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  • Reasons for Optimism

    Posted 5/1/2015 by hhill

    Finishing the week, especially on this Friday which is the first of May after a very difficult winter, with optimism seems a good plan. In addition to the treatment and research related pieces of good news, I can add a number of others from my thirty plus years in the business.

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  • Benefits of Exercise during Treatment

    Posted 4/30/2015 by hhill

      Warning: you may not like these articles. It is pretty tough to force yourself to stick with an exercise routine anytime, and it is much harder during chemotherapy. During my first breast cancer treatment in 1993, I was a daily runner. I clearly remember running more and more slowly and then stopping when my radiated breast became too uncomfortable. As it healed, I hit the road again, but still at a slower than usual pace. In 2005, while going through chemotherapy for the second breast cancer, I went to the gym every morning before work. It would be over-stating the truth to say that I engaged in a real work out every morning, but I got myself there and enjoyed what was then (sadly no longer true) a very friendly, social, and supportive scene. Each time, I continued with the exercise because it helped me hold on to "normal" and because it made me feel a little bit better.

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  • Living with Advanced Cancer

    Posted 4/29/2015 by hhill

      The longer that I do this work, the more aware I become of the exquisite challenges of living (well) with advanced cancer. There can be no certainty and not enough reassurance. There can also be moments of great peacefulness and happiness.

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  • Aspirin Controversies

    Posted 4/28/2015 by hhill

      I have written before about the potential benefit of aspirin in reducing the recurrence rate for breast cancer (and, presumably, other cancers, too). Any such recommendations also come with the "Talk with your doctor"  caveat as everyone is different and aspirin can have some downsides. However, this is a unique moment with the publication of two opposing views. One, not directed specifically at cancer patients, suggests that too many Americans take a daily aspirin in spite of the potential risks being greater than the potential individual benefit. The other reinforces the possible positive impact of a daily aspirin on breast cancer recurrence.

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  • Update on Personalized Medicine

    Posted 4/27/2015 by hhill

      Personalized medicine is a phrase that is increasingly used to refer to ongoing attempts to better understand an individual's particular tumor and situation. As we know more about cancer, we understand that there are many kinds of lung or colon or breast cancer, and that the best treatment is likely related to the molecular and genetic make up of the tumor, not just the site of origin.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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