As we celebrate the holidays, we offer genuine thanks and the very best wishes to you, our dedicated donors and friends of Roswell Park, and we look forward to a new year of making great strides together in the fight against cancer. Thank you for your continued support through your donations and participation in fundraisers like The Ride For Roswell, Goin' Bald for Bucks, Team Cure Challenge, Carly's Club activities, The Paint Box Project and more! Feedback? Please email Giving@roswellpark.org or call 716-845-1038.
Are You Getting Your Vitamin D?
If you spend most of your time indoors, you may be running low on this important vitamin. Experts are learning that vitamin D—long associated with aiding calcium absorption—may also play a role in protecting against cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and some types of cancer. Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute are currently studying how vitamin D levels affect both a woman’s risk of breast cancer and the aggressiveness of the disease. African-American women in particular tend to suffer from low vitamin D levels, are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age, and suffer more aggressive forms of the disease.
Our bodies typically produce vitamin D in response to sunlight, so "direct sun on your face and hands for five to ten minutes each day should do it," explains Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of Roswell Park. Another strategy: include plenty of fish in your diet.
Dr. Johnson advises getting your vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test. "Let your doctor guide you from there," she advises. "Some people will need a high-dose supplement to get their levels up, and others will need less. But we all need to keep our levels up, and it's an easy thing to do."
Roswell Park Clarifies Breast Cancer Screening Advice
After recent confusing news reports about screening mammograms, Roswell Park Cancer Institute continues to strongly support the breast cancer screening guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society. An announcement by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggested that many women could delay beginning mammogram screening and ease up on screening frequency, but that recommendation "was based on very old studies from the 1960s and 1970s," explains Stephen Edge, MD, FACS, the Alfiero Foundation Endowed Chair in Breast Oncology and Medical Director of the Breast Center at Roswell Park. "Although these were landmark studies at the time, the quality of mammography and the follow-up were very different from today. We know from modern studies that the long-term survival rate from mammography-detected breast cancer is extremely high—over 95 percent in some cases."
Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society urge women to:
- Begin yearly mammograms at age 40.
- Have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic health exam—about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and yearly from age 40.
- Women should begin doing breast self-exam (BSE) in their 20s to learn how their breasts normally feel, and promptly report any changes to their doctors.
- Women who are at high breast cancer risk should consult with an expert in breast cancer risk and may benefit from mammography before age 40, and from adding breast MRI annually.
Show Us the Size of Your Heart!
Young Western New Yorkers are reaching out this holiday season to share a message of generosity and hope. The new “How Big is Your Heart?” music video from YRoswell features dancers from Darlene Ceglia’s Dance Project, a professional rapper and pediatric cancer patients and survivors performing to an original song in the halls of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Watch the video to hear their message now and make a gift today to show Western New York how big your heart can be. Plus, don’t forget to become a fan of YRoswell on Facebook.
Exploring How a Common Drug Could Fight Prostate Cancer
Scientists at RPCI have received a $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how a common drug, used normally to treat male pattern baldness, could potentially be used to treat prostate cancer.
Research led by Clement Ip, PhD, (pictured) Professor Emeritus in Oncology from the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park, seeks to better understand how Finasteride, when used in concert with the supplement selenium, may slow or stop the growth of prostate cancer. Read more about this grant from the NIH and how it will be used to better understand how these drugs could potentially save lives.
Pediatric Cancer Patients and Survivors Celebrate the Holidays with Art Lesson at Burchfield Penney
On Thursday, December 3, patient-artists from The Paint Box Project were treated to a personalized painting lesson from professional watercolorist Denise Sperry. This unique opportunity gave patient-artists the chance to visit Buffalo's acclaimed Burchfield Penney Art Center and create their own watercolor masterpieces with guidance and instruction from Sperry. To learn more about The Paint Box Project and how you can support patient-artists with your purchase of holiday cards and gifts, see our story below or visit www.PaintBoxProject.com today.
Famed R&B Artist Lends a Hand to Fight Prostate Cancer
Charlie Wilson, famed R&B artist widely known as both an influential solo artist and lead vocalist for the Gap Band in the 1980s, visited Roswell Park on Friday, November 27 to encourage local African-American men to learn more about prostate cancer and screening recommendations.
Mr. Wilson was in Buffalo to perform a sold-out show at Kleinhans Music Hall and generously donated a percentage of concert tickets and promotional caps sold at the concert to Roswell Park through the Team Cure community fundraising program. Read more about Mr. Wilson's advocacy efforts.
Events and Giving Opportunities
There's Still Time to Give the Gift of Hope this Holiday!
Looking for that perfect last-minute shopping gift? Why not choose unique, meaningful gifts from The Paint Box Project at Roswell Park? Each product features artwork created by pediatric cancer patients and their families, and proceeds support research and patient care at Roswell Park. Pictured: the "All Buffalo Tin" features a variety of gourmet Buffalo-themed chocolates, made right here in Western New York at Choco-Logo. Send a little piece of Buffalo to your out-of-town loved ones—or to your friends close to home!
Paint Box Project gift orders received by or on December 21, 2009, are guaranteed for delivery by Christmas Eve, so order now!
Just a Few Days Left for Your Shot at a Dream Car!
Buy your raffle tickets today for the chance to win any car-lover's dream: a 1963 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. This car—generously donated by Joseph Sahlen—will be raffled off on December 23, 2009, with all proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets supporting research and patient care at Roswell Park.
Only 2,500 tickets will be sold, so buy yours today! Raffle tickets are $10 or 3 for $25 and available at West Herr Automotive dealerships across Western New York. Or, contact Mary Rose McDermott at (716) 845-8788 or MaryRose.McDermott@roswellpark.org. Learn more, including official rules.
Buy Your Tickets Online Now for Denim and Diamonds 2010
Tickets for Denim and Diamonds 2010 are now available online! Join us for "An Evening in Paris" at the third annual event on Friday, January 29, 2010. Wear your favorite jeans and jewels to Ani DiFranco's Asbury Hall (located on Delaware Avenue and Tupper) and help raise funds for cancer research and patient care. The evening will include food, drinks, music, dancing, a silent auction and more.
For more information, contact Mary Rose McDermott at (716) 845-8788 or MaryRose.Mcdermott@roswellpark.org or read more here.
Your Gift Can Help Saves Lives this Holiday Season
As you gather with your friends and family this holiday season, remember that cancer doesn't take the holidays off—and this season, thousands of cancer patients in Western New York will continue their battles with the assistance of the care at Roswell Park. By making a generous gift to Roswell Park this holiday season, you can do your part for our patients and their families, and show you're fighting with them.
Donors like you help Roswell Park researchers make important progress as they strive to understand, prevent and ultimately cure cancer. To learn more or make a gift, visit http://www.roswellpark.org/snowflake or call 716-845-4444 today. With your help and support, some very grateful cancer patients may be spending the holidays with their families next year. After you make your gift, please share the link with others who may also wish to support our patients this season!
Exploring the Safest, Most Effective Ways to Treat Breast Cancer
Chemicals known as anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin, are commonly used to treat breast cancer and other cancers. According to Ramya Varadarajan, an oncology fellow in the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, "We prescribe anthracyclines because they are safe and remarkably effective anti-cancer agents."
But, she noted anthracyclines have potential for toxic side effects, including cardiac toxicity, which can pose problems in patients with pre-existing heart conditions.
Thanks to your generous gifts, a multidisciplinary team of oncologists and scientists have been awarded a grant to evaluate blood levels of the medication in women being treated for breast cancer.
The research will explore how the genetic make-up of certain women is related to how they react to doxorubicin, with the goal of explaining why some patients may experience some toxicities and why some do not following doxorubicin treatment. Read more about this important new research.
Business Partner of the Month
Classifieds Plus, Inc.
Classifieds Plus, Inc., of Williamsville, brings holiday cheer to customers of The Paint Box Project each year by generously donating their time and efforts as a 24-hour customer service line. Since 2004, the team at Classifieds Plus has offered this highly personal partnership, playing a pivotal part in the card and gift program's success. Staff members are inspired by the memory of their founder and CEO, David McDuff, who forged his company’s partnership with The Paint Box Project but lost his own battle with cancer in 2007. Special thanks to the Classifieds Plus team for their ongoing efforts on behalf of The Paint Box Project!