roswellness connections(January 2011)

Video Spotlight:
Audio Podcast:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
Business Partner of the Month
Thank 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 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.


Valentine’s Day is National Donor Day
The most exotic flowers or delectable chocolates can’t compare with the gesture of love you can make with a donation of life on February 14, National Donor Day.

“At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, our greatest ongoing need is for blood components, especially platelets, because their shelf life is only five days,” says Joanne Becker, MD, Medical Director of the Donor Center at RPCI. “Cancer patients often require blood products and the need is often greatest among those who have leukemia or are undergoing a bone marrow transplant. This year, our patients will need more than 15,000 units of blood and platelets. These are vital, life-saving products that only a human being can provide.”

The donor center at RPCI welcomes donations of whole blood, platelets and combined platelets/red cells. All donations stay within the hospital to help care for Roswell Park patients and you may make a directed donation to a loved one. Donors are cared for by our professional, licensed nursing staff. To learn more about how you can help, call the donor center at 716-845-8275 or visit
People Undergoing Cancer Treatment Should Still Exercise
Although cancer treatment can be exhausting, the recommendation to rest and avoid exertion is changing. Mounting evidence that cancer patients who remain physically active as much as they can tend to fare better led the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to revise their guidelines for this group. The organization strongly urges cancer patients and survivors to avoid inactivity and aim for the same amount of exercise recommended for all Americans—150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. The benefits—improved aerobic fitness and strength, decreased fatigue and increased quality of life—are an important part of a cancer patient’s recovery.
The guidelines recommend that any exercise program be tailored according to an individual’s tolerance and specific diagnosis. People with weakened bones, for example, may be advised to avoid heavy weight training. Safety first: Patients should consult with their oncologist regarding what types of physical activity and how much would be most beneficial for them. “Patients should not exhaust themselves,” cautions James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences and the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Chair in Prevention at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “However, the good news is that cancer patients don’t need to refrain from all forms of physical exertion. Exercise may not hurt, and it may aid in recovery and in dealing with the stresses of cancer therapy.” 

Video Spotlight

What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer Risk
Genetic testing can help determine a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. In this recent Double Check news story from WGRZ-TV, Roswell Park’s Dr. Swati Kulkarni stresses the importance of understanding your risk, and what to do with that information once you have it.

Audio Podcast

New Information on Tobacco and Cancer
 Graham Warren, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine at RPCI, and Andrew Hyland, PhD, Research Scientist in the Department of Health Behavior, talk about new research from RPCI on the impacts of continued tobacco use for cancer patients as well as new data released in a report from the U.S. Surgeon General.

Roswell RoundUp

RPCI Robotics Program First in the Nation for Designation
Roswell Park has become the first institution in the United States to be accredited as a Training Institute in Robot-Assisted Surgery by the Société Internationale d’Urologie (SIU). The accreditation allows RPCI to participate in the SIU scholarship program for young urologists, a cornerstone of the association’s educational mission. These highly regarded awards provide three-month Robot-assisted mini-fellowships. The fellowships will offer laparoscopic and robot-assisted skill development and case observership to promising physicians early in their careers. Read more about this important designation.

CancerConnect Empowers Patients and Caregivers
A recent article in The Buffalo News highlighted the benefits of CancerConnect, an online network of support for cancer patients, their families and caregivers. Roswell Park was the first cancer center in the nation to build an online community with CancerConnect, and reporter Charity Vogel’s article highlighted how Ken Metzger, an eight-year cancer survivor, relies on the network for support, camaraderie and advice. Photo credit: Sharon Cantillon, The Buffalo News
It’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Are You Being Screened?
Approximately 12,200 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011, so arming yourself with knowledge on prevention, detection and treatment could save your life. Check out RPCI’s tip sheet on cervical cancer and talk to your doctor about your options on prevention and screening.

Meet the Team: Dr. Peter Frederick

Dr. Peter Frederick (pictured right) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park. He specializes in complicated gynecological surgeries, including robot-assisted and minimally invasive surgery.

Why did you come to Roswell Park? What attracted you to this role?

I am originally from Buffalo, and did some of my earliest clinical rotations at Roswell Park as a medical student. It was here at Roswell that I first became inspired to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology. I benefited from the mentorship of compassionate physicians who combined surgical skill and clinical care with cutting-edge research. I really came to appreciate the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, where healthcare professionals with different backgrounds and areas of expertise collaborate for the common goal of curing cancer. After spending the last three years of my training outside of Western New York, joining the faculty at Roswell Park has been like a homecoming for me, both personally and professionally.

You perform robotic-assisted surgeries for gynecology patients. What are the benefits of this procedure for women?

Prior to the introduction of the DaVinci robot, many gynecologic cancer surgeries were performed through a large abdominal incision. In patients who are candidates for robotic surgery, we are now able to perform the same procedure through very small incisions. In addition to better cosmetic outcomes, this results in shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, less postoperative pain, a lower incidence of wound infections, and faster return to normal activity.

Tell us about your other research interests.

In addition to robotic and minimally invasive approaches to gynecologic surgery, my research interests focus on strategies for the prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer and developing immunological therapies for endometrial cancer.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

I enjoy working in an academic environment where my colleagues and students are excited about teaching and learning; always striving to improve the quality of care we provide for our patients. I would have to say that ultimately, the most satisfying part of my job is interacting and developing relationships with my patients and their families. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be in the position of providing comfort and hope during what is often a stressful and difficult time.

What advice would you give to women who have been recently diagnosed with a gynecological cancer, or who are at high risk for one of these diseases?

A lot of fear my patients experience after a recent cancer diagnosis is fear of the unknown. Do not be afraid to ask your healthcare professional specific questions. We are here to help. Write down your questions so you won’t forget them. It’s also not a bad idea to bring a family member or friend to your office visits. If you are at high risk for a gynecologic cancer, communicate that to your healthcare professional. There are high-risk clinics at Roswell Park where specialized screening can be performed, and we have genetics counselors available who can help determine if further testing or intervention is necessary.

To arrange for a consultation with Dr. Frederick or others in the Gynecology Center, please call 1-800-ROSWELL or complete an online "Become a Patient" form.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Wine and Chocolate: What Could Be Better?
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetheart to “The Perfect Pair,” a wine and chocolate tasting at Buffalo’s own Choco-Logo to benefit Roswell Park. Set for February 2, the event will offer a tour of Choco-Logo’s factory and a progressive pairing of chocolates and wine, plus discussion with chocolatier Dan Johnson. Visit to buy your tickets and learn more!
Music Lovers, Register Today for the Nashville Marathon
If this is the year you finally take on an athletic challenge, there’s no better event to start with than Nashville’s Country Music Marathon—a music-filled tour through this historic city. Sign up with Team Cure Challenge today, and you’ll raise funds for Roswell Park while we help you train. Or, check out a number of other events throughout the year, held locally and across the country, at
Ride For Roswell Registration is Open!
Last year’s Ride For Roswell raised a record $2.8 million for Roswell Park. Help us break that record in 2011! Register today for the June 25 event to start fundraising and training for your choice of nine routes, including the all-new 22-mile route. Then, head over to and get in touch with other riders! Or, if indoor cycling is your thing, sign up for the March 6 Ride Spinning Event. Sessions run from one hour to four hours at area fitness clubs.
Middle School Students: How Big is YOUR Heart?
Students in grades five through eight are invited to the first annual How Big is Your Heart Dance to benefit Carly's Club. This fun, safe way to support kids with cancer will feature music, games, contests and an appearance from KISS 98.5's DJ Anthony. Tickets will only be sold prior to the dance. Buy yours today at or call 716-845-8788.

Patient Voice

Wes Carter
Wes Carter, a patient at Roswell Park, recently shared thoughts on his experience in a My View column in The Buffalo News.

“Maybe in some ways, we patients have developed a camaraderie of our own. Through our long months and years of treatment, we come to know one another and the severity of each other’s ills; so it’s with these precious moments that our hearts go forth. That’s what makes Roswell Park so special, and that’s what makes health care provided in this way so vital.”

If you have been diagnosed with cancer recently and would like to learn more about receiving care at Roswell Park, please call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355).

Donor Impact

A Source of Support for Patients in Need
Cancer doesn’t take just a physical toll. Patients and their families grapple with questions and anxieties throughout their journey with the disease, from the practical to the abstract: What will chemo be like? What happens when I go back to work? How will I tell my kids?
Support groups at Roswell Park offer the chance for patients and their loved ones to seek answers to their questions from others who face similar issues. Groups are based on a number of criteria—disease site, gender, age—so patients can find the group that best fits their needs. Now, thanks to your donations, the groups are expanding and offering a new level of support.

Business Partner of the Month

Mighty Tacomighty taco
By partnering with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Mighty Taco has demonstrated that their dedication to serving Western New Yorkers goes beyond their much-loved tacos, burritos and nachos.  For three years, Mighty Taco has been doing their part to make the lives of cancer patients a little easier.
When a pediatric patient and their family are dealing with cancer treatments, making dinner often is the last thing on their minds. By generously and consistently donating gift cards to Carly's Club, Mighty Taco gives families a much-needed break and the chance to have a great meal together—a fun diversion during stressful times.

As a sponsor of Goin’ Bald for Bucks, Mighty Taco helps provide special Goin’ Bald t-shirts to all participants, defraying the costs of the program so more funds go directly to research and patient care programs. Plus, providing signature t-shirts helps create a sense of pride and camaraderie among Goin' Bald participants. Agreeing to shave your head or cut your hair can be an intimidating prospect, even when you're fundraising for cancer research, but Mighty Taco’s support makes it easier for participants to jump in, take part and raise more funds for Roswell Park.