What’s the Difference Between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Melanoma is not a different disease from skin cancer. It is, rather, a form of skin cancer. Of the three major forms of skin cancer, melanoma is the rarest but also the most aggressive. It is diagnosed in more than 96,000 people in the United States each year, and patients generally have a good prognosis … Continued

Should I Take Aspirin to Prevent Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to reduce fevers and relieve mild to moderate pain deriving from muscle aches or strains, toothaches, headaches, and symptoms of the common cold. Research so far suggests that taking a small dose of daily aspirin over … Continued

Nutrition Tips for Cancer Caregivers

Caregivers play a vital role in helping cancer patients face the daily challenges of their diagnosis. While everyone’s needs may vary, caregivers are often asked to assist a patient with their meals. This help comes in many forms, from preparing a single dish to grocery shopping. No matter what you’re asked to do, it’s important … Continued

Cancer and the Holidays: How to Cope and Celebrate

The holidays can be a festive time, but for people dealing with cancer, they can also be stressful and full of anxiety. For many patients and their families, the thought of preparing for the season may be met with mixed emotions. And while parties and gift-giving often go hand-in-hand with the holiday season, you might … Continued

Does Soda Cause Cancer?

Nutritionists and doctors agree that consuming soft drinks in excess is associated with several health complications and diseases, including weight gain or obesity, poor dental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. Some of these health conditions can play a role in increasing one’s risk of developing cancer.

Debunking Diets: Keto, Intermittent Fasting, and More

If you’ve ever thought about starting a diet, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that more than 45 million Americans will attempt to diet every year. While it’s easy to find a regimen that claims you’ll lose weight and feel better, how do you know it’s safe or even good for you? The amount of misinformation … Continued

The Link Between HPV and Cancer [Updated 2019]

Medically reviewed by Sarah Feldman, MD, MPH Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells. It can be spread through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity, and it can be carried by all sexes. There are over 100 different types (or strains) of the virus, which are … Continued

New Options for First-Line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Brown, MD 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 … 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 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 familial … 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