Does Having More Moles Increase My Risk of Melanoma?

Moles are benign growths on the skin that sometimes become cancerous. But what exactly is the connection between moles and melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer? While it’s true that people with many moles should be screened more frequently by a dermatologist, scientists are learning that the mole-melanoma connection isn’t so straightforward. For example, a … Continued

FDA Approves Targeted Therapy Combination for Melanoma

Just over a month after approving a first-of-its-kind combination therapy for advanced melanoma, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed off on another drug combination to treat the disease. The FDA has approved a targeted therapy combination, Cotellic (cobimetinib) and vemurafenib, to treat advanced melanoma that has spread to other parts of the … Continued

Researchers Focusing on Early Detection, Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

The challenge with pancreatic cancer has always been to catch it early. Because of its subtle, variable symptoms, the disease often isn’t diagnosed until an advanced stage, when it is particularly difficult to treat. Researchers are investigating not only how to detect the disease earlier but also how to better understand its causes and develop … Continued

What’s the Link Between Cancer and Pesticides?

A study that found a sharply higher rate of breast cancer in women exposed to the pesticide DDT while in the womb has drawn renewed attention to the relationship between pesticide and herbicide exposure and cancer. The study, published earlier this year, tracked nearly 15,000 mothers, daughters, and granddaughters living in the San Francisco Bay … Continued

Young Adults Share Their Cancer Journeys Through Photos

When Jenn Jackson, a trained physician, was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in 2011 and found out she could no longer practice medicine, the news was devastating. “Getting this cancer diagnosis changed the whole trajectory of my life,” says Jackson, who was diagnosed at 35, after completing 10 years of medical training. But, craving a greater sense … Continued

Scientific ‘Salvage’ Project Advances Understanding of AML

It looked like a scientific dead end – a clinical trial that found no benefit to a potential drug for a form of leukemia. But, like police detectives working a cold case, Dana-Farber scientists gathered hundreds of tissue samples that had been collected for the study – most of them languishing in laboratory cabinets, destined … Continued

How to Manage Health Insurance When You Have Cancer

Learning you have cancer means you’ll want to work with a medical team that can help you create the best possible treatment plan. But it also means you need to understand your health insurance coverage. Like any complex health condition, treating cancer can involve many different types of care, and you’ll want to be sure … Continued

Five Things You Should Know About Precision Medicine

When President Barack Obama rolled out his Precision Medicine Initiative, it included an increased funding request of $215 million in the 2016 federal budget. Precision medicine is changing the way cancer is studied and treated. Here are five important things to know about it. 1. Precision medicine can improve diagnosis and treatment  Physicians have long … Continued

New Treatment Option for Patients with Rare Blood Cancer

It’s commonly thought that targeted therapy for cancer requires the development of separate drugs for each type and subtype of cancer. The recent approval of the drug ibrutinib (Imbruvica®), however, for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (a rare form of lymphoma) shows the opposite to be true: a single agent can be effective against multiple types of cancers, providing … Continued

Marathon Motorcyclists Roll for Dana-Farber

Like many Dana-Farber Cancer Institute supporters, Fred Georgoulis walked 26.2 miles on Sunday in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai. It was Georgoulis’ second trip in recent months down this course; his last was on a classic Harley Davidson FXRS. Georgoulis is the creator and director of the Boston Motorcycle Marathon Ride, one … Continued

Dentist Brings a Smile to Transplant Patients

Like many family members of cancer patients, Stephen Matarazzo, DMD, wanted a meaningful way to thank the Dana-Farber caregivers who saved his son Michael’s life. What he came up with involved offering his own professional expertise to protect the smiles of others. A dentist based in Quincy, Mass., Matarazzo provides pro bono dental exams and … Continued

Five Myths About Breast Cancer

There’s a broad range of news and information about breast cancer online, which creates opportunities to learn about prevention, treatment, cures and recurrence. But it also means you may run into confusing misinformation and oversimplifications. Here are some popular misconceptions about breast cancer. MYTH #1 Most breast cancer is hereditary. While it’s true that a woman’s … Continued

Act of Kindness Sparks Friendship Between Two Neighbors

Those passing them in the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care at Dana-Farber may assume Pamela Desmarais is a dutiful daughter taking her elderly father to his appointments. They certainly look the part, but while Pamela Desmarais cares for 84-year-old prostate cancer patient Donald Segur, there is no familial bond between these two neighbors from East … Continued

New Look for Dana-Farber’s Insight Blog

Frequent visitors of Insight might have noticed a revised look to the blog. We recently rolled out the refreshed design with a cleaner look and layout. We also added a few new features, including an email subscription option. You’ll find that sign-up tool in the blue bar above, and also in the right column. To make … Continued

Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together

By Jenn Perry When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, it was like déjà vu for my family. My mother had been diagnosed with the same disease at the same age, while pregnant with her third child. I learned I had breast cancer just six months after giving birth to my second daughter. … Continued

Patient’s Grandson: How My Grandfather Inspires Me

Many young boys have special relationships with their grandfathers. Few express their feelings as eloquently as young Oliver Parry. Inspired by his grandfather’s work and his battle with cancer, the nine-year-old penned the essay below, winning a regional award from the 2013-2014 Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Reflections contest, and potentially qualifying for a national competition. … Continued

Questions to Ask When Your Child Finishes Cancer Treatment

By Julia Pettengill Our daughter Sophie was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2½, and received two years of care at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. While I felt tremendous joy and relief when she completed treatment, I also found the experience traumatic.

New Statues Celebrate Sidney Farber, MD, and “Jimmy”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund have long been connected with baseball. So it’s only fitting that the new statues of Dana-Farber founder Sidney Farber, MD, and 12-year-old Einar Gustafson, one of his early patients, reflect this historic relationship.

Giving Platelets – and Hope – to Cancer Patients

Ninety minutes. That’s all it takes to save a life when you donate platelets at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For Baila Janock, these 90 minutes are practically a weekly occurrence since her late husband Irving Janock was treated for pancreatic cancer at Dana-Farber in the mid-1980s. … Continued