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  • Our Changing Hair

    Posted 8/21/2014 by hhill
      Hair loss: how to "plan" for it (e.g. have your head shaved before it starts to fall out, try to save every strand as long as possible, etc.) is a shared trauma and a frequent topic of conversation in my office. Different women hate it to greater or lesser degrees, but everyone hates it--and everyone eventually adapts. Many women have threatened to never leave their homes once they are bald, and then, fairly quickly find themselves at work and at the market and the library wearing a hat. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Support Groups

    Posted 8/20/2014 by hhill
      I love my support groups. Often I joke that there is an invisible prerequisite to joining: only really lovely women are allowed. Over thirty years of facilitating groups, there have been only a few exceptions to that "rule", and I continuously feel blessed to participate. Read more... Comments (0)
  • More on Bilateral Mastectomies

    Posted 8/19/2014 by hhill
      If this is feeling like the topic that won't go away, you're right. It won't. Within the past week, I have met with three women who were considering whether to opt for single or bilateral mastectomies after a recent diagnosis of either DCIS or invasive breast cancer in one breast. Important note: these women had all been tested and do not carry a BRCA gene. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Excess Weight and Cancer Risk

    Posted 8/18/2014 by hhill
      I owe you an entry from my computer-glitch-week-end (hopefully now fixed with the remarkably good help from one of out IT people). This is an article from MedPage about excess weight and increased cancer risk. Not too surprisingly, the risk holds for a number of kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer. And, as you know, there are worries that extra weight increases the recurrence risk of breast cancer, not just the risk of developing it in the first place. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Aspirin Reduces Cancer Deaths

    Posted 8/18/2014 by hhill
      First, an apology. If you are a regular reader, you hopefully know that if there is a silence from my end, it likely indicates computer glitches. If I know I am going to be away, I say so in advance. Over the week-end there was a silence, and it was indeed due to computers (note the plural). Last Thursday my work computer was swapped out for a new model. The operating system is different, and I am having some difficulties and frustratings figuring everything out. However, the relevant issue is that my home computer won't connect to it to enable me to get to this blog site. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Another Gene that Increases Breast Cancer Risk

    Posted 8/14/2014 by hhill
      Researchers in the UK have identified another gene that increases breast cancer risk to 1 in 3 women by age 70. This makes this gene almost as powerful as the better known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Called PALB2, I suspect it is something we will be hearing more about. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Changing Doctors

    Posted 8/14/2014 by hhill
      It is really important that you trust, respect, and can easily communicate with your doctor(s). This has especially been on my mind this week as I have helped two women navigate through a physician change. They both felt awkward and badly about it, and needed strategies and reassurance that these situations are not unusual. One absolute bottom line is this: Your needs come first. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Things Not to Say

    Posted 8/13/2014 by hhill
      I am sure that every one of us could make a list of stupid or hurtful things that people have said to us. Even though we tell ourselves that most people are trying to be supportive and helpful, their remarks can still sting. There are a few strategies that can help. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Osteoporosis Drugs and Breast Cancer

    Posted 8/12/2014 by hhill
      Many women take osteoporosis drugs to strengthen their bones and reduce the risk of fractures. Many women with breast cancer, both women with metastatic disease and some women with early breast cancer, take these drugs to strengthen their bones and (in theory) reduce the risk of bone mets. I have always liked this example of easy-to-understand science: if the bones are tougher, it is harder for cancer cells to infiltrate them. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Possible New Tumor Classification

    Posted 8/11/2014 by hhill
      This is potentially very big scientific news that applies to all kinds of cancer, not just breast. Scientists have just accounced, in an article in Cell, that totally new approach to classifying tumors may change the treatment for at least one in ten cancers. Read more... Comments (0)
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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