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A cancer diagnosis is a life-altering experience for most people, but young women with breast cancer often face extra challenges specific to their stage of life. As they manage a serious illness they may also be concerned about fertility, raising children,
finishing school, managing a career, or building relationships.
The program, founded in 2005, is the first and only one of its kind in New England. We have guided more than 4,500 young women on their journeys through and beyond cancer, offering comprehensive care, support, and education tailored specifically for them.
Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, is the co-founder and director of the Young and Strong Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. She is also director of Dana-Farber's
Adult Survivorship Program. Dr. Partridge has published her research in several leading journals, and she lectures nationally and internationally on young women with breast cancer and cancer survivorship.
She has received several awards and grants including a Champions in Change designation from the White House, an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Improving Cancer Care Grant, LIVESTRONG Foundation Award, and Tracy Starr Breast Cancer Research
Fund Award. She also serves as a Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scholar and a Breast Cancer Research Foundation funded investigator.
The program staff includes world-renowned
breast cancer experts who understand the concerns of young women. They partner with patients to help them make informed decisions about their care. They also conduct innovative research on the biology
of breast cancer in young women, the value of support programs, the safety of pregnancy during and following cancer treatment, and other topics.
Learn more about our work to better understand breast cancer in young women (under the "Research" tab).
The care team also includes dedicated nurses, social workers, and two program coordinators who onboard each new patient to the Young and Strong program. One of our program coordinators will meet with you at your first clinical appointment. She will explain
the many resources and services available to you during and after your cancer treatment, including genetic counseling, fertility services, integrative medicine (including acupuncture, reiki and massage), nutrition consults, support groups and one-on-one
peer mentors, social work and counseling services, educational events, and much more.
Our program coordinators can help answer questions about your care and help connect you with resources at Dana-Farber and in your community. They are available throughout your care at Dana-Farber.
Clinical social workers are an integral part of the care team. You will be offered an individual consultation with a clinical social worker to help you address the emotional needs and practical concerns you may have as a patient. You can decide if you
want to meet with a social worker, and whether the consultation is just one time, or an ongoing series. Even if you initially decline to meet with a social worker, you can always request a meeting at any time. Social workers can also meet with your
family members at your request.
New Patient Appointments
Visit the Young and Strong website to read information on topics important to young women, including fertility, coping, sex and intimacy, going to work or school through a diagnosis, healthy living, resources, and more.
Here is a list of questions to help determine if the cancer center you’re considering is right for you.
Join us for Breast Cancer in Young Women: A Virtual Forum for Patients and Survivors sponsored by the Young and Strong Program.
The virtual event series, happening throughout October, is open to young women with breast cancer (diagnosed at age 45 or younger), survivors, and loved ones.
Learn more and register
As a new Dana-Farber patient, find answers to questions about your first visit: what to bring, how to find us, where to park, and how to prepare.
We offer a wide range of services, from financial planning to creative arts to spiritual counsel, to support our patients through their cancer experiences.
This video series and resource toolkit features Dana-Farber nutrition specialist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, and explores how diet can help support your health and wellbeing during and after cancer treatment.
If you or your doctor thinks you are at high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, led by Judy Garber, MD, MPH, will create a personalized
program to estimate your risk, and work with you and your clinical team to lower your risk as much as possible.
Join Dana-Farber's online cancer community and connect with other patients and survivors for support and information.
In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Judy Garber, MD, MPH,
discusses the latest in genetic research, including hereditary risks,
genetic testing, and treatment options.