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  • Milestones

    Posted 8/28/2014 by hhill
      Milestones and cancer anniversaries can be powerful. This week, I have sat with several women who were struggling with these markers. In two cases, women were completing adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, feeling exhausted and anxious and emotionally depleted, and were surprised and upset by all the people around them who were "celebrating" and pushing them to move on. In another instance, a woman described not sleeping well and feeling generally anxious before she realized that this week is the third anniversary of her bilateral mastectomies. And, finally, a woman described having a near panic attack when she went for her first mammogram after breast cancer, helped only a little by recognizing the reasons of being back at the "scene of the crime" at almost exactly the same week of the year. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Wow What a Selfie

    Posted 8/27/2014 by hhill
      For better or worse, I am really ill informated about popular culture. This is partly my age, partly being so immersed in my work and my life, partly indifference. It was only within the last few months that I learned the meaning of the word "selfie" and generally feel fairly critical about all the seemingly narcissistic moments that this photographic option enables. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Boston Event on September 16th

    Posted 8/26/2014 by hhill
      I don't often, if ever, use this space to announce an event, but this one seems especially interesting and useful. Cancer and Careers, as you hopefully know, is a wonderful resource, and they are presenting Beauty of Caring that evening. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Early Breast Cancer Treatments

    Posted 8/25/2014 by hhill
      There surely are some down sides to modern life, but medicine is not one of them. I suspect that we are all grateful that we live where and when we do vis a vis our cancer treatments. Even if we look back just a little bit, there have been major improvements. When I began to work at BIDMC in 1979, the standard of care for women with early breast cancer had just been changed from two years (!) to one year of chemotherapy. Perhaps five years later, the standard was changed again to six months. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Musings on Five Years

    Posted 8/24/2014 by hhill
      Here is the first thing to know about the five year mark: it does not mean much in breast cancer. There are a few cancers (e.g. leukemia) where, if you pass five years without a recurrence, you can almost count on being cured. In Breast Cancer World, the "cure" word is rarely to never used (frankly, I would be suspicious of it), and recurrences can happen anytime. For women with her2 positive breast cancers, going 5 or 6 or 7 years without a recurrence is very reassuring. The more aggressive cancers do tend to come back quicker--if they are ever going to do so. For those of us with ER positive, lower grade cancers, the "let part of your held breath out" part comes later, and these cancers can and do sometimes recur 10 or 12 or 17 years later. Read more... Comments (0)
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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-1900


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