• Researcher Profile

    Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH

    Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH

    Top Doctor

    Founder and Director, Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer
    Director, Adult Survivorship Program
    Senior Physician

    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Breast Oncology
    Survivorship Clinic (Adult)

    Office phone: 617-632-3800
    Fax: 617-632-1930
    Email: ann_partridge@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: office phone

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Solid Tumor Oncology


    Breast cancer in young women

    Area of Research

    Clinical and Epidemiologic Research in Breast Cancer

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Partridge received her MD from Cornell University Medical College in 1995. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and went on to complete fellowships in medical oncology and hematology at DFCI. Later she received an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She is a medical oncologist focusing on the care of women with breast cancer, and she has a particular interest in the psychosocial, behavioral, and communication issues in breast cancer care and treatment.


    Clinical and Epidemiologic Research in Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in U.S. women, with over 215,000 new cases diagnosed in 2005. Although the median age at breast cancer diagnosis is approximately 65, more than 14,000 women 40 years of age or younger are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Because women in this younger age group represent a minority of the women diagnosed with breast cancer, far less is known about breast cancer in younger women than older women. Evidence shows that young age is an independent risk factor for disease recurrence and death. It is controversial whether the poorer prognosis is a reflection of delays in diagnosis or differences in biology, but accumulating evidence indicates that biologic differences may play an important role.

    In addition to being at higher risk of dying from breast cancer than older women, young women with breast cancer are at increased risk of psychosocial distress at diagnosis and in follow-up when compared with older women. Young women with breast cancer face a variety of unique medical and psychosocial concerns as a result of their diagnosis and subsequent treatment. In particular, fertility and family planning, menopausal symptoms, and sexual functioning are of great concern to this patient population.

    Our research focuses on the psychosocial, behavioral, and communication issues associated with breast cancer care, especially the unique issues facing young women with breast cancer. Several ongoing projects include evaluation of adherence with hormonal therapies in women with early-stage breast cancer, assessment of fertility and fertility concerns in young women undergoing breast cancer treatment, and communication of study results to patients following clinical trial participation.

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