roswellness connections(November 2010)

Video Spotlight:
Audio Podcast:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
Business Partner of the Month
At this time of year we wish to especially send our thanks to you, our generous supporters and friends, for your continued dedication to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Thank you for 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 or call 716-845-1038.



New Smoking Cessation Program Helps Patients to Just Breathe

Smokers know that trying to kick the habit during times of stress is challenging enough. Struggling with nicotine withdrawal while undergoing cancer treatment is even more difficult. That’s exactly why the program called Just Breathe was created at RPCI—to identify patients who are smokers, help them break their tobacco addiction and get them the support they need to stay tobacco free. Quitting smoking is vitally important, even after a cancer diagnosis. Research shows that smoking significantly reduces the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation and slows wound healing after surgery. With the program, every patient is screened for tobacco use. If you smoke or use tobacco, a dedicated tobacco cessation nurse or specialist will create an individualized quit-plan, which includes cessation services, behavioral counseling, pharmacotherapy and follow-up support. “If you smoke, quitting should be part of your cancer treatment,” says Maegan Chmura, RN, who helped create Just Breathe at RPCI. Just Breathe is available to a patient’s family members, too. Check here for more information about smoking cessation. 

Soy May Influence Breast Cancer Risk for Younger Women
Eating soy foods may help protect against breast cancer in premenopausal women, according to findings presented at the recent annual American Association for Cancer Research Conference by RPCI research apprentice Anne Weaver.  In the study, Weaver and colleagues compared the dietary patterns of 683 women with breast cancer to 611 healthy women. They found that the women who consumed the most phytoestrogens, such as the isoflavones found in soy foods, had a 30 percent reduced risk for invasive breast cancer and a 60 percent reduced risk for having a stage I tumor. Among premenopausal women, those with the highest isoflavone intake also enjoyed reduced risk for certain subsets of breast cancer, including Stage 1 disease (30 percent lower risk), tumors greater than 2cm (70 percent lower risk) and stage II disease (60 percent lower risk). These apparent protections, however, were not found among menopausal women. "The women in the study did not eat large amounts of soy foods," says Susan McCann, Associate Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "Overall isoflavone intakes were quite low and 75 percent of the women ate no soy at all." Learn more about your breast health and RPCI’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention Program.

Video Spotlight

Share Hope for the Holidays
This holiday season, make a difference in the lives of cancer patients like 32-year-old Renee Kuntz. Watch video to hear Renee’s take on the impact of supporting Roswell Park, and visit today to make your gift. Your generosity will help give patients like Renee the chance to celebrate another holiday season with their loved ones.

Audio Podcast

Breast Cancer Patients: Know Your Options
Dr. Shicha Kumar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology, and Joanne Janicki, coordinator of the Western New York Breast Resource Center, visit Roswellness Radio to offer an overview of the different types of breast surgery for cancer patients, and on support services available through RPCI.

Roswell RoundUp

A Tribute to RPCI’s All Stars
On November 13, Roswell Park Cancer Institute honored leading supporters at the 20th annual All Star Night gala. Dr. David C. Hohn, President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute from 1997-2007, was honored for his career achievements in cancer research, administrative leadership and national advocacy with the Gilda Radner Courage Award.

Additional honorees included Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who received the General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Action Award; Mary Pinto, a volunteer who received the Katherine Anne Gioia Inspiration Award; and Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, the Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine at RPCI, who received the Thomas B. Tomasi MD, PhD Hope Award.

The evening also marked the 20th anniversary of the Herd About Buffalo program with an auction of 40 all-new miniature buffalo statues. All Star Night raised nearly $300,000 for cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park. Pictured: Dr. Donald Trump, President and CEO, RPCI with honorees Dr. Hohn and Mary Pinto. Watch videos about all our honorees at


Celebrate the Season at the Tree of Hope Lighting! treeofhope
Start off your holiday season at RPCI’s annual Tree of Hope lighting on Friday, December 3, in Kaminski Park and Gardens and the hospital’s main lobby. Bring your family and friends as we light up the night sky in an annual tradition of offering hope for all those touched by cancer.

The celebration includes indoor and outdoor entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, a visit with Santa Claus, face painting and even a gingerbreaad house contest!  Please RSVP by Monday, November 29, 2010 to 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or


Plus -- don’t forget to purchase your official Tree of Hope luminary and display it at your home the night of December 3rd in a community-wide show of support for those we have lost to cancer and those who are in the fight for a cure. All proceeds benefit Roswell Park research. Visit The Paint Box Project's website today to order.
RPCI Forges New Partnership with Saudi Hospital
Roswell Park and King Fahad Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, signed a formal agreement November 16, 2010, under which RPCI will train KFSH clinicians, scientists, nurses and support staff to provide patients in Saudi Arabia with a level of cancer care comparable to that available at RPCI. Learn more about the shared benefits both institutions are anticipating from this new partnership.

lungKnow the Facts About Lung Cancer
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Are you or a loved one at above-average risk or seeking a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment options? Learn about our unique screening program and state-of-the-art treatments available.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Paint Box Project 2010-2011 Get Free Shipping Thanksgiving Through Cyber Monday with The Paint Box Project!
Did you buy your holiday cards yet? What about gifts and stocking stuffers? Don’t panic—you have plenty of time to finish your shopping with The Paint Box Project! Shop from Thanksgiving Day through midnight on Monday, November 29 and enjoy FREE shipping on your order! Visit us online at to browse cards and gifts featuring artwork created by pediatric cancer patients and their families. The best part? With every gift and card you send, you’ll help support cancer research and patient care programs at RPCI. Start shopping now!
Make a Holiday Dream Come True for Pediatric Patients
The holidays can be a tough time for a young cancer patient. You can help make the season a little brighter by donating a toy or gift for Carly’s Club members. Visit to see what Carly’s Club members are dreaming of this season!


A Healthy Choice for the Winter -- Start Training  tcc
The holidays mean lots of calories. Start off the winter on the right foot by registering today for April's Nashville Marathon with Team Cure Challenge! Now is the perfect time to sign up and start training for this lively, music-filled marathon weekend. The proceeds you raise through Team Cure Challenge will support cancer research at Roswell Park. So make a resolution for the New Year that counts--register today!

Patient Voice

David and Nicole Penna david and nicole penna
David Penna, a Roswell Park patient, and his wife Nicole reflect on the quality of care he received during treatment--and what makes RPCI stand out.

Donor Impact

Seeking Genetic Clues in Families with Breast Cancer
A family history is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer. Women who have a first-degree relative (i.e. mother, sister) diagnosed with the disease have an approximately two-fold increased risk for their own diagnosis.

zhaoBut what is behind these inherited cases of breast cancer? Thanks to your support, Hua Zhao, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at RPCI, is leading research to better understand the genetic clues found in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, but who do not carry the BRCA1/2 gene mutation often associated with inherited cases.

“The presence of BRCA1/2 mutations is common in familial breast cancer cases, but they can explain, at best, 25 percent of the overall risk for the disease. There are likely a large number of unidentified genetic markers that are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer,” said Dr. Zhao. “By better understanding these genetic variants, we can more accurately determine a patient’s risk of developing breast cancer, leading to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes."

Business Partner of the Month

Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin’ Brands has committed to supporting many Roswell Park fundraising events including Cancer Survivors Day, the Tree of Hope Celebration, Carly’s Crossing, Bosom Buddies and several other year-round programs.

Most recently, Dunkin Donuts again has sponsored the limited edition Mug of Hope with a brand new design featuring artwork from The Paint Box Project.  For just a $150 donation to Roswell Park, you can receive free coffee or tea for a one-year period! Visit today to buy your Mug of Hope.

Dunkin’ Donuts also has set an example for other organizations for their efforts for The Ride For Roswell, contributing coffee for 8,500 riders, volunteers and supporters, providing hospitality to over 250 fire and police volunteers on each route, offering wristbands to survivors and providing inspiring signage for family members cheering on their loved ones as they crossed the finish line.

Thank you to Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee employees who have helped make these efforts a success. Your commitment helps your customers understand the importance of supporting Roswell Park!