Patient Facing a Rare Head and Neck Cancer Finds His Voice Again

Sitting on his living room couch one day in 2016, Scott Turley had to fight back tears as he read a book to his young children. A rare cancer diagnosis that led to a 16 hour surgery to remove a tumor in his trachea had resulted in the loss of his larynx and vocal cords the … Continued

Should I Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

It is still important to keep up with your routine medical appointments, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups remains important for your health, even for cancer patients. Here, Nathaniel Treister, DMD, DMSc, clinical director of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, answers … Continued

Spurring Natural Killer Cells to Fight Head and Neck Cancer

Excited to be the first patient in a novel clinical trial, Jon Woods is hoping that an infusion of immune natural killer cells donated by his son will beat back the metastatic cancer he has battled for four years. “I’m upbeat [and] I’m happy to be a pioneer,” says Woods, 65, a retired postal worker … Continued

Cancer Patient Faces Multiple Diagnoses with the Strength of a Warrior

One bout of cancer is enough to contend with, but since 2014 Mary Johnson has had to cope with four different cancers and related conditions. Despite these tests of her physical and emotional strength, Johnson is doing well today after treatment at Dana-Farber. “Coming to Dana-Farber gave me confidence because they supported me, and I … 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

What Does a Thyroid Cancer Lump Feel Like?

Medically reviewed by Jochen H. Lorch, MD, MS While 80 to 90 percent of reported thyroid lumps are not cancerous, performing “neck checks” can help you become familiar with what your thyroid looks and feels like, so you can tell your health care professional if you notice any changes. Jochen Lorch, MD, director of the … Continued

Facts to Know About Throat Cancer

Medically reviewed by Robert Haddad, MD Throat cancer is one of many cancers that affect the head and neck area, including the nasopharynx, the area of the throat behind the nose; the oropharynx, middle part of the throat; the hypopharynx, the bottom section of the throat; the oral cavity where the tongue sits; and the … Continued

Navigating a Cancer Diagnosis One Quote at a Time

For a seven week stretch in 2018, Steve Kiley began each day with an inspirational quote. It was all part of his morning routine: he’d wake up, get ready for the day, and pull a sticky note off of the giant calendar created by his wife, Becky. The calendar helped Kiley count down his seven … Continued

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Throat Cancer?

Throat cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that may affect the larynx, the area of the throat used for speaking; the nasopharynx, the area of the throat behind the nose; or the oropharynx, the middle part of the throat. If you experience any of the symptoms described below, contact your doctor, who … Continued

Does Fluoride Cause Cancer?

For decades, some activists have warned of links between fluoride and cancer. But years of research confirm that “there is no reason to believe that fluoride, used in an approved manner, in any way causes disease,” according to Herve Sroussi, DMD, PhD, of the Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology at Dana-Farber and Brigham … Continued

Salivary Gland Cancer: What are the Symptoms?

Salivary gland cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands. It may not cause any symptoms, and it may be found during a regular dental check-up or physical exam. Signs and symptoms may be caused by salivary gland cancer — but they … Continued

Laryngeal Cancer: What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Laryngeal cancer symptoms may be caused by laryngeal (throat) cancer – a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the larynx – or by other conditions. The larynx is a part of the throat, between the base of the tongue and the trachea. The larynx includes the supraglottis, glottis (vocal cords), and subglottis. The vocal cords vibrate and … Continued

Swallowing Therapy: How Can it Help Cancer Patients?

Swallowing therapy is often necessary for patients with head and neck cancer who undergo surgery or radiation since they frequently encounter difficulties with swallowing due to treatment. The jaw, tongue, lips, and throat muscles can all be impacted by treatment for head and neck cancers — including cancers of the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and … Continued

Thyroid Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

Located in the front of the neck below the voice box (larynx) and above the collarbone, the thyroid gland plays a very important role in regulating the body’s metabolism and function. Hormones released by the thyroid gland help to control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. Learn More: What Does a Thyroid Cancer … Continued

Why I Walk: David Frank, MD, PhD

It has become a fall tradition in New England: thousands of people walking up to 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai. Their ages, backgrounds, and circumstances vary, but all take to the course with a common goal: a world without cancer. One of them is Dana-Farber physician-scientist David Frank, … Continued

What’s New in Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer?

For patients with advanced head and neck cancers, immune-based therapies have started to show results against these hard-to-treat tumors. Two immunotherapy drugs were approved in 2016 for use when standard treatments failed, and many other agents are being tested in clinical trials. Immunotherapies work by enhancing the body’s natural defenses against malignancies, and have made … Continued

Use of Immunotherapeutic Expanded to Fifth Type of Cancer

This post originally appeared on Cancer Research Catalyst, the official blog of the American Association of Cancer Research. It was originally published Nov. 15, 2016. By Karen Honey, PhD On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved expanding the use of the immunotherapeutic nivolumab (Opdivo) to include the treatment … Continued