How to Detect Skin Cancer, Even During COVID-19

It is important to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays to lessen your risk of skin cancer and melanoma. It is also crucial to regularly check your skin for anything out of the ordinary and to alert your doctors to any changes, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. How do I know if I should … Continued

Is Back Pain a Sign of Kidney Cancer?

Before the use of CT scans (formerly known as CAT scans), back pain was associated with the diagnosis of kidney cancer — but this is no longer the case. Today, general cancer screening often catches kidney cancer before this symptom occurs, according to Bradley McGregor, MD, clinical director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology … Continued

Eye Cancer and Ocular Melanoma: What You Need to Know

Eye cancer is caused by uncontrollable cell growth in the eye. While an eye cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, there are treatment options. An oncologist can discuss these options with you and work with you to determine your best care plan. According to the American Cancer Society, eye cancer can form in the three major … Continued

‘Watchful Waiting’ for Lymphoma: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been diagnosed with slow-growing lymphoma but don’t have any symptoms of the disease, your doctor is likely to recommend monitoring the disease closely but not treating it until symptoms appear — an approach known as watchful waiting. This advice might seem to run counter to the standard recommendation that cancer be treated at … Continued

Approval of Myeloma Drug Improves Patients’ Prospects

Five years into his treatment for multiple myeloma, Mark Young was attending a Dana-Farber conference to learn about the latest research in the disease when his oncologist — Paul Richardson, MD, clinical program leader and director of clinical research at the Institute’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center — came running up with some timely news. … Continued

Grieving During the Coronavirus: Advice From a Clinical Psychologist

The coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives and routines in recent weeks, generating fear, uncertainty, and anxiety. Coping with this disruption — adjusting to staying home, working remotely, and distancing ourselves from others, among other changes — has been difficult for many. It can be especially challenging if someone you love has died during the … Continued

Pancreatic Cancer Myths and Common Questions, Answered

Pancreatic cancer isn’t as common as some other cancers, but it is somewhat renowned for being difficult to treat. Symptoms usually don’t show up until the cancer has grown to an advanced stage, but now, more than ever, patients with pancreatic cancer have good reason to be optimistic about their futures due to advances researchers … Continued

Still Smiling After Four Cancers and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Martha Pena has endured breast cancer twice (once in each breast), lung cancer that metastasized to her brain, and stomach (gastric) cancer — all by age 40. Now 42, she is receiving ongoing treatment for her lung and gastric cancer at Dana-Farber, where she was also diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare hereditary condition … Continued

Patient with Metastatic Cervical Cancer Looks at Life Through Her Own Lens

One of the reasons Fangjyh Chern loves photography is because it allows her to capture a unique moment in time. For her, the fun and challenge comes from photographing instances that can never be truly reproduced or recreated. Since her own cancer diagnosis in 2014, Chern says she has had a heightened awareness of the … Continued

Breaking the Binary: Building Transvisibility in Cancer Genetic Counseling

This article was written by Donna Vatnick, BS, clinical research coordinator in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention. Historically, cancer risk has been confined to the binary: male versus female. After the discovery of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the mid-90s, testing of these genes was most often recommended to women. The substantially … Continued

Transplant Program Milestone is Patient’s First Step in Returning to the Dance Floor

The first time Bill Cronin Googled his own cancer diagnosis in 2016, his heart sank. He had Sézary syndrome, a rare and aggressive form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma  — and staring back at him were countless articles predicting a negative prognosis. However, after receiving a stem-cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Cronin is … 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

Is a Lump on My Neck a Sign of Cancer?

Lymph nodes are key components of the body’s immune system. These small, bean-shaped capsules are located throughout the body and are responsible for filtering lymph fluid and removing harmful substances. They also contain immune cells, which help fight infections by attacking germs and bacteria carried through this fluid. Typically, lymph nodes are soft and undetectable. However, … Continued

Should I Be Screened for Pancreatic Cancer?

While screening for pancreatic cancer is not recommended for people at average risk of the disease, screening is recommended for those who carry an inherited genetic mutation associated with pancreatic cancer or have a family history of the disease. (Mutations are abnormal stretches of DNA that alter how cells grow and divide.) People with an … Continued

Patient and Author with Multiple Myeloma is Writing His Own Next Chapter

For many years, Thomas Palayoor and his wife, Sanjeewani, were engaged in cancer research in India. Inspired by the revolutionary advances being made in the biomedical field in the United States, they decided to move to the U.S. in 1978. Working at the medical schools of Ohio State University and Yale University, Palayoor branched off … Continued

Is Itching a Sign of Pancreatic Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH Itching that occurs periodically is not a sign of pancreatic cancer. In fact, most people diagnosed with the disease will not experience this symptom. A potential symptom of pancreatic cancer is progressive itching that intensifies over a few weeks and is accompanied by jaundice (yellowing of the … Continued

Immunotherapy for Blood Cancers: What’s New?

Immunotherapy for cancer has made some of its biggest inroads against hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma, with treatments such as checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapies producing long-lasting remissions in some patients. But there’s broad agreement that the potential of such therapies has only begun to be tapped and that combining immunotherapy drugs … Continued