Navigating the Mental Health Toll of Prostate Cancer and Its Side Effects 

Although early detection and treatment advances have significantly improved survival rates for patients with prostate cancer, the majority will face some form of sexual health side effect. Addressing these physical and emotional side effects is a priority for care teams at Dana-Farber.  But longstanding cultural barriers can often keep men from discussing sensitive issues like … Read more

What’s the Connection Between BRCA and Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry? 

People who inherit mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are at heightened risk for a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic. It’s estimated that one in 300-400 people in the general population carry a mutation in either of these genes. Among people of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent, the prevalence is … Read more

Colon Cancer Patient with Anxiety and Panic Disorders Finds Support — and Passes it On  

Two weeks after turning 50, Wendy Tamis Robbins learned she had stage II colon cancer. Having lived with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorders nearly all her life, she used the same strategies that helped her navigate these struggles to meet her cancer diagnosis head-on.  Robbins handled the ups and downs of her summer … Read more

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Pancreatic cancer often eludes early detection because symptoms typically don’t surface until the disease is well established. This makes it important to respond appropriately to warning signs, even though some may be vague or caused by another health condition. What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer? Most symptoms of pancreatic cancer are caused when tumors … Read more

Patient is First at Dana-Farber to Undergo Outpatient Stem Cell Transplant for Myeloma 

In most ways, Bill Ross’s stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center (DFBCC) wasn’t out of the ordinary. He received chemotherapy to destroy the tumor cells in his body and then an infusion of his own hematopoietic stem cells, which flocked to his bone marrow and regenerated his blood supply. Over … Read more

New Targeted Treatments Emerge For Gastric and Esophageal Cancer 

For years, patients with advanced forms of gastric and esophageal cancer have had relatively few treatment options. Most patients with inoperable tumors would receive chemotherapy, usually a combination of fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and leucovorin (known as FOLFOX). While this regimen is often effective, patients eventually develop resistance to the treatment and their tumors progress. Now, the … Read more

Living with Recurrent Ovarian Cancer, Celebrity Chef Writes a New Recipe 

As a cast member on the television series “America’s Test Kitchen,” and host of its companion podcast “The Walk-In,” Elle Simone Scott delights in sharing her expertise and recipes. The Boston-based celebrity chef and food stylist is also a role model, as founder and president of SheChef, Inc., a professional networking organization for fellow women … Read more

Research Drives Key Protein from the Shadows to Reveal Its Role in Breast Cancer Subtype 

In a branch of the PI3K protein family — with members named PI3Kα, PI3Kβ, PI3Kδ, and PI3Kγ — PI3Kβ was long treated as the proverbial middle child: neglected by cancer scientists in favor of its more prominent siblings.  In a new study, Dana-Farber researchers demonstrate that it doesn’t deserve its obscurity — that in fact … Read more

How is Standard of Care for Cancer Treatment Determined? 

In general, standard of care is treatment accepted by medical experts for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals. It is also called best practice, standard medical care, and standard therapy.  The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology lay out the recognized standards for cancer … Read more

Finding Reason to Laugh with Metastatic Breast Cancer 

By Valerie Frank Ever since I can remember, I’ve made people laugh. ​​I was always the funny friend, and when I was in my mid-20s I made it official by becoming a Main Stage cast member of ImprovBoston — an improvisational comedy theater in Cambridge, MA. Once I retired from improv to become a suburban … Read more

What is HER2-Low Breast Cancer? 

One of the ways of classifying breast cancers is by the level of a protein called HER2 on the surface of tumor cells. HER2, which stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, helps control how breast cells grow, divide, and repair damage.  Breast cancers marked by high levels of HER2 are known as HER2-positive … Read more

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, Mother is Given a Chance to Raise Her Son 

Just over a year after giving birth to her son, Emmett, Abigail Myers faced a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer in March 2014.   It started when Myers woke up one morning feeling sore. When she found a lump, she rushed to her doctor, all the while in disbelief that she might have cancer.  A resident … Read more

Clinical Trial Offers Lessons for Patient and Researchers 

When the time came for Jeffrey Ferreira to undergo a stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), his Dana-Farber hematologist, Corey Cutler, MD, MPH, had some intriguing news: he was eligible for a clinical trial of a new approach to lowering the risk of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common and sometimes severe aftereffect … Read more