How to Grill Safely in the Summer

For many, summertime means breaking out the grill, but some worry grilling may be linked to cancer risk. The good news is that with some specific grilling practices, there are many ways for people to safely enjoy grilled foods without added stress. Stephanie Meyers, RD, LDN, CNSD, a nutritionist with Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center … Continued

Grocery Shopping During COVID-19: Tips for Staying Safe

Grocery shopping during COVID-19 can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to make the process as safe as possible. Stephanie Meyers, MS, RDN, a nutritionist with Dana-Farber’s Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living, provides nutritional advice for those in every phase of cancer treatment and recovery during COVID-19. She has … Continued

How to Use Music to Relax During Stressful Times

In times of immense stress and adversity, music and the arts are sometimes viewed as nothing more than novelties: Things to be used and enjoyed in happier times. However, music may be able to help the most during these hard times. It has been proven that listening to music can have a meaningful psychological and … Continued

Tips for Exercising at Home to Cope with Stress

Regular exercise helps maintain your well-being and can be especially necessary during times of acute stress. Working out — or performing moderate to vigorous physical activity that elevates your heart rate and activates muscles — can have numerous positive effects on your health, both physically and emotionally. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and … Continued

Meditation: What It Is and How To Try It

Cancer and other health conditions not only affect the body physically; they can also carry a major emotional impact. While the main focus for many patients is treating the cancer itself and its accompanying side effects, it’s also crucial to address your mental health. While there are many ways to do this, meditation and mindfulness … Continued

How to Fully Utilize Your Pantry Supplies

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), some grocery stores have been overwhelmed by people looking to stock up on supplies. Individuals are also increasingly encouraged to practice social distancing and self-quarantine. As a result, accessing fresh and healthy ingredients can be more challenging than usual. Stephanie Meyers, MS, RD, a nutritionist at the Leonard P. Zakim … Continued

What is Strength Training and Can It Help Cancer Patients?

Strength training is a type of exercise in which one uses resistance to force the muscles to contract to build strength. Resistance for strengthening can come from a person’s own body weight or from gym equipment. We spoke to Nancy Campbell, MS, an exercise physiologist at Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, who … Continued

How to Maintain Muscle Health During Cancer Treatment

Medically reviewed by Jennifer A. Ligibel, MD Cancer can present a host of physical challenges. During treatment, a patient may not be able to move far from their bed or room; therapy can also lead to metabolic changes that disrupt the way the body processes food to create energy. Add that to a hectic appointment … Continued

Tips for Coping with a Cancer Recurrence

In some cases, despite a cancer care team’s best effort, cancer comes back after treatment. This is known as a relapse or recurrence. The news can have a similar emotional impact to a patient’s initial diagnosis; patients may experience shock or feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s experience is different, and the most important thing you can do … Continued

Common Questions About Alternative and Integrative Therapies, Answered [Podcast]

The search for new and better cancer treatments has resulted in some incredible discoveries in recent years. Immunotherapy, a kind of cancer therapy that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer, has monumentally changed the way that some cancers are treated. Chemotherapy and radiation have greatly improved. And researchers are working on bringing more treatment … Continued

How to Address Nausea and Decreased Appetite During Cancer Treatment

For many patients, cancer treatment can result in nausea, vomiting, and a decreased appetite. This can make it difficult to eat well, stay hydrated, and maintain a healthy weight – all of which are key factors in helping patients feel stronger and tolerate treatments better. Here are some ways to manage these side effects. Plan … Continued

Using Music to Cope with Cancer: 5 Patient Stories

There is evidence that music can be a powerful therapeutic tool: it has been shown to bring about positive changes in mood and reduce anxiety, among other benefits. For cancer patients, music and music therapy—the clinical use of music as a tool to help achieve treatment goals—can also be used to develop positive coping skills … Continued

Writer Puts Her Cancer Experiences Into Poetry

Carol Snyder Halberstadt has been chronicling her life through poetry since she was 5, a means of self-expression she credits as the springboard to a long writing and editing career. When she was diagnosed in the past decade with lung cancer and then lymphoma, putting this part of her personal odyssey into poetry was a … Continued

How Giving Hand Massages to Cancer Patients Helps Them – And Me, Too

By Hilda Santos One day six years ago, my sister Palmira called me from Dana-Farber with an idea. Her husband, Bob, was in treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and a volunteer had just approached his chair asking if he wanted a hand massage during his chemotherapy infusion. Seconds later, Palmira was on the phone. “This would … Continued

7 Ways Integrative Therapies Help Cancer Patients

Research has shown that integrative therapies can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve overall quality of life. These therapies range from individual treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, and Reiki, to group programs for movement, meditation, and creative arts. View the slideshow below to learn more about how integrative therapies can help cancer patients.   Visit … Continued

Colon Cancer Patient Helps Others Improve Quality of Life

Jeff Sirlin seemed to experience every side effect imaginable when he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010. The active 37-year-old dad and business owner was fatigued, losing weight and strength, and dealing with the psychological effects of his disease. But he didn’t wait long to take action. “I’m the type of person who needs … Continued

Can ‘Prehabilitation’ Benefit Cancer Patients?

Cancer treatment can be debilitating, but there may be ways patients can better prepare themselves for the challenges to come. The benefits of exercise in helping cancer patients deal with fatigue, mood swings, and other issues experienced during and after treatment are well documented. Now physician-scientists at Dana-Farber and elsewhere are investigating whether a new … Continued

How To Perform Acupressure for Vomiting and Nausea

Chemotherapy and radiation are successful in treating many types of cancer, but these treatments can also cause a host of side effects – including vomiting and nausea. A form of ancient Chinese therapy called acupressure, similar to acupuncture, has been shown to help alleviate these side effects. Learn how you can experience these benefits at … Continued

6 Ways to Practice Mindfulness [Infographic]

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing one’s attention on the present. Like other integrative therapies and practices, it has been proven to help people through difficult circumstances, reduce stress and pain, and improve focus. This makes it an especially powerful complementary therapy for cancer patients. Here are some ways you can practice mindfulness, wherever you … Continued