New Options for First-Line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Most patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) now have several options for first-line therapy, thanks to new clinical trial results and novel targeted agents. Many patients with CLL, a slowly progressive blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells, don’t need immediate treatment but can be observed — sometimes for … Continued

What is Scalp Cooling and How Does It Work?

Scalp cooling is a simple treatment developed to help prevent or reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells, and hair is the second fastest dividing cell — which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Scalp cooling reduces the blood flow to the cells that produce hair and … Continued

What Are Common Brain Tumor Symptoms?

Medically reviewed by Eudocia Q. Lee, MD, MPH and Lakshmi Nayak, MD We asked neuro-oncologists Lakshmi Nayak, MD, and Eudocia Quant Lee, MD, MPH, from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Neuro-Oncology, to review the red flags that warrant a medical follow up: Headaches that are new or worsening, especially in a person who doesn’t normally … Continued

Is Itching a Sign of Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Buchbinder, MD, and Jennifer Crombie, MD Got an itch that just won’t go away? Also known as pruritus (proo-rai-tuhs), itchy skin can have a wide variety of causes, including seasonal allergies and dry skin; various skin conditions, such as eczema; and even certain detergents and lotions. The good news is that … Continued

What Are Precursor Blood Conditions and How Are They Treated? [Updated 2019]

Precursor conditions are early phases of blood diseases that may develop into cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and multiple myeloma. Most people do not experience symptoms, and since doctors rarely screen for precursor conditions, they are often diagnosed after routine blood tests. “Many diagnoses are purely incidental,” says Irene Ghobrial, MD, co-principal investigator … Continued

What African American Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

African-Americans have a 60 percent higher incidence of prostate cancer compared to other ethnic groups, and a 150 percent higher risk of dying from it — in part because blacks tend to have a more aggressive form. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and to have a more … Continued

Does Burnt Food Cause Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Stacy Kennedy MPH, RD/LDN, CSO Have you ever left a meal in the oven for too long or set the toaster too high? Maybe you’ve fried something in a pan and really fried it. Burning food is a common occurrence — but can these seemingly minor incidents put you at an increased … Continued

Living with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome is Using Knowledge as Power

Breast cancer survivor Jennifer Perry is at high risk of additional cancers during her lifetime because she carries an inherited the mutation for Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS). But experts at the new Li-Fraumeni Syndrome and TP53+ Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute can help her manage that risk. While there is no treatment for LFS — a … Continued

Gynecologic Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Kevin Elias, MD Today, cervical cancer is the only type of gynecologic cancer for which there is a routine screening test. The lack of such tests for endometrial and ovarian cancer — the most common gynecologic cancers — makes it especially important that women and their doctors be attuned to the symptoms … Continued

Understanding The Nutrition Label: A Nutritionist Q&A

Whether you’re a cancer patient or not, what should you be paying attention to on the Nutrition Facts label found on packaged food and beverages in the United States? How you can take this information and adapt it to your specific needs? In this podcast, we dig into these questions and more with Stacy Kennedy … 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

Why is Nutrition Important? [Podcast]

Why is nutrition so important, and what should cancer patients should keep in mind during and after treatment? With the help of Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD/LDN, CSO, senior nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we debunk a few nutrition myths in this podcast — and provide tips on what you can do to eat healthfully. Austin … Continued

Is Kidney Cancer Genetic?

Medically reviewed by Bradley McGregor, MD Kidney cancer occurs when the cells of the kidney acquire abnormal mutations in their DNA and then multiply. These cells may accumulate and form a tumor; in some cases, they metastasize and spread elsewhere in the body. Can I inherit kidney cancer? A family history of kidney cancer does … Continued

Pediatric Cancer Survivor Still Flourishing a Half-Century Later

When Susan Villanueva was just 11 months old, she was diagnosed with cancer. It took her a long time to come to grips with her experience — but more than 50 years later, she is serving as inspiration for patients, survivors, and beyond. In 1969, Villanueva was originally taken to the hospital to address symptoms … Continued

Is BRCA-Positive Breast Cancer Treated Differently From BRCA-Negative?

About 5 to 10% percent of women with breast cancer have an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which puts them at greater risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers. For most women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, having a BRCA mutation doesn’t affect how the cancer itself is treated. But the presence … Continued

What Should I Eat if I Have Esophageal Cancer?

Eating with esophageal cancer can present difficulties for patients before, during, and after treatment. Patients may go through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or any combination of these in an effort to eliminate or beat back the cancer. Esophageal cancer and its treatment can also cause the esophagus to narrow and/or become dry, sore, and irritated, … Continued

Does Coffee Cause Cancer?

The health risks (and benefits) of coffee have been investigated by medical professionals for years—but so far, there is not a concrete connection between coffee consumption and cancer. Overall, the health benefits of coffee seem to outweigh the bad. Multiple studies have shown that coffee consumption (without any of the added fats and sugars) is … 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

What is a Balanced Diet?

A balanced diet promotes health and wellness in everyone, including people with cancer. By properly balancing your plate and adopting (or dropping) certain eating habits, you’ll be ensuring that your body is getting the nutrition that it needs to function well. An accurately balanced plate of food will consist of 50 percent fruits and vegetables, 25 … Continued

What’s the Latest on E-Cigarettes and Cancer?

Claiming that use of electronic cigarettes among young people is reaching “epidemic proportions,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has undertaken a range of measures to ensure compliance with laws banning sales to minors and is considering toughening its stance toward manufacturers that fail to prevent widespread youth use of their products. JUUL, a new … Continued