What Should You Look for in an Oncologist? [Infographic]

A cancer diagnosis means making many life-altering decisions, often in a matter of days. These include important choices about what kind of treatment you want and who you want to provide it. An oncologist, a doctor who specializes in cancer, manages your care and treatment from beginning to end. That means everything from explaining your … Continued

Tips for Returning to Work after Cancer Treatment

A cancer diagnosis can cause significant changes to your life – including at work. Many patients have to stop working during treatment, take significant time off, or alter their schedules, all of which can take a significant mental, emotional, and financial toll. Some patients may have jobs that provide flexible hours or work-from-home options, but … Continued

Cancer Crusaders Support Group Feels Like Family

  At first glance, it looks like a typical holiday get-together – an annual gathering of friends admiring the decorations on one of their homes. What makes the situation unusual is not what the group is doing, but where they were a few hours earlier: the Weymouth, Massachusetts, physician practice of Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care … Continued

The Four (or Five) Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs

By Rick Fingerman, CFP™ Some people think estate planning is only for the wealthy, but this is just not the case. In fact, estate planning is an important part of every person’s overall financial strategy, whether you’re going through cancer treatment or not. What is estate planning? My definition of estate planning is simply having … Continued

The Truth About Cancer, Fear, and Living

By Samantha Lozier I never truly realized how complicated cancer could be until I had to face it head on. Part of what makes it so complex, I’ve found, is that illness or not, we still have that inner “gremlin” inside all of us that tells us to care what others think and behave as … Continued

Coming to Grips with the News that You’ve Got Cancer

By Rich Rothman I was rolling along in the summer of 2012. Having turned 60, I was working more than 50 hours a week as a litigation partner of a global law firm, playing tennis, fishing (not necessarily catching) on the rare occasions I could get away, and purporting to work out almost daily. After … Continued

VIDEO: How Young Adults’ Identities Change Post-Cancer

Imagine your life ahead of you. You may have seemingly endless possibilities, a carefree attitude, and a sense of immortality that often comes with youth. Then imagine being hit with the unthinkable: a cancer diagnosis. This is the reality approximately 70,000 young adults in the United States face each year. They transform from “normal” 20- … Continued

How Writing Helps During Cancer Treatment

By Rebecca Berman During my ongoing treatment for metastatic endometrial carcinoma, I tried many different mindful activities, such as yoga and other integrative therapies, but I came to a point where I felt that I needed to up my game. In the past, creative writing had helped me express and better process emotions, so I … Continued

Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #5: Stupid Things People Say

Stupid things. We all say them. And cancer patients have heard them all — from the insensitive to the absurd, from nutrition tips to fertility advice, and just about everything in between. While patients can laugh (hopefully) at the remarks in hindsight, when they’re first said, they can cut deep, making patients question their decisions. … Continued

Dancing through a Cancer Diagnosis

  By Kara Robbins Stoughton My life with cancer began when I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in August 2014. I’ve since had 24 chemotherapy treatments, six surgeries, 50 gained pounds, seemingly endless conversations about my bowels, and a recurrence that was diagnosed in January 2016. At my initial diagnosis, I was 32 … Continued

Young Adult Finds Ways to Discuss Death

By Tara Baysol I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 at the age of 27. Just prior to my diagnosis, I had started a new, exciting chapter as a Yale graduate student. My self-confidence was at an all-time high as I had survived my chaotic early 20s and was beginning to really figure things … Continued

Improving Sexual Health for Ovarian Cancer Patients

Treatment for ovarian cancer often comes with sexual side effects. Although curing the cancer is the main goal for many patients and their doctors, Sharon Bober, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s Sexual Health Program, is focused on preserving a patient’s quality of life – including her sexual satisfaction. Bober, with co-investigators Alexi Wright, MD, MPH, a … Continued

Crane Project Fights Cancer with Creativity and Courage

When the Pfeifer family boarded a plane to Chicago in 2012, 996 paper cranes took flight with them. Nine-year-old Anna Pfeifer had learned a Japanese legend in school: whoever folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. After learning that her grandfather had stage IV colon cancer, Anna set out to fold 1,000 cranes … Continued

Connecting with Nature and Other Patients after Leukemia

By Kathleen Barton When you get diagnosed with cancer, it kicks your butt – both the physical aspects of chemo and the general inertia that comes with this new thing you’re living with. Before my diagnosis, I was active – working, volunteering, exercising, and spending time with friends. Then some bruising and fatigue led me … Continued

Voices Podcast – Episode #5: Balancing Motherhood and Breast Cancer

It was a warm day in November 2013 when Gabby Spear found out she had breast cancer. But even in the midst of the difficult news, her responsibilities as a mom, wife, professional, and community member remained; she knew she still had to pick up her two daughters and make it to temple service later … Continued

‘Chemobuddies’ Help Breast Cancer Patient Heal

This post was originally published in July 2016. “What should I bring with me to chemo?” It’s a common question. For many cancer patients, the answer is books, puzzles, or a good movie. For Monica Wright, it was her “chemobuddies.” Wright, 44, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2015, and quickly found how comforting … Continued

Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #3: Coping Through Creativity

Tara Shuman didn’t necessarily set out to be a blogger, let alone a book author. Yet in the throes of a cancer diagnosis she turned to writing as an outlet. Abby Morgan also turned to blogging. A painter since an early age, and an art teacher, writing carried less pressure than painting. “I don’t want … Continued

Young Cancer Patients Find Community Online

Five hundred miles from her hometown in northern Virginia, newlywed Jeannie Choi, 30, and her husband were settling into to Massachusetts and their new careers in July 2015. Just three months later, their wedding vows – to support each other in sickness and in health – would be put to the test with another transformative … Continued

Managing Oral Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Oral problems such as mouth sores, dry mouth, jaw pain, and sensitive gums are a common complaint for cancer patients, because the very treatments that target fast-growing cancer cells can also affect healthy cells in the mouth. Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy may cause mouth sores and dry mouth, while some newer targeted therapies … Continued

Advice for Parenting During Cancer Treatment

Parents face many unique challenges when diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles is learning how to communicate with children about this difficult and emotional subject. In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Kelly Drummond, LICSW, a Dana-Farber social worker joins Dana-Farber social worker Allison Dibiaso, LICSW, and Sarah Silvia, a single mom who … Continued