Anny Fenton, PhD

Anny Fenton, PhD

Medical Oncology


Anny Fenton, PhD

Dr. Fenton is a medical sociologist. She received her PhD in sociology from Harvard University and is currently an Instructor in the Medical Oncology Department at Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Division of Population Sciences. She is the 2022 recipient of the Sidney Farber Scholar Award.  



Instructor, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Recent Awards

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein T32 Postdoctoral Award
  • Fellowship, Institute for Quantitative Social Science
  • Inequality Fellowship
  • Sidney Farber Scholar Award


    Dr. Fenton’s lab is devoted to studying the vital role and experiences of understudied and disadvantaged populations of cancer caregivers and their impact on patients and their care with a specific focus on communication.
    I use mixed methods to study and design interventions to improve the wellbeing of understudied caregiving populations and the patients they care for. I primarily focus on three caregiving populations (1) adult-children caring for a parent with advanced cancer, a vastly understudied population that constitutes the largest group of United States cancer caregivers, and often must balance caregiving with careers and young families; (2) Racial/ethnic minority cancer caregivers, who face greater financial burdens and discrimination than non-Hispanic White caregivers; and (3) those caring for rural patients who must navigate scarce and distant healthcare resources.
    I am presently designing and testing the first intervention tailored for adult-child caregivers. The intervention, sponsored by a four-year Sidney Farber Scholar Award, will target caregivers’ and patients’ communication with each other and with their social networks to strengthen their social support. Importantly, the intervention will also address urban-rural disparities among caregivers and patients by tackling issues that those caring for rural patients face.


      • Racial and ethnic disparities in cancer caregiver burden and potential sociocultural mediators. Support Care Cancer. 2022 Nov; 30(11):9625-9633. View in: Pubmed

      • Cancer Caregivers' Prognostic and End-of-Life Communication Needs and Experiences and their Impact. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2023 01; 65(1):16-25. View in: Pubmed

      • Patients' and caregivers' experiences of hospitalization under COVID-19 visitation restrictions. J Hosp Med. 2022 10; 17(10):819-826. View in: Pubmed

      • Developing and Field Testing BOLSTER: A Nurse-Led Care Management Intervention to Support Patients and Caregivers following Hospitalization for Gynecologic Cancer-Associated Peritoneal Carcinomatosis. J Palliat Med. 2022 09; 25(9):1367-1375. View in: Pubmed

      • Comparing adult-child and spousal caregiver burden and potential contributors. Cancer. 2022 05 15; 128(10):2015-2024. View in: Pubmed

      • Community oncologists' perceptions and utilization of large-panel genomic tumor testing. BMC Cancer. 2021 Nov 25; 21(1):1273. View in: Pubmed

      • Patients' Expectations of Benefits From Large-Panel Genomic Tumor Testing in Rural Community Oncology Practices. JCO Precis Oncol. 2021; 5. View in: Pubmed

      • Effect of provider recommendation style on the length of adolescent vaccine discussions. Vaccine. 2021 02 05; 39(6):1018-1023. View in: Pubmed

      • Lived experiences of women reporting fatigue during PARP inhibitor maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer: A qualitative study. Gynecol Oncol. 2021 01; 160(1):227-233. View in: Pubmed

      • Differences in cancer patients' and clinicians' preferences for disclosure of uncertain genomic tumor testing results. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 01; 104(1):3-11. View in: Pubmed

      • Improving HPV Vaccination Rates: A Stepped-Wedge Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. 2020 07; 146(1). View in: Pubmed

      • Effect of a multi-component intervention on providers' HPV vaccine communication. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2020 11 01; 16(11):2736-2743. View in: Pubmed

      • Calling the Shots? Adolescents' Influence on Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Decision-Making During Clinical Encounters. J Adolesc Health. 2020 04; 66(4):447-454. View in: Pubmed

      • Abandoning Medical Authority: When Medical Professionals Confront Stigmatized Adolescent Sex and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine. J Health Soc Behav. 2019 06; 60(2):240-256. View in: Pubmed

      • Relative contributions of parental intention and provider recommendation style to HPV and meningococcal vaccine receipt. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2019; 15(10):2460-2465. View in: Pubmed

      • Geographic context of black-white disparities in Medicare CAHPS patient experience measures. Health Serv Res. 2019 02; 54 Suppl 1:275-286. View in: Pubmed

      • Indicated or elective? The association of providers' words with HPV vaccine receipt. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2018; 14(10):2503-2509. View in: Pubmed

      • Unequal interactions: Examining the role of patient-centered care in reducing inequitable diffusion of a medical innovation, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Soc Sci Med. 2018 03; 200:238-248. View in: Pubmed


      Location Avtar

      Office address

      450 Brookline Ave. Boston, MA
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      Office address

      Location Avtar

      Office address

      450 Brookline Ave. Boston, MA
      Get Direction
      42.3374, -71.1082

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