Category Archives: younger women

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 …

 

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 …

 

Young, Poorer Breast Cancer Patients More Likely to Have Delays in Care

Young women with fewer financial resources are more likely to experience long delays between the time they detect a breast abnormality and the time they get a diagnosis, a recent study shows. Initially launched to help researchers better understand why breast cancers are more deadly in young women, the study was led by Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, a breast oncologist in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, and Kathryn Ruddy, MD, MPH, formerly of Dana-Farber and now at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The study involved 585 women under age 40 who had recently been diagnosed …

 

Young Woman with Breast Cancer Finds Dream Team

A young woman in her prime, with a full life and meaningful career, does not expect a cancer diagnosis. But that is what happened to 34-year-old Erin, who received the news when she was in Paris with her mother and sister, on a long-awaited trip to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Before she left, she had felt a lump in her right breast, and underwent several screening tests. When her doctor called her in Paris to say she had breast cancer, he referred her to the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at …

 

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 …

 

Young breast cancer patients often overestimate the benefit of having second breast removed

Shoshana Rosenberg, ScD, MPH

Young women with breast cancer often overestimate the odds that cancer will occur in their other, healthy breast, and decide to have the healthy breast surgically removed, a survey conducted by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators indicates. The survey also shows that many patients opt for the procedure – known as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM – despite knowing it will be unlikely to improve their chance of survival.
The study, published in the Sept. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows a certain disconnect between what many patients know on an abstract, intellectual level – …

 

Treating Herself To Happiness: An Interview with Adie Sprague of Treat Cupcake Bar

Upon entering Treat Cupcake Bar, the tantalizing aroma of fresh from the oven cupcakes wraps you in warmth and nostalgia, immediately transporting you back to the comfort of your childhood kitchen. The vibrant colors, fun fonts, eye-catching display case, and full view of the open workspace alive with activity and bustling bakers all contribute to the visually enticing environment and cheerful ambience. Featuring classic flavors and delightful decorations evocative of birthday parties gone by, the menu selections showcased would tempt the taste buds of the most discerning sweet tooth and enthuse any kid or kid-at-heart. You can’t help but be …

 

Good News

I just wanted to send a quick update on last Friday’s mammogram. The results said that there were no significant changes, and I was given the all clear! It was a tough week for sure, but everything turned out well. I feel very lucky.
Some other good news I would like to share: My husband and I bought our first home last week! We are very excited to be first-time homeowners, and look forward to moving in by month’s end. Happy December, everyone!

 

Fear of Recurrence

One of the challenges of being a breast cancer survivor is the fear of recurrence. It’s a strange fear for me at this point, more than four years out from the end of my treatment. I don’t look like a cancer survivor anymore, and most days I don’t feel like one. Most of my coworkers don’t even know I have been through cancer, and I would think that it would surprise them, given that I am just 33 years old. My breast cancer is no longer a regular topic of conversation among my family and friends. It just seems further …

 

Breast Cancer and Your Environment

As I have been preparing to (hopefully!) purchase my first home, I have been thinking a lot about how to make sure my new environment is as safe as possible in light of my history of breast cancer. It’s a funny coincidence that I ran into an article yesterday on MSN.com about this very thing. It’s worth a read I think, and worth thinking about, especially if you’re a cancer survivor.
Certainly, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy obsessively reading labels and researching the safety of everything you bring into your home, or come into contact with. However, as a …