Who Needs Chemotherapy after Treatment for Early Breast Cancer?

Following surgery and/or radiation for early stage breast cancer, chemotherapy is sometimes given to eliminate remaining cancer cells that could cause trouble later. Traditionally, women have been more likely to undergo follow-up chemotherapy if clinical and pathological factors suggested a significant risk of recurrence, such as a larger tumor, higher stage and pathological grade of … Read more

For Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient, DF/BWCC Milford ‘Feels Like Family’

As a breast cancer survivor living an hour away from Boston, Deb Ragosta was thrilled when Milford Regional Medical Center – located just a few minutes from her Hopedale, Mass., home – became affiliated with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) in 2008. While she had completed active treatment in 1995, she knew the partnership … Read more

Can ‘Prehabilitation’ Benefit Cancer Patients?

Cancer treatment can be debilitating, but there may be ways patients can better prepare themselves for the challenges to come. The benefits of exercise in helping cancer patients deal with fatigue, mood swings, and other issues experienced during and after treatment are well documented. Now physician-scientists at Dana-Farber and elsewhere are investigating whether a new … Read more

BRCA-Positive Mom Takes Control of Her Cancer Risk

After learning in December 2014 that her father was a carrier of the BRCA-1 gene, Katherine Saunders immediately knew she needed genetic testing. The 37-year-old mom of two had a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene, which increases the risk of ovarian and breast cancers, and was likely responsible for the multiple breast cancer diagnoses in … Read more

A New Approach to Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment Resistance

By Srivani Ravoori, PhD, American Association for Cancer Research This post first appeared on the Cancer Today website. In a study presented Dec. 7 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, researchers conducted genomic analysis of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive metastatic breast cancer samples that had become resistant to therapies. They found multiple alterations that were not … Read more

What Are Aromatase Inhibitors?

Aromatase inhibitors are drugs given to patients with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer (HR+). They target the aromatase enzyme, which helps produce female hormones such as estrogen. Estrogen drives the growth of many HR+ tumors, and these drugs help control estrogen production, says Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, a breast cancer specialist in the Susan F. Smith Center … Read more

Cancer Conversations Podcast—Episode #14—The Latest in Genetics and Women’s Cancers

Advances in genetic research may improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s cancers. “More genes are being found and fewer families are having to wonder if there is something genetic that may increase their risk, or future generations’ risk, of developing cancer,” says Judy Garber, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Cancer Genetics … Read more

‘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 … Read more