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Andrea  Patenaude, PhD

Andrea Patenaude
Research Center:
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Medicine Research
Hematology/Oncology Research
Hospital Title:
Associate in Medicine
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Psychosocial aspects of survivorship
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Research Overview

Andrea Patenaude's research, which encompasses studies of both pediatric and adult cancer patients, involves psychosocial aspects of cancer genetics and survivorship.

Patenaude and colleagues recently completed a project assessing the psychological impact of prophylactic mastectomy (PM), a risk-reduction procedure recommended to women at high risk for breast or ovarian cancer. Interviews with 71 women who have undergone PM and 37 women considering the surgery revealed that all women considering surgery and about two-thirds of those who had undergone PM would advise pre-surgical psychological consultation. In addition, women who had undergone PM also would advise post-surgical psychological consultation to deal with issues of body image, self-esteem, and marital interaction.

Other recent projects include:

  • A study comparing more and less intensive programs of genetic counseling for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility.
  • An evaluation of parent-child communication about breast/ovarian cancer genetic testing.
  • A project assessing maternal reaction, family functioning, and expectations for change at the completion of a child's successful treatment for leukemia.
  • A study of health behaviors and risk-taking in teen-age survivors of pediatric cancer.
  • A study with Dr. Tony Meyer and Dr. Kathy Vannatta on the social functioning of pediatric brain tumor survivors.

About Andrea Patenaude

Dr. Patenaude received her PhD from Michigan State University. She is the recipient of a Fiftieth Anniversary Award, Scholars in Medicine Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2001; the Rosalie G. Weiss Award, American Psychological Foundation, 2000; and a Presidential Citation, American Psychological Association, 1999.

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Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the top research centers in the world for pediatric cancers and blood diseases. It brings together laboratory scientists and clinical researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital in a single program. We investigate pediatric cancers and non-malignant blood disorders from every angle—from examining cells under the microscope to tracking the effectiveness of current drug regimens using the most advanced molecular methods—so that we can create better treatments for children seen here and around the world.

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