare system, it took a pandemic to expose how pervasive they are. The high rates of COVID-19 in many communities of color drew attention to the broader health inequities affecting these groups. In recognition of Minority Cancer … Continued

Challenges of Navigating Cancer as a Member of the LGBTQ+ Community

LGBTQ+ individuals can face a host of challenges in their day-to-day lives, including discrimination, hostile words and actions, and ignorance. When it comes to cancer, LGBTQ+ people often come up against additional hurdles that are not faced by those who are cisgender (meaning those who identify with their sex assigned at birth) and/or heterosexual. The … Continued

What is an Antibody/Drug Conjugate?

Even the best cancer drug is only as good as its ability to reach cancer cells and kill them. Antibody-drug conjugates are targeted agents that package cancer drugs for special delivery to tumor cells to eliminate them. Conjugates are designed to expose tumor cells to the full force of cancer drugs while sparing normal cells … Continued

What Does it Mean if My Tumor Has a High Mutational Burden?

Tumors with high mutational burden have a large number of genetic mutations, or misspellings of the genetic code within their cells. Such cancers tend to acquire mutations as a result of exposure to harmful agents such as ultraviolet light or certain chemicals in tobacco. Malignancies that often have a high number of mutations include: Non-small … Continued

How to Fully Utilize Your Pantry Supplies

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), some grocery stores have been overwhelmed by people looking to stock up on supplies. Individuals are also increasingly encouraged to practice social distancing and self-quarantine. As a result, accessing fresh and healthy ingredients can be more challenging than usual. Stephanie Meyers, MS, RD, a nutritionist at the Leonard P. Zakim … Continued

What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that can be easily spread from person to person. Currently, COVID-19 can be difficult to identify because it shares many symptoms with the flu. Here is what you need to know. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, according … Continued

How to Properly Wash Your Hands

Practicing proper hand hygiene is a simple, yet extremely effective, way of preventing the spread of germs and diseases. By washing your hands properly, and often, you can protect yourself as well as your family and even the community you live in. When should I wash my hands? When in doubt, wash! It’s important to … Continued

FAQs for Cancer Patients on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causes the disease COVID-19, a respiratory illness. The spread of COVID-19 is disrupting life — for those who have been infected with the virus as well as those who haven’t — on a global scale. The coronavirus outbreak may pose special risks … Continued

What is Strength Training and Can It Help Cancer Patients?

Strength training is a type of exercise in which one uses resistance to force the muscles to contract to build strength. Resistance for strengthening can come from a person’s own body weight or from gym equipment. We spoke to Nancy Campbell, MS, an exercise physiologist at Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, who … Continued

Lactose Intolerance and Colorectal Cancer: What’s the Connection?

A number of research studies suggest that people who consume a lot of milk and other dairy products have a somewhat lower risk of developing colon cancer than those who don’t. But many people avoid or minimize dairy consumption because they are “lactose intolerant,” meaning they have difficulty digesting lactose — a sugar found in … Continued

Does Having Cancer Once Increase the Risk of Developing Other Cancers?

While the vast majority of people diagnosed with cancer do not develop a different malignancy later in life, it’s important for survivors to be aware of factors that can put them at risk. People who have had cancer may in some cases have a higher than average risk of developing a new cancer — that … Continued

Can Lung Cancer Be Related to Air Pollution?

Medically reviewed by Michael Cheng, MD A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found that in 2010, air pollution was responsible for 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide. The findings were so striking that they prompted the agency, a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), to classify outdoor air pollution … Continued

What is a Tumor, Exactly?

Medically reviewed by Robert I. Haddad, MD Strictly speaking, a tumor is an abnormal swelling or enlargement within the body, but the term most commonly refers to a growth of cancerous cells. In the broadest sense, then, a harmless cyst or collection of fluid would be considered a tumor. But when a physician uses the … Continued

My Cancer Recurrence: The Importance of Feeling All the Feelings

By Lyndsay McCaffery Recurrence. The word all cancer survivors know and fear. I don’t know about others, but I felt I was the one who was most definitely never getting cancer again. I worked hard to get on the other side of my diagnosis and long recovery. I put in the work writing in a … Continued

What’s the Difference Between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Melanoma is not a different disease from skin cancer. It is, rather, a form of skin cancer. Of the three major forms of skin cancer, melanoma is the rarest but also the most aggressive. It is diagnosed in more than 96,000 people in the United States each year, and patients generally have a good prognosis … Continued

Does Soda Cause Cancer?

Nutritionists and doctors agree that consuming soft drinks in excess is associated with several health complications and diseases, including weight gain or obesity, poor dental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. Some of these health conditions can play a role in increasing one’s risk of developing cancer.

Vaping/E-Cigarette Health Risks: What’s the Latest?

Medically reviewed by Andy Tan, PhD, MPH E-cigarettes have grown in popularity in recent years, especially among teens, whose e-cigarette use now exceeds that of traditional cigarettes. With this increase have come growing concerns about the long- and short-term health effects of vaping. We spoke with Dana-Farber’s Andy Tan, PhD, MPH, who studies how communication … Continued

What Is Scalp Cooling and How Does It Work?

Scalp cooling is a simple treatment developed to help prevent or reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells, and hair is the second fastest dividing cell — which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Scalp cooling reduces the blood flow to the cells that produce hair and … Continued

Lawn Care and Cancer Risk: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Timothy Rebbeck, PhD Lawn care can help grass become and stay full, green, and healthy, but are the chemicals and fertilizers that you use to take care of your lawn increasing your cancer risk? Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are common lawn care products. Although frequent exposure to chemicals in these products can … Continued