roswellness connections(September 2010)

Video Spotlight:
Roswellness Radio:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
Business Partner of the Month

Many thanks to you, our generous supporters and friends, for your continued dedication to our ongoing efforts in the fight against cancer. We appreciate your support through your donations and participation in fundraisers like Carly's Crossing, The Ride For Roswell, Goin' Bald for Bucks, Team Cure Challenge, The Paint Box Project and more! Feedback? Please email or call 716-845-1038.



LeleOvarian Cancer: Do You Know the Signs?
September marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The most serious of the gynecologic cancers, this disease accounts for about three percent of all cancers among women and ranks second among gynecologic cases.


The specific causes of ovarian cancer are unknown, and it is often difficult to detect, especially in its early stages. In fact, only about 10% of ovarian cancers are found in the early stages.


Women should be aware of the following symptoms, and talk with your doctor if they last longer than two weeks.

  • Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Pelvic and/or abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Pelvic and/or abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal or post-menopausal bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
Need more info? Call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724). Or, to request an appointment, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355).

Lymphoma Survivors Tend to Skip Later Cancer Screenings
Although most people treated for Hodgkin lymphoma remain cancer-free, these survivors face increased risk for developing secondary cancers or other late effects of their treatment, even years later. That's why it's surprising that so many former lymphoma patients didn't receive screenings for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer, according to a study published in the journal Cancer.

Canadian researchers followed more than 2,000 Hodgkin lymphoma survivors for up to 15 years after their diagnosis and found that while most had follow-up visits with their primary care physician and oncologist in years two though five, more than 60 percent skipped colorectal screenings and about 20 percent neglected cervical screenings. Alarmingly, more than 32 percent didn't have mammograms—women who have radiation treatment for lymphoma have a higher risk for later breast cancer and so timely screenings are particularly important. Hodgkin lymphoma survivors should discuss continued follow-up with their physician.


Many Cancer Survivors Still Have Kids At Home

Any parent knows the challenge of juggling pediatrician visits, play dates, and PTA. But for more than 1.5 million parents in the United States squeezing in chemotherapy, surgery or other cancer treatment and recovery, while parenting young children is sobering reality, according to a report from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Using data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, researchers found 18 percent of newly-diagnosed and 14 percent of all cancer survivors live with one of more of their children under the age of 18. This translates to about 1.58 million adult cancer survivors living with 2.85 million minors. At least 30 percent of these kids were younger than 6 at the time of their parent's diagnosis.


"Each person diagnosed with cancer fulfills multiple roles, and one of the most critical is the role of parent," says Michael A. Zevon, PhD, Chairman, Department of Psychology at RPCI. "Awareness of this fact has shifted our approach in how we support cancer patients. We consider the family as the "identified patient" rather than the individual in isolation. Supporting a patient in his or her parenting role is critical to that patient's compliance and the health of the entire family." Read more coping with cancer in the family from the National Cancer Institute.


Video Spotlight

mikeyMikey's Way Brings Joy to Pediatric Patients
To kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, representatives from the Mikey's Way Foundation recently visited Roswell Park and presented 18-year-old Mariah Turk with a special gift--a laptop to help her study when she enters college. The foundation also brought video games and other electronic toys to several pediatric patients. Watch video from WGRZ-TV here to learn more about how Mikey's Way brightened the day of our pediatric patients and their families.

Roswellness Radio

underwoodProstate Cancer 101: Dr. Willie Underwood discusses the basics all men--and the women who love them--should know during September's Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Are you at risk? And what can be done about it? Click to listen.

Roswell RoundUp

Join RPCI's Newest Online Community
Looking to expand the reach of its care beyond the hospital's walls and hours of operation, RPCI has launched a new online community for people affected by cancer. Created as part of a national initiative coordinated by OMNI Health Media, this comprehensive online resource, affiliated with the national network, covers everything from clinical trials and wellness tips to jokes and lighthearted videos created by and for people with cancer.

RPCI's new site, available at, is the first affiliate on the CancerConnect platform. This online community is intended both as an informational resource for patients, family members and caregivers and as a 24/7 extension of the support networks that are such a crucial resource for those whose lives are impacted by cancer. Read more about how you can take part in the conversation.
RPCI Receives Nation's Highest Honor for Nursing Care
Roswell Park Cancer Institute leadership received official word on Thursday, September 16, that America’s first cancer center has earned Magnet Recognition for nursing excellence, a top national honor bestowed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Approximately 6% of all hospitals in the United States earn Magnet designation. RPCI is the only hospital in Western New York — and the only freestanding cancer center in New York State — to earn this designation.

The Magnet distinction recognizes quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice, providing the ultimate benchmark for consumers to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive. In Magnet hospitals, patient outcomes are better, and their length of stay is shorter. Read more about this esteemed designation, or watch WIVB-TV's coverage of the announcement.

Roswellness Expo Sept. 18 and 19: Come Visit Us!
Come learn the latest in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of prostate and ovarian cancer at the Walden Galleria Roswellness Expo. Meet with Roswell Park doctors, who will be leading guided topic discussions throughout the weekend, and get your questions answered. There will be something for everyone - from cancer risk assessments and patient support resources to area mascot appearances and RPCI's Generation Y program, Yroswell.  Get hands-on with our Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS) on Saturday and play a cancer quiz game to win a free t-shirt! Take a tour of our new online community at and enter to win Buffalo Bills tickets-no purchase necessary. Roswell Park Cancer Fighter apparel will also be on sale. It's all happening Saturday September 18, 10 am - 3pm, and Sunday September 19, noon - 5pm, inside the Walden Galleria by Lord & Taylor.
 Carly's Crossing Breaks Records
Carly's Crossing Breaks Records
Thanks to the support of over 375 swimmers, the August 15 Carly's Crossing was the most successful in the event's history! Over $120,000 was raised in support of pediatric cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park. Plus, swimmers, volunteers and supporters enjoyed a great family-friendly post-swim party on the waterfront! Read more about the event.
A Visit from a Hometown Hero - and the cupA Visit from a Hometown Hero—and the Cup!
On August 13, Pat Kane—a South Buffalo native and forward for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks—had his chance to bring the legendary trophy home. As part of his trip around Western New York, the young man made a stop to visit with patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Check out more details, plus pictures and videos, from Kane's visit.

Dr. DasRPCI Research Sheds New Light on How Breast Cancer Develops
Newly published research from RPCI describes, for the first time, how the tumor-suppressing functions of the protein p53 become weakened by a hormone receptor in breast cancer cells and mammary stem cells. According to principal investigator Gokul M. Das, PhD, Co- Director of the Breast Disease Site Research Group at RPCI, the culprit is estrogen receptor (ER). Dr. Das and his colleagues found that ER, a docking site for the hormone estrogen in cells, binds to p53 and blocks its ability to regulate the genes responsible for tumor growth.


While preliminary, this research may shed light on the driving forces underlying breast cancer, which in turn could lead to the development of more effective therapeutic strategies. Read more about what this could mean for future breast cancer patients.


Events and Giving Opportunities

Get Your Wheels ReadyGet Your Wheels Ready for the Dunlop Ride for Charity
The Dunlop Ride for Charity has become an annual tradition for local motorcycle enthusiasts and a fun, unique way for the community to support Roswell Park. This year's expanded weekend of events, beginning September 17, will include a dice run, starting at the Dunlop Tire plant in Tonawanda, NY; a golf outing; a 5K; car cruise; auctions and more. Check out the event's website here to learn more about how you can be a part of this fun weekend of events!

Events for the Sports Lover
Our warm weather days are numbered-make the most of it at these fun outdoor events in support of RPCI! Check out this year's Saddle Up for Roswell at the Chestnut Ridge Equestrian Center in Gasport, NY. The September 18 event will feature will include riders of all ages and skill levels competing in dressage, show jumping and cross country trials for ribbons. For more information contact Megan Gamin at (716) 772-7703 or visit

Don't miss the Dan Zelasko Memorial Softball Tournament on September 18. The annual event will feature a day of playing ball and having fun at Walden Pond in Lancaster, NY. If you are interested in participating or supporting the event, please email Rick Zelasko at


ViVA for LifeBosom Buddies and ViVA for Life: Have Fun and Support Breast Cancer Patients!
This September, there are two fun ways to support the WNY Breast Resource Center at Roswell Park. The Breast Resource Center, created in 1997, assists breast cancer patients and their families as they travel the unfamiliar journey of diagnosis and treatment, offering free information and support programs. Learn more about the Center here.

  • The September 18 Bosom Buddies Walk for Roswell offers participants a scenic, easy walking route through East Aurora, with all funds supporting the Breast Resource Center. Register or get more info at
  • Looking for something a little more glam? Check out ViVA for Life, a black-tie event hosted by Russell Hurlburt of ViVA Salon and Spa in Orchard Park. The September 24 event will feature dinner, dancing, great auction items and more at Romanello's in Hamburg. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

Take On the Boston Hills
Are you a cyclist looking for a challenge? Sign up today for The Ride Boston Hills, a brand-new Ride For Roswell event that takes you on your choice of three scenic routes through the hills of Boston, NY. The September 25 ride requires just a $50 pledge minimum and $10 registration fee, and offers distances of 15 miles, 30 miles and 60 miles. Learn more and sign up today.


Patient Voice

sueSusan Sullivan
Watch video of Susan Sullivan, a lung cancer patient, as she shares her thoughts on her illness and the care she received at Roswell Park. Sue was captain of "Team Breath of Life" at the August 28 Team Cure Challenge TOPS 5K/10K, which raised $76,000 for cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park.

Donor Impact

Closing In on How Prostate Cancer Begins

Sometimes it's best to start at the beginning—the very beginning. With regard to cancer, that means finding the initial point of what made one cell of the body begin behaving badly.


William Cologgi"The challenge for any cell of the body is to work out which genes to turn on and which genes to turn off," explains Moray Campbell, PhD, Associate Member, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. "Even though all the cells in a body have the same DNA, they each work differently by expressing or not expressing different genes. These events control how the cell grows independent of the DNA sequence."


Thanks to your generous donations, a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Campbell is studying how and when these processes become corrupted in the development of prostate cancer.


This research could someday help thousands of men like 73-year-old Buffalonian William Cologgi, who has been in treatment for over 10 years since being diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 2000. Along the way, Cologgi has participated in more than eight different clinical research studies to try to keep his cancer at bay—decisions that have not only helped him, but cancer patients down the road.


"The hope is one day we will see a very tailored, individual approach to cancer treatment," says Campbell. "We'll look at a person's tumor at the molecular level to see how the lesion or cancer is developing in that person and then offer the appropriate drug to target that process."


Until that day comes, Cologgi is taking it one day at a time—ever grateful for the care he is given at Roswell Park.


"This place is hope's so important to the world," shares Cologgi. "If I ever hit the lottery I'm donating all of it to Roswell."


Business Partner of the Month

Upstate PharmacyUpstate Pharmacy, LTD

Upstate Pharmacy, LTD., has made supporting Roswell Park's patients a priority. From their first donation—purchasing bricks in support of the hospital's Kaminski Park and Gardens—Upstate Pharmacy's giving philosophy has always centered around offering support and comfort to those who have been affected by cancer. The company also provided funding to install a beautiful fountain in Kaminski Park, helping to create an environment that serves as a source of calm and respite for patients and their loved ones. Plus, Upstate Pharmacy has been a longtime supporter of All Star Night, Roswell Park's annual black tie fundraising gala.


As the naming sponsor for The Paint Box Project, Upstate Pharmacy provides invaluable support to the program and the pediatric patient-artists and families who benefit from it. The Paint Box Project raises funds for cancer research and patient care through the sale of cards and gifts that feature artwork created by our young artists and their families.


Upstate Pharmacy"We're fortunate to be in a position to be able to give back to Roswell Park, and The Paint Box Project has done so much good," said Upstate Pharmacy's co-founder Ted Kuzniarek. "We are so thankful to be a small part of its success."


The company's generosity will be on display once more when The Paint Box Project's 2010 holiday collection is unveiled in late September.  Thank you to our friends and partners at Upstate Pharmacy for their ongoing efforts to provide comfort and hope to our patients and their families!