What is the JUUL?

Medically reviewed by Andy Tan, MPH, PhD JUUL is a brand of electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, that enables users to inhale vapor infused with nicotine, flavorings, and other compounds. Introduced in 2015, JUULs work much as other e-cigarettes do, but because they’re small and sleek — resembling a USB flash drive — and come in … Continued

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Treatment-Related Nausea

Medically reviewed by Kristen Uhl, PhD Treatment-induced nausea is an unpleasant side effect that can occur before, during, or after cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Antiemetic medications are typically used to treat nausea and vomiting, but there are other strategies that can help. Kristen Uhl, PhD, of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s … Continued

Worth the Shot: No, Vaccines Won’t Give You Cancer

Medically reviewed by Patrick Ott, MD, PhD There are a lot of concerns about the potential risks of vaccines, including fears that vaccines can cause autism, can infect the recipient with the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent, and are generally unsafe. Rest assured: Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventative … Continued

Does WiFi Exposure Lead to Cancer?

Medically reviewed by David E. Kozono, MD, PhD WiFi and the electronic devices that connect to it, such as cellphones, laptops, and wireless headphones, are all around us. So far, there is no consistent evidence that WiFi routers or WiFi-powered devices increase cancer risk. What is WiFi? WiFi uses radio waves to provide network connectivity. … Continued

Understanding Your Pathology Report

Medically reviewed by Stuart J. Schnitt, MD, and George L. Mutter, MD A pathology report describes the findings in a tissue sample (biopsy or excision), which are always submitted to a pathologist after being removed from a patient. The tissue is sliced very thin and stained on a glass slide for a pathologist to examine … Continued

Why is Nutrition Important? [Podcast]

Why is nutrition so important, and what should cancer patients should keep in mind during and after treatment? With the help of Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD/LDN, CSO, senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we debunk a few nutrition myths in this podcast — and provide tips on what you can do to eat healthfully. Austin … Continued

What’s the Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Buchbinder, MD While the warmth of sunlight can be inviting after cold winter months, it is important to remember healthy habits to keep your skin safe in the sun. Prolonged and frequent sun exposure without the proper protection can result in an uncomfortable sunburn at best and significant skin damage at … Continued

How to Maintain Muscle Health During Cancer Treatment

Medically reviewed by Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD Cancer can present a host of physical challenges. During treatment, a patient may not be able to move far from their bed or room; therapy can also lead to metabolic changes that disrupt the way the body processes food to create energy. Add that to a hectic appointment … Continued

What Does a Lymphoma Lump Feel Like?

Medically reviewed by Eric Jacobsen, MD One symptom of lymphoma can be the development of lumps under the skin, usually in the neck, armpit, or groin. The lumps have a rubbery feel and are usually painless. Not all such lumps are a sign of lymphoma, but when they occur at these sites, it’s advisable to … Continued

Beyond Age: Treatment and Support for Older Patients with Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH Regardless of age, a cancer diagnosis can be stressful, and everyone will process it differently. An older patient will have particular needs, and you and your support system have a unique blend of factors to consider. “As the population becomes healthier, we’re living longer, fuller lives,” says Rachel … Continued

Tips for Staying Healthy with a Compromised Immune System

An individual who is immunocompromised or immunosuppressed has a weakened immune system and a reduced ability to fight other diseases and infections, such as the common cold. This can be caused by cancer as well as by various treatments, including chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Other diseases and conditions, such as AIDS, can also lead to … Continued

Insomnia and Sleep: What You Need to Know [Podcast]

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of the U.S. adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to many chronic diseases and conditions, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. For many cancer patients and survivors, insomnia, a sleep disorder … Continued

Tips for Coping with a Cancer Recurrence

In some cases, despite a cancer care team’s best effort, cancer comes back after treatment. This is known as a relapse or recurrence. The news can have a similar emotional impact to a patient’s initial diagnosis; patients may experience shock or feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s experience is different, and the most important thing you can do … 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

What is an Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test?

Tumor markers are substances in the human body that are produced by tumors and secreted into the blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. Certain benign conditions can also raise these markers, but significant elevations or a progressive rise can indicate a malignant process.  An AFP, or alpha-fetoprotein, tumor marker test—one of many different types of … Continued

What’s the Difference Between a Cyst and a Tumor?

A cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue, filled with fluid, air, tissue, or other material that can form anywhere in the body. Cysts can be tiny or very large, and most cysts are benign (not cancerous). There are hundreds of different types of cysts that form for many different reasons, such as infections or … Continued

Does Cancer Cause Hair Loss?

It is widely assumed that if you have cancer, you will eventually lose all your hair. But is cancer itself the hair-loss culprit? The answer is no. Alopecia, or hair loss, occurs as a secondary result of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation attack the rapidly growing cancer cells in your body. The … Continued

Is Cancer Really a ‘Battle’? [Podcast]

We hear it all the time: “Cancer is a battle”—insinuating that patients have to fight in order to increase their chances of a good outcome. It’s a common message used in the media, the premise being that a person’s cancer can be eradicated if they are tough enough. But does this put the burden of … 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

Do Wireless Headphones Cause Cancer?

Wireless Bluetooth headphones have become popular gadgets—and now, there is a debate about whether they can cause cancer. However, at this point, there is not enough evidence to definitively say that wireless headphones are dangerous. Some scientists are arguing that these headphones could potentially lead increase cancer risk due to the fact they emit radio … Continued