Is Spotting Between Periods a Sign of Cancer?

Vaginal bleeding—also known as spotting—between periods is common among women who have not yet reached menopause. Most commonly, it is caused by hormonal imbalances, stress, and vaginal dryness. Vaginal bleeding in post-menopausal women can, in some cases, be an early sign of cancer and should always be investigated further. Spotting is the primary symptom of … Continued

Breast Cancer Patient, Now Cancer-Free, Finds Strength Through Her Family

The drive from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to Raleigh, North Carolina, is about 750 miles. If you’re up for the drive, Jenn Anderson notes, plan on spending a lot of time on I-95 and consider extending the trip with a stopover in Delaware. It’s a familiar route for Anderson, who was planning to move south with her … Continued

‘Organoids’ Could Aid Cancer Drug Selection

Tests on living “organoids” created from patients’ ovarian cancer cells proved more accurate than DNA sequencing in predicting tumors’ sensitivity or resistance to chemotherapy drugs – and combining the two methods worked even better, say scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The investigators report in Cancer Discovery that ovarian cancer organoids – tiny, three-dimensional spheres of cells … Continued

Breast Cancer Patient Skates Past Cancer

Have you ever wanted to ice skate at Rockefeller Center? If so, you’re not alone. But what if balance and coordination escape you the moment you step on the ice? You may need the help of two-time breast cancer survivor Margaret Simonovich. Simonovich, a 76-year-old former professional figure skater originally from Scotland, was first bit … Continued

After Breast Cancer Treatment while Pregnant, Nurse and Son Are Thriving

Tricia Severns, NP, a nurse practitioner at Dana-Farber, found out that she was pregnant just five days after her breast cancer diagnosis. But with the guidance of experts in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Severns was able to carry and deliver a baby boy—and both Tricia and her son are … Continued

What You Should Know About Breast Cancer Risk [Podcast]

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, and as a result, there is an almost endless stream of information about the disease on the Internet and beyond. One fact we know is that early detection of breast cancer can often make the disease easier to treat, and in some cases, easier to … Continued

After Two Relapses, Ovarian Cancer Patient is Thriving

After two relapses, Janet Sheehan went on a clinical trial for her ovarian cancer. Four months later, her newest tumors were completely gone—and today, she’s relishing in a growing list of family milestones.

Patient Lives Energetic Life After Cancer Treatment — With Help From an App

Before her vulvar cancer diagnosis, Ronda Cushman led an energetic life as a physical therapy assistant who exercised each morning. Chemotherapy treatment curtailed both passions, but now Cushman may have a new ally in regaining her strength – and caregivers a new way to monitor her health away from the hospital. This past spring, Cushman … Continued

Ovarian Cancer Can Present Unique Challenges Around Gender

By Mal Malme Each year during my annual checkup with my wonderful oncologist Panos A. Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD, at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, I reflect back on how grateful I am that my ovarian cancer is in remission. And while I appreciate the warmth and clinical expertise that he … Continued

Seed vs. Wire Localization: Lumpectomies for Breast Cancer

A lumpectomy “seed” technique is proving to be more comfortable and convenient for some patients with non-palpable breast cancers. Lumpectomies involve surgical removal of cancer in the breast with a rim of normal tissue. If the cancer has been detected by a mammogram or ultrasound and is not palpable — meaning, it cannot be felt — a … Continued

Women’s Cancers: What You Should Be Screened For and When

It’s never too early or too late to work toward being your healthiest you. That’s the motto of National Women’s Health Week, an initiative developed to help women of all ages take control of their health. Following proper cancer screenings is an important part of maintaining health and well-being – and reducing your risk of … Continued

Breast Cancer Treatment: Yesterday and Tomorrow

By Eric Winer, MD When I was a first-year oncologist in 1990, there were 150,000 cases of breast cancer each year in the U.S. and 44,000 deaths. Breast cancer back then was viewed as a single disease. When patients asked me, “What kind of breast cancer do I have?” I would say, “You have stage … Continued

Fighting Women’s Cancers from Within

Traditionally, the war on cancer has been waged from the outside in, with therapies such as surgery, radiation, and drugs entering the body from external sources. For more than 100 years, however, a notion has persisted that the most formidable tool against cancer may come from within: the immune system. The immune system is the … Continued

Voices Podcast – Episode #1: Breast Cancer ‘SoulMates’

When Melissa Angiolillo was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015, she had all the support of her husband, family and friends. But what she really needed was someone who had gone through what she was about to experience, someone who knew what it was like to face a stage III breast cancer diagnosis. Enter … Continued