roswellness connections(May 2011)

Video Spotlight:
Audio Podcast:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
Partners for a Cure
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.


Diabetes May Lead to Greater Cancer Risk
Having diabetes not only increases a person’s risk for dying from a heart attack or stroke, but the disease is linked to a higher—as much as 25 percent higher—risk of death from cancer. That’s sobering news when you consider that diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions with 18.8 million people in the United States having diabetes and experts estimate another 7 million have the disease but remain undiagnosed. This new research, which analyzed data from 97 studies involving more than 820,000 people, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the biggest cancer risks for diabetics were for cancers of the liver, pancreas, colon and lungs. The good news? People whose diabetes was well-controlled did not appear to face the greater risk.
Tips to Prevent Melanoma During Summer Months
Despite a promising decreasing trend for the rate of many cancers, the incidence of melanoma, a particularly aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer, continues to rise.  The National Cancer Institute estimated more than 68,000 people would be diagnosed and 8,700 would succumb to melanoma of the skin in 2010.

“It’s among the most common causes of cancer-related fatality in younger people,” says Nikhil Khushalani, MD, Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). “Many of the patients I see are between 20 and 40 years of age.” New, effective treatments for melanoma have been disappointingly scarce until recently, with the FDA approval of a drug called Ipilimumab, now available at RPCI for eligible patients with advanced melanoma. Although it does not help everyone, only 11 percent of 676 patients in a phase III clinical study responded to the treatment, in that group the response was found to be surprisingly long-lasting.

Still, the very best treatment is prevention. Minimize risk by protecting yourself from sun exposure. Avoid tanning and generously apply a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (SPF of at least 30) to exposed skin every two hours.

Concerned about your risk of melanoma or interested in a consultation with RPCI’s experts? Call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or use our online “Become a Patient” form.

Video Spotlight

Educating Western New York’s Heroes
Firefighters risk their lives every day for the good of the community, but are Western New York’s bravest prepared for a different kind of danger? A recent outreach program from Roswell Park is educating local firefighters on the increased risks of lung cancer that many can face after being exposed to carcinogens and chemicals on the job. If you would like to learn more about your own risk of lung cancer, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or use our online “Become a Patient” form

Audio Podcast

Life with Cancer: the Unique Challenges of Survivors
Once you’ve survived cancer, what’s next? Life after treatment can be challenging in unexpected ways. Check out this Roswellness Radio podcast to hear from RPCI experts and cancer survivors about what patients can expect after completing treatment.

Roswellness Radio airs every Sunday from 6:30 - 7 a.m. on WBEN 930 AM and 107.7 FM. Listen to past shows any time at

Roswell RoundUp

RPCI Surgeon Performs Nigeria’s First Radical Prostatectomy
For prostate cancer patients in Nigeria, seeking a radical prostatectomy for treatment used to mean traveling to another continent. RPCI’s Dr. Willie Underwood is helping change that after he performed the country’s first radical prostatectomy in order to educate Nigerian surgeons on the procedure.

Step Right Up and Be Part of the Celebration of Life!
Get ready for a fun-filled day at the carnival! RPCI's patients and cancer survivors treated at RPCI are invited to Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 12, from 1 - 4 p.m. The day's entertainment will include: live music, carnival treats (registered guests will receive free food vouchers), carnival games & prizes, face & caricature painting, a theme-basket auction (cancer survivors will receive one free sheet of tickets) and a farmer's market. Also back this year will be the popular "Dunk the Doc" dunk tank. Cancer information, organizations and support groups will also be on hand. The event will go on rain or shine, there will be free parking in the RPCI ramp and each registered survivor will receive a complimentary Survivors Day t-shirt.

Reservations are required for this event, so please RSVP today by calling 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or go online to register at RSVPs are welcome through Wednesday, June 1. Each cancer survivor and his or her two guests are free of charge. The cost for each additional guest over the age of 3 is $5. All guests must be registered and prepaid. (Call or go online for details.).
Cigarette Packaging Needs to Change05 2010 smoking large
Are cigarette manufacturers deceiving customers about the risks of smoking? That’s what a new study from RPCI researchers concludes. The study, published in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that tobacco manufacturers have deceived consumers about the risks of their products for years and that remedial actions are needed so consumers can make informed decisions about the products that they purchase.

RPCI “Report Card” Shows Quality Matters When Choosing Care
RPCI recently released Quality 2011, the Institute’s first comprehensive report card on its clinical trends and outcomes, as well as those key quality indicators that contribute significantly to a positive experience for RPCI patients and their families.

The 122-page RPCI report takes a broad, balanced look at both types of measures, providing data on general and disease-site-specific trends and outcomes as well as patient quality-of-life services and programs. Learn more and view the Quality 2011 report.

Pediatric Team Named Among Top 50 for Cancer Care
Congratulations to RPCI’s faculty and staff led by Dr. Martin L. Brecher, the Waldemar J. Kaminski Chair in Pediatrics, who serve young patients at both Roswell Park and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. The team was honored as Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) was just named one of the top 50 children’s hospitals in the country for cancer care by US News and World Report.

We are so proud of the Roswell Park team and its longtime partnership between RPCI and WCHOB to collaboratively serve Western New York’s youngest cancer patients!

Events and Giving Opportunities

Have you registered yet for The Ride For Roswell 2011? Upstate New York’s largest one-day cycling fundraiser promises to be bigger and better than ever, and we’ve got plenty of tools, tips and incentives to help you fundraise and train. So choose your route today!

Celebrate Summer at the Tops 5K/10K

Enjoy every minute of our brief warm weather season in Buffalo—start training for the TOPS 5K/10K Walk/Run on August 25 in Williamsville. This family-friendly event is perfect for the novice athlete who wants to walk the course or an experienced runner looking for a fun and entertaining day outdoors. You won’t want to miss the post-race party, featuring food, live music and activities! All proceeds from the event support research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. Register today at Team Cure Challenge.

A Day at the Beach to Support Kids with CancerCarly's Crossing
Planning your summer events? Save the date for Carly’s Crossing, presented by Creditors Interchange on August 14. Western New York’s only open-water swim event raises funds for pediatric cancer research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. Choose from 1-mile or 600 yard courses, or try our new option of becoming a virtual swimmer. You can do your part for kids with cancer, whether in the water or on land! Visit to register or learn more.

Patient Voice

Lynn Saxton
Lynn Saxton, a survivor of inflammatory breast cancer, shares her experience with the disease, Roswell Park and The Ride For Roswell:

“I was barely 50 at diagnosis, with a recently married daughter. I feared I would never see my grandchildren. I was afraid I would never see my younger daughter, a new Air Force lieutenant, marry. After I was diagnosed, I was told how lucky I was to have a world-class cancer center only an hour away: Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

I underwent four months of chemo, followed by surgery and radiation.  In June of 2006, I participated in my first Ride for Roswell while undergoing radiation.  This year I will do the 30 mile ride, and I have set my fundraising goal at $5000, in honor of five years [of survivorship].  And two weeks after the Ride, my daughter is expecting my first grandchild.  What a lovely way to celebrate my survival. I am so grateful for these five years and more (I hope) to come!”

To learn more about your own breast cancer risks or set up a consultation, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or use our online “Become a Patient” form.

Donor Impact

Using the Internal Clock to Make Cancer Treatment More Powerful
The circadian system—better known as your “internal clock”—is a set of daily biological factors that can affect functions including sleep habits and body temperature. But can this system be used to make cancer drugs more effective and less toxic? Thanks to your donations, a new investigation at Roswell Park led by Marina Antoch, PhD, Associate Member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is learning more. 

Dr. Antoch and her team theorize that if tumor cells are susceptible to the circadian system’s effects in a different way than healthy cells, molecular clocks in healthy tissues could be manipulated to make them more resistant to traditional anti-cancer treatments and thus reduce undesirable side effects, allowing for smaller doses of the drug to be administered with similar therapeutic results.

“If our research discovers that tumor cells respond to changes in the circadian clock  differently than healthy cells do, this could mean better outcomes and an improved quality of life for many patients,” said Dr. Antoch. “Thanks to the support of donors, this could be an important first step toward making some cancer treatments more effective and less toxic.”

Partners for a Cure

97 Rock97 Rock
97 Rock is known for bringing classic rock favorites and lighthearted entertainment to Western New York listeners, but the station has made supporting Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s research and patients a serious priority.

From October 2010 through March 2011, 97 Rock teamed up with Chef’s Restaurant to bring the “Pink Wall of Hope” to life. The campaign gave Western New Yorkers the chance to make a donation to support breast cancer research at Roswell Park and have a loved one’s name painted on the outer brick wall at Chef’s. Representatives from 97 Rock, including DJ Jickster, and Chef’s, including owner Louis J. Billitier, recently presented Roswell Park with a gift of $6,200 raised through the campaign (pictured). You can still make a donation to the campaign here.

97 Rock also helps make The Ride For Roswell a success by volunteering their time and efforts as a media partner, helping spread the word about The Ride throughout the community. Plus, some of our favorite on-air personalities donate their time on Ride day, helping to make the event extra special for riders and volunteers.

In addition, the station is partnering with Roswell Park on its Firefighters Against Lung Cancer campaign. Thank you to our friends at 97 Rock for being a dedicated partner in the fight against cancer!