From the Military to Improving the Future of Cancer Care

There was a time when Bradley McGregor, MD, had what many would consider an unusual morning routine for an oncologist. Getting ready for work included putting on nearly 60 pounds of body armor, donning a tactical helmet, and grabbing his assault rifle before heading out the door. His commute took him from an American compound, … Continued

Drug Shows Promise as First Definitive Treatment for Rare Anemia

Medically reviewed by Rachael Grace, MD In the mid-1960s, David G. Nathan, MD, president emeritus of Dana-Farber and, at that time, a hematologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, published some of the first reports on a rare, inherited type of anemia caused by the breakdown of red blood cells because of a lack of a key … 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.

Vaping/E-Cigarette Health Risks: What’s the Latest?

Medically reviewed by Andy Tan, PhD, MPH E-cigarettes have grown in popularity in recent years, especially among teens, whose e-cigarette use now exceeds that of traditional cigarettes. With this increase have come growing concerns about the long- and short-term health effects of vaping. We spoke with Dana-Farber’s Andy Tan, PhD, MPH, who studies how communication … Continued

Aided by Genetic Advances, Pancreatic Cancer Patient Keeps Rolling Along

Anthony Guido sums up his life largely in numbers. He worked construction for more than 30 years, has ridden 500,000-plus miles by motorcycle since turning 18, and shares a combined four children and 16 grandchildren with his wife, Shelly. Guido is proud of it all, but what has him most excited these days is marking … Continued

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

How Families are Reshaping Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Research

This article originally appeared on Discoveries, the blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. No one knew the heartache about to unfold when Savannah and Brett Lillywhite first began thinking about having a family 10 years ago. The Lillywhites Savannah and Brett are both the unlikely carriers of a rare condition called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome — SDS for short — … Continued

Resistance to Targeted Leukemia Drug Lurks in Cells’ “Powerhouse”

Medically reviewed by Catherine J. Wu, MD Within every human cell, a fateful balance prevails. The mitochondria — where nutrients from food are converted into fuel for the cell — serve as a kind of jury box where pro-survival proteins contend with proteins that favor cell death. In the ebb and flow of these proteins, … Continued

Helping Barry’s Body Beat Cancer with Immunotherapy

Barry Nelson describes his family’s cancer history as “prolific.” Nelson’s grandmother, mother, and two aunts all died from cancer, and it seemed like Nelson might be next. “One morning, I woke up and I had a pain in my neck on my left side. I went to my primary care physician and, ultimately, I found out … Continued

For Breast Cancer Patient, Positivity Is Everything

On a sunny July afternoon, Michelle Lemieux ran onto the field at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during a Boston Red Sox home game. While the crowd of over 36,000 people continued to applaud as Lemieux ran back to her family, only a handful in attendance could truly appreciate what she … Continued

Pediatric Cancer Survivor Begins Road to Recovery

At just 14 years old, Kaitlyn Vu was asked to accept a drastic, life-altering surgery. In early 2019, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma — a rare type of bone cancer that ultimately led to the amputation of her left foot. Kaitlyn’s ability to meet each challenge of her diagnosis with a combination of grace and … 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

While Enjoying College, Ewing Sarcoma Survivor Looks to Her Past

It lacks sunsets and skylines, but Maddie Carlson loves the view from her dorm room at Emmanuel College in Boston. If the 20-year-old junior sticks her head out the window at just the right angle, she can almost make out a portion of the place she credits for saving her life after she was diagnosed … Continued

Ninety-Year-Old Melanoma Patient Still Lives Life in the Fast Lane

It’s easy to spot Richard “Dick” Welchons’s car in the parking lot: the 90-year old drives a 2016 bright yellow Camaro, his third version of the high-powered muscle car. He has no plan to give it up any time soon — especially after doctors spotted something suspicious on his left foot in 2014, momentarily forcing … Continued

Hope in the Shadow of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

This post was originally published on Discoveries, the blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. Jake was diagnosed with his first cancer — osteosarcoma — in 2007 when he was only 16 years old. Meanwhile, his mom was being treated for recurrent cancer and his brother also would soon be diagnosed with cancer. Within the space of a few … Continued