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  • Dating after Breast Cancer

    Posted 9/18/2013 by hhill
      Many women find the prospect of dating quite daunting. This is especially true after breast cancer, but I have known a number of women who found husbands/partners after cancer and who eventually felt that their health experience contributed to the richness and value of their relationship. In addition to the standard stresses and concerns about dating, breast cancer usually adds issues around body image, self-esteem, anxiety about the future, sadness about what has transpired. Read more... Comments (1)
  • WIll Life Ever Feel Normal Again

    Posted 6/6/2013 by hhill
      This excellent essay by Heather Millar is more supporting evidence for both the prolonged time recovery takes after cancer treatment and the poor job that most doctors/nurses/social workers do to prepare women for that reality. As I say over and over and over, it takes at least as long as the total duration of your treatment (starting to count from the first day you worried or knew there was a problem until the final chemotherapy or radiation) to feel fully well physically and emotionally. And, for many women, it takes even longer than that. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Cancer Experience Registry

    Posted 5/21/2013 by hhill
      It is such a pleasure to write this morning about the Cancer Experience Registry, a program of the Cancer Support Community. The Cancer Support Community ( is the name of the merged Wellness Community and Gilda's Club, and provides a multitude of support and educational services to cancer patients and their families at their many affiliates around the country. The Registry has been developed by their Research and Training Institute to identify and advance the understanding of the emotional and social needs of people who have been diagnosed with all kinds of cancer. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Same Issues in England

    Posted 5/3/2013 by hhill

      It is always comforting to me to realize that others share our concerns. There is nothing surprising in this article from the BBC about survivorship issues in England and the need for physicians to expand the conversation beyond the specific medical concerns. People completing cancer treatment the world over must share the same worries about returning to work, families, sexuality, energy, etc. The health care system is somewhat different in Britain, and GPs (general practitioners, similar to our PCPs) seem to do more of the oncology follow up than is generally true in the US. Studies here have suggested that women who are followed by their PCPs after breast cancer treatment do just as well as those who continue to see their medical oncologists, but that is generally not the system. I suspect, in the era of more attention to costs, that may become increasingly true here, too. It is less expensive to see the PCP than to see a specialist.

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  • Talking with our Children

    Posted 4/24/2013 by hhill
      I have written before about talking with our children, but the topic has been active this week in Boston as parents have wondered and worried about how to discuss the bombing and its aftermath with their families. The basic rules, I think, apply to any crisis or problem or difficult situation: use honest, age appropriate information and raise the subject more than once, in a way that can be explored or kept short. Read more... Comments (0)
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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