Cancer Prevention and Care Resources for Marginalized Patients and Advocates

Cancer does not affect everyone in the same way. A combination of factors, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status can make some patients face a greater cancer burden and poorer outcomes in cancer care and treatment. These inequities are called cancer disparities. The causes “are complex and reflect social and economic disparities and … Continued

Ulcerative Colitis and Colorectal Cancer: What’s the Connection?

What is ulcerative colitis? Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the lining of the colon. Ulcers and open sores can also form on the colon lining in response to the inflammation. Ulcerative colitis is a lifelong chronic illness that can have recurrences or flare-ups throughout life. Who is … Continued

How to Use Music to Relax During Stressful Times

In times of immense stress and adversity, music and the arts are sometimes viewed as nothing more than novelties: Things to be used and enjoyed in happier times. However, music may be able to help the most during these hard times. It has been proven that listening to music can have a meaningful psychological and … Continued

Care Team and Teammates Help Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Stay Strong

As a multi-sport athlete growing up, Allison Rebello loved being part of a team. Today, living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), she credits three teams for helping her stay active and optimistic in the face of an incurable but treatable disease. Rebello’s care team at Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and … Continued

Patient Facing a Rare Head and Neck Cancer Finds His Voice Again

Sitting on his living room couch one day in 2016, Scott Turley had to fight back tears as he read a book to his young children. A rare cancer diagnosis that led to a 16 hour surgery to remove a tumor in his trachea had resulted in the loss of his larynx and vocal cords the … Continued

What is the Difference Between Rectal and Anal Cancer?

What is the main difference between rectal and anal cancer? Fundamentally, the difference between anal cancer and rectal cancer has to do with the type of cells that grow rather than the location of the cancer. Anal cancer is a squamous cancer, or a cancer of the skin-like cells of the anal canal. Anal cancer … Continued

Patient in Remission From Breast Cancer Mentors Other Patients

It’s impossible for Jenn Thompson to forget the low moments of her experience with cancer — her diagnosis, her hair falling out, and the sense that she lost a piece of herself. But now, more than five years after completing treatment, Thompson can say that these aren’t the memories that have defined her. “It wasn’t … Continued

Institute Researchers Take Lead in Trials of Potential COVID-19 Therapies

Insights from decades of cancer research are surprisingly transferable to the battle against COVID-19. The desire to save life and ease suffering that motivates cancer researchers has been directed to the new disease as well. Drawing on their knowledge of cancer drug mechanisms, and of the adverse side effects of some of those drugs, Dana-Farber … Continued

Tips for Addressing Fatigue

Most people have experienced a day where they felt overly tired and unable increase their energy levels. Perhaps it’s from a long shift at work, a difficult round of treatment, or trying to make time for your family after a full day. Feeling tried or overextended is normal, but when does that feeling of tiredness … Continued

Spurring Natural Killer Cells to Fight Head and Neck Cancer

Excited to be the first patient in a novel clinical trial, Jon Woods is hoping that an infusion of immune natural killer cells donated by his son will beat back the metastatic cancer he has battled for four years. “I’m upbeat [and] I’m happy to be a pioneer,” says Woods, 65, a retired postal worker … Continued

Biomarker Search Reveals Unexpected Associations in Treatment of Advanced Kidney Cancer

Scientists are gratified when a clinical trial reveals whether one treatment — often an experimental therapy or drug combination — is superior to another. But researchers then often look more deeply into the data, searching for characteristics of tumors associated with a treatment’s effectiveness, or lack of it. In today’s world of precision medicine, identifying … Continued

Tips for Staying Healthy with a Compromised Immune System

A person who is immunocompromised (otherwise referred to as immunosuppressed) has a weakened immune system and a reduced ability to fight other diseases and infections, such as the common cold influenza, or COVID-19. This can be caused by various diseases and conditions, including cancer as well as various treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy or … Continued

Medulloblastoma Patient Ready to Be a Positive Light for Others

Erica Domeier thought she would be preparing for her upcoming graduation and making plans for her final summer before college in June 2014. Instead, the 17-year-old was in the hospital, having recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. It was the beginning of what would be a difficult road for Domeier. But today, because of her … Continued

Should I Get Screened for Cancer During COVID-19?

Many people skipped or delayed routine cancer screening tests during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Medical providers say it’s now safe and prudent to schedule your appointments.  “If you put off your cancer screening mammograms or other screening procedures, we encourage you to reschedule them now,” says Craig Bunnell, MD, MPH, Dana-Farber’s chief … Continued

Personalizing Treatment: The Latest in Breast Cancer Research

One of the primary goals of today’s breast cancer research is to personalize the treatment of the disease, tailoring therapies to the specific characteristics of each patient’s cancer.  “The future of breast cancer therapy is tied to the idea of individualizing treatment for each patient — not only to the stage and subtype of the cancer but … Continued

Should I Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

It is still important to keep up with your routine medical appointments, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups remains important for your health, even for cancer patients. Here, Nathaniel Treister, DMD, DMSc, clinical director of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, answers … Continued

Pain Medication and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Cancer and its treatment can result in pain for some patients. While this can be difficult, there are many different ways to treat and manage pain with the help of your care team. “Each person is unique in their pain experiences, and management plans can be tailored to each patient,” says Dan Gorman, NP, a … Continued

At-Home Colorectal Cancer Screenings: What You Need to Know

Colorectal cancer (cancers that start either in the colon or rectum) is a highly treatable and often curable disease when it has not moved outside the bowel. This makes regular screenings important so that the cancer can be caught as early as possible if it arises. While there are a few different screenings that can … Continued

What are Cancer Disparities and How Are Dana-Farber Researchers Addressing Them?

Despite enormous advances in cancer treatment, some racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups still bear an especially large burden from the disease, with higher incidence rates for many cancers and poorer outcomes. Decades of research has documented these disparities. Among adult patients, for example, African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic … Continued