The connection between a researcher’s biography and area of study is not always obvious. A young scientist may discover an intellectual fascination with immunology, for example, despite not having known anyone with an immunological disorder. For Dana-Farber’s Narjust Duma, MD, however, research is not just a response to her life experiences. It’s a way to … Read more
In December 2013, Michelle Leonard wasn’t too concerned when she felt a pain in her right chest. “I kind of thought, ‘Well at least it’s the right side, not a big deal,’” she says. But then she developed a fever and decided to go to her primary care physician. Her nurse practitioner sent her for … Read more
A form of immune cell therapy for cancer known as tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapy, involves removing immune T cells from a piece of the patient’s tumor — where the T cells have succeeded in recognizing the cancer — expanding them outside the body, and re-infusing them by the billions to fight the disease. … Read more
While most lung cancers are linked to tobacco smoking, a minority — about 15 percent in the United States — of non-small cell lung cancers are driven by a random mutation in a gene called EGFR, which helps cells grow and divide. What is EGFR-mutant lung cancer? A mutation in the gene EGFR, which stands … Read more
When looking for inspiration, Saila Hanninen needs only to glance at her left wrist. Tattooed there is the Finnish word “jaksaa” (pronounced YÄK SAH), roughly translating to “strength.” Jaksaa, however, is about more than just physical strength: It’s about fortitude, endurance, mental toughness, and a willingness to keep going when the odds are against you. … Read more
As a federal probation officer, Ryan Fox brings empathy to her role working with prisoners and their families. Knowing there is often more to a case than meets the eye, she partners with lawyers, judges, and others in the court system to give inmates a fresh start and an opportunity to tell their stories. She’s … Read more
Medically reviewed by Michael Cheng, MD A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found that in 2010, air pollution was responsible for 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide. The findings were so striking that they prompted the agency, a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), to classify outdoor air pollution … Read more
Perhaps the biggest challenge in precision cancer therapy is tumors’ nasty habit of rebounding after an initial attack with targeted drugs has shrunk them almost out of existence. Instead of vanishing completely, curing the patient, the tumors leave behind a small cadre of cells that slumber in a dormant state, only to return in a … Read more
A cough can potentially be a symptom of a health concern, but in the overwhelming majority of cases that include a cough, the cause is unrelated to cancer.
Robert Johnson remains in remission more than three years after participating in a pioneering immunotherapy clinical trial for his stage IV adenocarcinoma non-small cell lung cancer.
During a “couples chemo” session, Kevin got down on one knee and popped the question to Tim, his partner of 37 years. They tied the knot in the Healing Garden at Dana-Farber.
Nausea and cancer are often related in that nausea can be a side effect of treatment, but can nausea be a symptom of cancer itself? Is nausea a sign of colon cancer or other cancers? If there is a tumor that lives in the colon, esophagus, stomach, or somewhere else in the bowel, it can … Read more
The first time a Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) cyclist rode in her honor, a weakened Susan Cardinal sent them a good-luck text as she prepared for surgery. Just one year later, this Dana-Farber patient plans to be waiting excitedly at the Provincetown finish when the PMC team riding for her finishes its two-day journey on Aug. … Read more
Although the mortality rate for lung cancer is declining, this disease is still the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. It also remains the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes. This World Lung Cancer Day, learn about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for lung … Read more
By Allison DiBiaso, LICSW A cancer diagnosis can fundamentally alter a person’s life, and it can often add an unexpected burden: stigma. Lung cancer patients are some of the people who experience this stigma most, as others may look at or treat them differently because of their diagnosis. In some cases, the patients themselves may … Read more
Every time tobacco is inhaled, it creates conditions in the body almost ideally suited to the formation of cancer. So how do experts explain lung cancer in non-smokers – and what are the significant risk factors for lung cancer other than smoking?
In November, four states – California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine – passed measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use, bringing the total number of states with legal cannabis to eight, plus the District of Columbia. The vote in Maine was quite close and is expected to be challenged by opponents, but as of now, 26 states … Read more
Tobacco smoke is the number one risk factor for lung cancer – and every time it is inhaled, it deals a double blow to lung cells, creating conditions almost ideally suited to the formation of cancer. Does tar in cigarettes cause cancer? Chemicals such as tar and formaldehyde within tobacco smoke penetrate the cells and … Read more
Nurses at Dana-Farber are used to hearing patients gush about their children and grandchildren during chemotherapy treatments, but Stephanie Ann Benoit, RN, still smiles when recalling how Nancy Raisman sang the praises of her granddaughter. “Aly is going to be in the Olympics,” the lung cancer patient would say proudly, a prediction that came true … Read more
Smoking cigarettes contributes to 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in men, and it is estimated to have caused more than 130,000 deaths from the disease between 2005 and 2010. But smoking damage does not stop with lung cancer: the habit can cause or contribute to … Read more