Breast Cancer Patient Achieves Her Dreams Thanks to Dana-Farber Care 

When Jennifer Fullerton was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, her mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario. “I thought I was going to die. That first day all I could think was ‘why me,’” Fullerton says. “My mom very poignantly told me, ‘Today you can say ‘why me,’ but tomorrow, ‘why not me’. And you … Read more

Can Plant-Based Diets Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

Plant-based diets have many known health benefits, but can they reduce the risk of breast cancer? In fact, some evidence suggests that people who eat rich in non-starchy vegetables may be at lower risk of some kinds of breast cancer. However, Dana-Farber physician and researcher Jennifer Ligibel, MD, cautions that the evidence that consuming a … Read more

Community-Focused Navigator Offers Historically Marginalized Patients a Path to Care

Throughout her nearly 20-year career at Dana-Farber, Judy Thyme has enjoyed forming close bonds with patients. Most recently, she has been making these connections earlier than ever — in some cases ensuring new patients make it to their first appointment. Thyme is a community-focused patient navigator, a position developed during the past two years as … Read more

Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Finds Hope — And Passes It On

Lianne Kraemer describes two breast cancer diagnoses before age 40 — including metastatic breast cancer (MBC) that had spread to her brain — as “slamming into one brick wall, getting back on life’s highway, and then slamming into another.” Now, as she continues navigating her way with the disease, Kraemer is helping those traveling a … Read more

‘I’m Prouder Than Ever’: A Mom Reflects on Her Son’s Legacy

Among the most memorable on-air guests during the first WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon — a live, 36-hour broadcast held each summer to benefit Dana-Farber patient care and research — was Todd Schwartz, a 19-year-old patient in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Here, Todd’s mother, Janet Schwartz, reflects on her son’s appearance that day in 2002, his … Read more

Young Mother Embraces Life with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anne Keane is a big fan of counting, from laps swam to miles ran to birthdays celebrated by her daughter Ruby. The most recent was Ruby’s seventh, and Keane plans on marking many more as she continues enjoying an active lifestyle with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). “We’re just so lucky to get to wake up … Read more

Young Colorectal Cancer Patient Works with Care Team to Reduce Risk of Recurrence

At 43, Erick Eigner was leading a healthy and fulfilling life: spending time with family, working in marketing at Microsoft, and hitting the gym six days a week. Cancer was the last thing he was thinking about when he went to the doctor for a physical and mentioned some concerns he had about swallowing. The … Read more

Addressing the Impact of Poverty on Childhood Cancer

Approximately one in three children in the United States lives in a low-income home. For childhood cancer patients, living in a low-income home can have a significant impact: Poverty and associated factors are linked to poorer outcomes, even at large academic medical centers like Dana-Farber, according to research by Kira Bona, MD, MPH, a pediatric … Read more

Doctor Who Treats HIV/AIDS Shares Lessons From 40 Years Fighting Health Disparities

Valerie Stone, MD, MPH, was considering becoming an oncologist in the mid-1980s when something happened to shift her focus. People, including some very close to her, began developing a mysterious new disease. What they had was eventually identified as acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. And as a member of two groups disproportionately impacted — … Read more

Providing Emotional Support to Young Patients with Colorectal Cancer

Cancer is a disease that’s often associated with older people; however, a growing number of younger patients are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Since the 1990s, the rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses has more than doubled in adults age 20 to 49. Alexa Morell is one of these patients. She didn’t expect her diagnosis: metastatic … Read more

Tips for How Cancer Patients Can Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking during cancer treatment may seem overwhelming, but this is an especially important time to try. Active cancer patients and survivors who cut down on their cigarettes, vaping, or other nicotine use can experience a reduction in heart, stomach, and infection problems related to chemotherapy toxicity, improve their healing and breathing post-surgery, and decrease … Read more

After Wilms Tumor Treatment, First Grade is First Rate for Pediatric Cancer Survivor

The last two school years will be remembered for the tremendous challenges they presented students due to COVID-19, but rising second-grader Caroline McMahan and her family were ready for the pandemic’s limitations after what they had already endured. By the time the pandemic began, Caroline, 7, was already adept at washing up, masking up, and … Read more

Cancer Care in Transgender Youth Patients: Things to Consider

If transgender youth and adults are undergoing (or planning) gender-affirming surgery, taking masculinizing or feminizing hormones, and they have cancer, these treatments can have implications for their care. Cancer treatments in turn can have implications for their gender-affirming care. Oncologists should take gender identity into account in making decisions about cancer treatment. This starts with … Read more

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 … Read more