FAQs for Cancer Patients on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19, a respiratory illness. The spread of COVID-19 is disrupting life — for those who have been infected with the virus as well as those who haven’t — on a global scale. As with many public health issues, the coronavirus outbreak may pose special risks … Continued

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that begins in plasma cells — cells in the bone marrow, that, under normal circumstances, are involved in our immune defense system and produce antibodies. In multiple myeloma, too many plasma cells (myeloma cells) build up in the bone marrow. The presence of these tumor cells in the … Continued

What Are the Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer?

When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, such as the bones, brain, liver, or lungs, it is called metastatic (also referred to as advanced or stage IV) breast cancer. While it is not curable, metastatic breast cancer can be treatable — especially with the advent of new therapies, including biologic targeted treatments … Continued

Institute Researchers at Forefront of Development of Antibody Therapy for COVID-19

As scientists race to develop and test new treatments for COVID-19, Dana-Farber’s Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, and his lab team are bringing one of the world’s most formidable resources to the effort: a “library” of 27 billion human antibodies against viruses, bacteria, and other bodily invaders. The collection, created by Marasco and his associates in … Continued

What Does It Mean to Be Immunocompromised?

Immunocompromised individuals are potentially at a higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We’re here to help — here is some general information about what it means to be immunocompromised, and how you can protect yourself. This information is specific to people … Continued

How is Immunotherapy Used to Treat Lymphoma?

Immunotherapy is an approach to treatment that harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer and other diseases. It is used to treat a growing array of cancer types, often with striking success. Lymphoma is a form of cancer that occurs when white blood cells known as lymphocytes grow abnormally. There are now close to … Continued

Project Takes Step Toward Mapping Major Cancer-Causing Gene Mutations

A massive international effort has taken a big step toward mapping all the major cancer-causing mutations in the human genome, generating new knowledge about how tumors form. The extensive role played by large-scale structural mutations in cancer was among the findings of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Project, according to Rameen Beroukhim, MD, … Continued

‘Evan Will Get Through This’: One Mother’s Perspective

On June 16, 2019, our 4-year-old son, Evan, fell off a jungle gym at daycare. At first, his daycare provider thought he was fine. He got right up and seemed to recover. She called me and we agreed to watch him to see if there were any changes. A couple hours later, Evan started throwing … 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 Properly Wash Your Hands

Practicing proper hand hygiene is a simple, yet extremely effective, way of preventing the spread of germs and diseases. By washing your hands properly, and often, you can protect yourself as well as your family and even the community you live in. When should I wash my hands? When in doubt, wash! It’s important to … Continued

What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that can be easily spread from person to person. Currently, COVID-19 can be difficult to identify because it shares many symptoms with the flu. Here is what you need to know. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? After 2-14 days of exposure to COVID-19, symptoms may include: … 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

Night Sweats: Are They a Symptom of Cancer?

What are night sweats? Night sweats are episodes of excessive perspiration that occur at night while one is asleep. People who experience this condition typically report waking with damp bedclothes or sheets, having an increased heart rate, and chills. There are many causes of night sweats, most of which are not related to cancer or … Continued

Pancreatic Cancer Myths and Common Questions, Answered

Pancreatic cancer isn’t as common as some other cancers, but it is somewhat renowned for being difficult to treat. Symptoms usually don’t show up until the cancer has grown to an advanced stage, but now, more than ever, patients with pancreatic cancer have good reason to be optimistic about their futures due to advances researchers … Continued

Still Smiling After Four Cancers and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Martha Pena has endured breast cancer twice (once in each breast), lung cancer that metastasized to her brain, and stomach (gastric) cancer — all by age 40. Now 42, she is receiving ongoing treatment for her lung and gastric cancer at Dana-Farber, where she was also diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare hereditary condition … Continued

Could Leukemia Be Stopped Before It Starts? Researchers Aim to Find Out

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer affecting both adults and children, requires more than one genetic “hit” to develop. As we age, many of us acquire a mutation that enables certain of our blood cells to multiply faster than others, forming their own distinct population. This first hit, known as “clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate … Continued

Patient with Metastatic Cervical Cancer Looks at Life Through Her Own Lens

One of the reasons Fangjyh Chern loves photography is because it allows her to capture a unique moment in time. For her, the fun and challenge comes from photographing instances that can never be truly reproduced or recreated. Since her own cancer diagnosis in 2014, Chern says she has had a heightened awareness of the … Continued