Category Archives: chemotherapy

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 …

 

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 …

 

Five Things Young Women with Breast Cancer Should Know

While the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are age 55 or older, about 14,500 women age 45 and younger are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are some facts about breast cancer all young women should know.
1. Genetic testing can help identify women who are at increased risk
SOG_9339_12-2While all women are at risk for breast cancer, women who have a family history of premenopausal breast or ovarian cancer or a family member with a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are at a higher risk 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 …

 

Hitching a Ride

Will an emerging cancer therapy that links potent drugs to tumor-seekers take the place of standard chemotherapy?
by Elizabeth Dougherty

Eric Winer, MD (left), has been leading clinical trials at DF/BWCC focusing on the antibody-drug conjugate T-DM1.

Sarah Merchant was working as a Web designer in Boston when, at age 28, she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Surgery, radiation, and a series of chemotherapy regimens followed, as did nerve damage, hair loss, and a general decline in her health.
Then Merchant heard about T-DM1, a trial drug promising the effectiveness of chemotherapy without the toxicity. “I wanted to get into that …

 

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 …

 

Breast Cancer Time Outs

When you are going through treatment you need to take as many time outs from all things breast cancer as your schedule permits and you can physically handle. You will feel the better for it emotionally.
Even the smallest escapes help; sitting in a movie theater viewing an upbeat movie, or watching  TV without interruptions, or curling up with  a good book for a few hours.
On days that you feel up to it, get out and do something that you enjoy, something you did regularly before breast cancer treatment. If you feel your best when you get up in the morning, …

 

MALE BREAST CANCER

My name is Peter Devereaux; I live in the greater Boston area and have a wife and a 15 year old daughter. I am a 50-year old man Living with stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer.
Men do get breast cancer!! You just don’t hear about it often.
Just like women, men can get breast cancer. Men and women will have similar results if they are diagnosed at similar times and have the same type of cancer.
What happens often is most men have no idea they can get breast cancer, so they usually get diagnosed at later stages.
The first time I knew men …