Category Archives: active treatment

Priority Areas Illustrate Expertise

With a breadth that addresses all types of breast
and gynecologic cancers – from the common to the
obscure, the early-stage to the advanced – the Susan F.
Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber is
propelling the science and fine-tuning patient care for
women (and in a few cases, men) of all ages.
The center’s research and care expertise is growing
in four major areas where patients find themselves in
particular need of assistance: breast surgery, metastatic
breast cancer, breast cancer in young women, and
recurrent ovarian cancer.
Breast Surgery
Colleen Sullivan was prepared to follow a typical plan
for her breast cancer: a lumpectomy followed by radia-
tion. When she learned a …

 

A Daughter’s Story

Julia is a student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is like any other typical college student: she has five siblings, countless number of friends, and does art as one of her many hobbies. Unfortunately though, her mother, Martha, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2014, turning her life upside down.
It came as a shock to the family, because Julia’s mom seemed very healthy and there wasn’t any history of breast cancer in the family beforehand. However, she underwent a double mastectomy. Luckily, the cancer hadn’t reached her lymph nodes, so chemotherapy was not deemed necessary.
Being the …

 

Themed Chemo Visits Help Breast Cancer Patient Cope with Treatment

Cancer treatment is never fun, but Cheryl St. Onge figures if she has to go through it, she’s doing it with style — and smiles.
Each time the breast cancer patient arrives at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Milford Regional Medical Center for her infusion visit, she wears a different themed outfit. One time she was a cowgirl with boots, hat, and a fringed vest; another time she came ready for a Hawaiian luau with the appropriate loud shirt and lei. Last month she was a nurse in scrubs.
Susan and Rita on “Margaritaville Day” (That’s a sports drink margarita)
Cheryl and …

 

ASCO issues new guideline on treating patients with advanced, HER2-negative breast cancer

Dana-Farber doctor co-chairs ASCO expert panel to develop guideline

Ann Partridge, MD, MPH

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a new clinical practice guideline on chemotherapy and targeted therapy for women with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. The guideline provides detailed, evidenced-based information on the efficacy and side effects of various therapies.
“In releasing this guideline, our aim is to improve both the length and quality of patients’ lives,” said Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, Founder and Director, Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer,Director, Adult Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and co-chair of ASCO’s expert panel that developed the …

 

Time to get caught up with Peter

Lets start off by saying it has been a difficult and challenging year with cancer. We have had 4 rounds of radiation in a four month period. I received a Leptomeningeal diagnosis (which means the cancer is in the fluid of my spine and brain). I received whole brain radiation, which brought me some relief. Due to the Leptomeningeal disease I was having trouble with my speech, swallow and balance. The radiation helped everything.
I am currently at home with open hospice. Right now they only have to be here once a week, I am currently I am on steroids and …

 

A Message from Peter- THE CANCER IS BACK

Since today is Memorial Day and we celebrate those who have served our country, I have chosen today to share this message from our friend Peter Devereaux.  Peter served our country and was based at Camp Lejeune. He is one of the many men based at Camp Lejeune who developed male breast cancer.
A Message from Peter- THE CANCER IS BACK
May 2013
My treatment stopped working. My cancer had a chance to grow and get inflamed. We have already started a new treatment and they are hopeful for great results. These are the challenging times when my body is extremely sore with …

 

Exercise During Cancer: Getting Started

By Nancy Campbell, MS
“How soon can I start exercising after I start cancer treatment?” It’s a question I hear often from patients who visit me for a fitness consult or class at Dana-Farber.
My answer? “As soon as possible.”
While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise offers key benefits for cancer patients – even those undergoing difficult treatments. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to give yourself an extra boost during and after cancer treatment.
Physical activity helps lower your stress, improve your sleep patterns, and elevate your mood. Something as simple as walking briskly around the block a few times can …

 

5 years ago

On January 11, 2008 is the day my hand bumped into my chest and noticed a lump. Followed by a visit to the PCP and then mammogram, ultrasound followed by a core biopsy. I had my surgery on the 28th of January. Chemotherapy started on the 27th of February. My cancer spread to my spine in April 2009. Five years to the day I had to switched to like my 7th or 8th treatment. It has been an unbelievable journey that I wish no one else to go on. I am so glad that I have so many great friends …

 

Cognitive Issues Following Breast Cancer Treatment

Until recently, it was considered that only women and men who had chemo as part of their treatment for breast cancer might have cognitive issues as survivors. A new study challenges that theory, pointing to survivors who did not have chemo also experiencing cognitive problems after treatment.
An article in Science News, published in December 2011, reports a study found that breast cancer survivors may experience problems with certain cognitive abilities several years after treatment. This may occur whether they were treated with chemotherapy plus radiation or radiation only.
I found the article of particular interest as I did not have chemo, …

 

The Only Time I Cried

During my years as a navigator, I saw and heard many things that had me close to tears. But, there was only one time when I couldn’t help myself; I lost it. I broke down and cried. I had to excuse myself and leave the chemo infusion room.
Making the rounds, from chair to chair, in the infusion center, I stopped to visit with Madeline. She looked frailer than when I saw her the week before. She had an aggressive breast cancer that was at an advanced stage by the time she sought care.
Madeline had been through so much. A single …