When Is Weight Loss a Sign of Cancer?

Everyone’s weight fluctuates over the course of life, rising or falling with changes in diet and exercise, and with the normal slowing of metabolism that occurs as we age. When weight loss occurs for no apparent reason – especially if the drop is dramatic – a variety of physical or psychological causes could be responsible. … Read more

Can Immunotherapy Help Patients with Pancreatic Cancer?

Patients with pancreatic cancer often ask Dana-Farber’s Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, about immunotherapy, the rising star of cancer treatment that’s making impressive gains against many types of malignancies. Immunotherapy drugs, which mobilize the patient’s immune defenses to recognize and attack tumor cells, have worked against lethal cancers such as melanoma and some lung cancers – … Read more

Whipple Procedure: What It Is, Side Effects, Follow-Up

What is the Whipple surgery/procedure? Many pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas, making surgery a risky treatment option. But for those patients whose cancer is localized, surgery may be used to remove the tumor and prevent further spread. When the tumor is confined to the head or neck of the pancreas, … Read more

Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #4: Exercise and Cancer

If you’re 69 and diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, what do you do? For John Barrett, the answer was easy: become a certified physical trainer. But as Barrett and Nancy Campbell, exercise physiologist at Dana-Farber, both point out, you don’t need to be an exercise zealot to incorporate exercise into your life. “Exercise needs to be … Read more

A Teen’s Journey: Developing a Diagnostic Test for Pancreatic Cancer

This post was originally written and published on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s science and clinical innovation blog.  At age 13, Jack Andraka lost a family friend to pancreatic cancer. At age 15, he developed a diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that early findings suggest is highly accurate. In this session from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit … Read more

From Cancer Patient to Personal Trainer

In April 2014, John Barrett, a 71-year-old Dana-Farber patient achieved a long-standing goal. He officially became a certified personal trainer. The lifelong exercise enthusiast set out to help cancer patients with their own fitness goals, and after his certification, began an internship with Nancy Campbell, MS, an exercise physiologist in Dana-Farber’s Adult Survivorship Program. He … Read more