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The Breast Oncology Program at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber provides state-of-the-art and compassionate care for breast cancer patients. Our breast cancer clinicians are committed to providing you with the best and most individualized treatment options available, including the latest medical oncology; surgical options and breast reconstruction; and radiation therapy. Ending women's cancers including breast cancer is the reason we exist – everything we do is tailored to the unique needs of women.
Our focused services include expertise in metastatic breast cancer, as well as programs for young women with breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, male breast cancer, breast cancer during pregnancy, and breast and ovarian cancer genetics and prevention.
Michelle MaloneyCancer survivor
We want to keep you fully informed about all that's happening at the Susan F. Smith Center at Dana-Farber. Read about our latest progress in breast cancer research, see media coverage of our breast cancer researchers and clinicians, read blog posts on a variety of topics pertaining to breast cancer.
January 26, 2015Dr. Rachel Freedman led a study, published in Cancer, that found many women with breast cancer may lack knowledge regarding their illness. In fact, the findings show how minority patients may be less likely than others to know and report accurate information about their tumors' characteristics.
January 26, 2015A new study led by Dr. Rachel Freedman finds that many breast cancer patients don't know the characteristics of their own disease, such as cancer stage and tumor grade.
January 23, 2015Dr. Ann Partridge spoke on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care" about the lifestyle changes women can make to help reduce their risk of breast cancer.
January 14, 2015Dr. Eric Winer and Dr. Sara Tolaney led a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that shows combining paclitaxel and trastuzumab reduces the risk for cancer recurrence in women with stage 1 HER2-positive breast cancer.
January 7, 2015Dana-Farber researchers report women with small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted drug following surgery were highly unlikely to have the cancer recur within three years.
December 31, 2014Dana-Farber was mentioned for its study, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, that validated the myChoice HRD test may assist in selecting the best chemotherapy for breast cancer patients before they have surgery when there is the greatest opportunity to affect a positive outcome.
December 29, 2014Dr. Ann Partridge described some considerations for treating young women with breast cancer.
December 18, 2014Dr. Ian Krop conducted a retrospective, exploratory analysis of data from the phase 3 EMILIA study that found patients with HER-2–positive advanced breast cancer treated with ado-trastuzumab emtansine experienced similar rates of central nervous system progression as those treated with capecitabine plus lapatinib.
December 15, 2014Dr. Judy Garber commented on a study that found women with early-stage hormone-unrelated breast cancer may reduce their risk of dying early by adopting a low-fat diet after diagnosis.
December 15, 2014At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Erica Mayer discussed IBIS-1 results and detailed what those results will mean for patients.
December 11, 2014At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Ann Partridge reported on a study of 560 women who chose preventative double mastectomies.
December 11, 2014At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Eric Winer released findings from his study on adding the investigational PI3K inhibitor pictilisib to fulvestrant in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
December 10, 2014Dr. Ian Krop presented results of a study on women with estrogen-receptor-positive cancer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
December 10, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein commented on a study that found two-thirds of women who have lumpectomies for breast cancer are getting radiation treatment that lasts nearly twice as long as necessary.
December 10, 2014At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dr. Eric Winer released findings from his study on adding the investigational PI3K inhibitor pictilisib to fulvestrant in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
December 10, 2014Adding a PI3K inhibitor to hormonal therapy for metastatic breast cancer may help overcome resistance to the hormonal therapy and delay disease progression, according to Dr. Ian Krop from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
December 1, 2014Dr. Eric Winer talks about a new breast cancer vaccine that is showing promising signs of success in the early stages of a clinical trial.
December 1, 2014Dr. Judy Garber commented on singer Melissa Ethridge’s implication that genes for breast cancer could be turned on or off by diet and her recommendation that others not get tested.
November 19, 2014Dr. Anne Partridge commented on a study that found that double mastectomies do not improve the chances of survival for women at average risk of breast cancer recurrence.
November 19, 2014Dr. Mehra Golshan commented on a study published in JAMA Surgery that found that the percentage of those with early-stage breast cancer increased in recent years. Women undergoing mastectomy are also more likely to have breast reconstruction than in the past.
October 21, 2014Dr. Eric Winer commented on a blood test that could reduce the number of women who need chemotherapy after tumor removal surgery.
October 19, 2014Dana-Farber researcher Shoshana Rosenberg, ScD, led a survey that found women who have double mastectomies generally overestimate their likelihood of getting cancer in the healthy breast.
October 16, 2014The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) has awarded a $1.75 million 5 year grant to the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to increase the awareness of breast cancer among women and enhance the support services for those diagnosed and treated.
October 14, 2014A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows a half-day educational program can help women successfully deal with side effects of ovary removing surgery as a cancer prevention measure.
October 14, 2014Sharon Bober, PhD, Director of the Sexual Health Program at Dana-Farber, tested an education program and found that it greatly reduced side-effects associated with breast cancer surgery.
October 9, 2014Dr. Judy Garber commented on the increased.number of women who undergo genetic testing and then choose double mastectomies.
October 7, 2014Dr. Judy Garber commented on research conducted at Dana-Farber to test for genetic mutations in healthy, high risk women in order to detect breast cancer at earlier, more curable stages.
October 1, 2014Dr. Jennifer Ligibel was among the oncologists who issued a position statement on obesity and cancer on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
October 1, 2014Dr. Rachel Freedman commented on targeted treatments – those that attack a specific characteristic of a cancer strain – becoming the norm in breast cancer care.
September 28, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein commented on a study of Perjeta, a drug used to treat advanced breast cancer had unprecedented success in prolonging lives in a clinical trial.
September 25, 2014Dr. Eric Winer served as co-chair for a guideline panel that developed the second international guidelines for management of advanced breast cancer.
September 19, 2014Dr. Jay Harris originally proposed to implement a breath-holding technique that reduces radiation to the heart during left-sided breast cancer radiation treatment. It's called the deep inspiration breath hold technique, and is being utilized at cancer centers throughout the country.
September 13, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein commented on a recent study that found no evidence that surgery lowered the risk of death from breast cancer, compared to more conservative lumpectomy and radiation.
September 3, 2014The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a new clinical practice guideline on chemotherapy and targeted therapy for women with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. Dr. Ann Partridge co-chaired the ASCO expert panel that developed the new guideline, which provides detailed, evidence-based information on the efficacy and side effects of various therapies.
September 2, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein moderated an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) presscast about mammography screening.
August 20, 2014Dr. Judy Garber, medical oncologist at the Breast Oncology Center and director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention, speaks about the importance of cancer prevention and steps that individuals can take – such as not smoking, avoiding tanning booths, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercise - during the 13th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
August 20, 2014Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, medical oncologist at the Breast Oncology program at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, and Director of the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies at Dana-Farber, talks about integrative therapies offered to patients through the Zakim Center to help manage symptoms and support health during the 13th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
August 20, 2014Colleen Sullivan, a breast cancer patient in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber, was treated by Dr. Harold Burstein, a medical oncologist in the Breast Oncology Program. A teacher and mother of two, Colleen relates her experience talking with children about her breast cancer at the 13th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
August 19, 2014Meghan Martin, a breast cancer patient in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber, was first treated by Dr. Ann Partridge when she was pregnant with her third child. Martin and her family shared their story during the 13th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
August 19, 2014Breast cancer survivor Maggie Loucks talks about the care she received at Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, and how she learned to cope with fears of the unknown after her cancer diagnosis during the 13th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
August 15, 2014Sometimes known as the "sunshine vitamin" because it's produced by the body in response to sunlight, vitamin D is important for maintaining strong bones and ensuring healthy functioning of the lungs, cardiovascular system, immune system, and brain.
August 1, 2014Cancer genetics has come a long way in the last two decades, leading to increased prevention and improved treatment options. Today, research is shining the light on why certain people have an increased risk for cancer.
August, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein commented on two studies showing hormone receptor-positive breast cancer recurrence is less likely in premenopausal women treated with ovarian function suppression (OFS) along with exemestane rather than tamoxifen.
July 31, 2014Meghan Martin rode her first Pan Mass Challenge a few months after she learned that her breast cancer was in remission. Just two weeks before her second PMC ride in 2014, Martin found out that her cancer had returned. Martin, the mother of three, is participating in a clinical trial as part of her treatment as a patient in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber.
July 26, 2014In a 2013 study conducted by Dana-Farber researcher Shoshana Rosenberg, ScD, women younger than 40 with no increased genetic risk and disease in one breast, believed that within five years, 10 out of 100 of them would develop breast cancer in the other breast.
July 20, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein commented on contraleteral prophylactic mastectomies.
July 10, 2014Dr. Eric Winer co-chaired an expert panel that developed a clinical practice guideline on disease management for patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer and brain metastases.
July 10, 2014Dr. Ian Crop led a study showing that the antibody-drug conjugate ado-trastuzumab emtansine significantly prolonged progression-free survival in patients with progressive HER2-positive advanced breast cancer.
July 7, 2014Although most cancers are sporadic or occur by chance, a small percentage are due to inherited genetic (or germline) mutations, which can often be identified through genetic testing.
July 2, 2014There's a broad range of news and information about breast cancer online. This creates wonderful opportunities to learn about prevention, treatment, cures, and recurrence. But it also means that you may run into confusing misinformation and oversimplifications.
June 20, 2014Dr. Erica Mayer, a medical oncologist at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber, explains the concerns over soy consumption and its relationship to breast cancer.
June 18, 2014Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, a medical oncologist at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber, recently partnered with CancerConnect to answer questions about breast cancer, exercise, and diet.
June 12, 2014Dr. Erica Mayer and her father Dr. Robert Mayer, both medical oncologists at Dana-Farber, reflect on the history and future of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
June 9, 2014Dr. J. Dirk Iglehart comments that he now performs about a tenth of the number of mastectomies as when he entered the field in the 1970s.
May 31, 2014Dr. Ann Partridge provides insight into the study of a drug that can protect ovaries from damage caused by chemotherapy.
May 29, 2014A pilot phase 2 clinical trial led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is testing the feasibility of the targeted drug palbociclib combined with endocrine therapy as adjuvant therapy for stage II and III breast cancer.
May 29, 2014Results from an open label clinical study, evaluating an oral daily dose of the drug enobosarm, shows promise for women with metastatic, androgen receptor positive, estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.
May 28, 2014Women with hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer should be given the option to have adjuvant hormonal therapy for as long as 10 years, according to new guidelines issued today by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
May 27, 2014Dr. Harold Burstein, co-chair of ASCO's Expert Panel that wrote the guideline update, says that new evidence has increased the previous five-year standard.
May 25, 2014Dr. Ann Partridge, head of the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer and wife of the New Bedford mayor, shares her passion for her family, medicine, and running.
May 22, 2014Dr. Ann Partridge provides insight into misunderstandings about breast cancer that are leading women to undergo double mastectomies.
May 2014Investigators are working to better match therapies to the size and aggressiveness of HER2-positive breast tumors. They're studying treatments that attack such tumors with a two-in-one compound of antibody and chemotherapy. And they're probing HER3, a cousin of HER2 that holds promise as a target for ovarian cancer drugs. Together, this work is making the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancers — and potentially some ovarian cancers – not only more effective but also longer-lasting and less prone to side effects.
May 2014With some women choosing a radical approach to breast cancer surgery and others opting for conservative techniques, surgeons at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber tailor the latest methods to the medical and personal needs of each patient.
May 2014Over the past 15 years, smart drugs have gained a permanent place in the anti-cancer arsenal, as scientists have identified dozens of potential target genes and proteins and developed an expanding array of drugs capable of hitting those targets. Today, researchers and physicians at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber are pioneering work in laboratory discoveries, drug development, and clinical applications that have led to the advent of targeted therapies for breast and gynecologic cancers.
April 6, 2014Dr. Eric Winer provides insight into a new type of drug that can help prevent advanced breast cancer from progressing.
April 6, 2014Dr. Judy Garber and Dr. Eric Winer provided expert comment on an experimental medicine that has slowed the pace of advanced breast cancer, doubling the amount of time that patients could live without their tumors advancing.
April 4, 2014Dr. Rachel Freedman comments on a recent study about the racial gap in breast cancer care.
April 3, 2014A 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.
December 2, 2013When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, during my last semester of graduate school, I remember thinking that this had to mean something. I needed to turn an unfortunate situation into something positive, so I decided to pursue oncology nursing where I felt I could make a difference.
October 30, 2013 Increasing evidence through research at Dana-Farber and elsewhere supports the use of acupuncture as a remedy for some of the symptoms breast cancer patients experience. This integrative therapy can be used in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy.
September 18, 2013 Young women with breast cancer often respond with a "yes" and overestimate the need to have the healthy breast surgically removed, according to a recent study by Dana-Farber investigators. However, the actual risk of cancer occurring in the healthy breast of those women without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is only two to four percent.
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