roswellness connections(June 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.


Healthier Women Better at Battling Breast Cancer
Better physical health may improve the prognosis for women diagnosed with breast cancer, while poorer health was associated with a 65 percent increased risk of death from any cause, according to findings presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. 

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 9,400 early stage breast cancer survivors and found about half of them were in poor physical health, as measured by a survey that included patients’ perception of physical functioning, pain, limitation caused by physical problems, and was strongly associated with body mass index. Low health scores were linked to a 27 percent increase in risk of cancer recurrence or a new breast cancer. Women in poor health were more likely to get less exercise, have sleep problems, and suffer high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis.

The good news? Improving physical health, by as little as 5 percent, reduces this risk. “Maintaining a healthy body weight and being physically active after a breast cancer diagnosis is crucial,” says Tracey O’Connor, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Not only do patients feel better, they are likely to do better in terms of their breast cancer diagnosis.  We need to find ways to help breast cancer survivors achieve meaningful lifestyle changes.”

Concerned about your risk of breast cancer 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.

The Changing Picture of CancerSupport Roswell Park
Most people think of cancer as one illness, but it’s more accurate to think of it as 250 different diseases. In the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, the overall rates of death and the overall rates of new cancer diagnoses declined between 2003 and 2007. “That the overall trends in cancer risk and mortality continue to drop is good news,” says James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Because the number of diseases that are known as cancer is so large, it is important to note which cancers are increasing and which are decreasing.”

The drop in death rates continues a pattern begun in the early 1990s; however, for the first time, lung cancer death rates decreased in women, more than a decade after the rates began dropping in men. Another bright spot was found in improved survival for childhood cancers: while new diagnoses continued to increase, deaths decreased.

The report highlighted areas of success and continued challenge. In men for example, incidence declined for lung, colorectal, oral cavity, pharynx, stomach and brain cancers but increased for kidney, pancreas, liver and melanoma. In women, cancer diagnoses declined for breast, lung, colorectal, uterine, cervical, bladder and oral cancers, but rose for kidney pancreas, thyroid, cancers plus leukemia and melanoma. Despite the drop in diagnoses, lung cancer—a largely preventable disease—still kills more people than any other cancer type.

If you have been recently diagnosed with lung cancer or have concerns about your risk for the disease, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or use our online “Become a Patient” form.

New Guidance in Choosing the Right Foods
Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a whole new way of looking at nutrition. Leaving the traditional “food pyramid” behind, the USDA’s Choose My Plate campaign encourages Americans to make dietary decisions based on certain percentages of proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Check out to see the new recommendations and start making healthier choices!

Video Spotlight

Will Your Cell Phone Cause Cancer?
A recent study from the World Health Organization has some cell phone users worried that radiation from their phones could cause cancer. The WHO’s study placed cell phone radiation in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. But what does that really mean for cell phone users? RPCI’s Dr. James Marshall explains more in this recent story from WGRZ-TV.

Audio Podcast

The State of Cancer
On April 6, 2011, four RPCI clinicians and researchers gathered at Roswell Park's Amherst Center to talk about advances in cancer research and treatment over the decades and to answer questions from community members. Listen to this two-part series from Roswellness Radio for excerpts from that exchange. Listen to part 1 or part 2.

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

$10 Million Gift Sets the Stage for RPCI's Expansion
Roswell Park is launching a strategic initiative to keep pace with its clinical expansion needs, and recently its Campaign to Build a Greater Roswell Park gained impressive momentum. Campaign volunteers announced a collaborative $10 million gift from 10 Western New York families on June 8. Through the creation of a “Circle of 10,” the 10 families have stepped forward to provide gifts of $1 million each. The funds will support the building of RPCI’s Clinical Sciences Center (CSC) (artist's rendition at right). The 10-story, 123,500-square-foot Center will be located on the corner of Michigan and Carlton Streets, and will be joined to RPCI’s adjacent main hospital building via connecting bridges. Read more about this important initiative for Roswell Park's future.

Thousands of Survivors Celebrate at RPCI
On Sunday, June 12, cancer survivors and their loved ones from across Western New York visited Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s campus to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day. The campus was transformed into a carnival atmosphere, complete with face painting, cotton candy and a “Dunk the Doc” tank. Couldn’t be there? Watch our recap video or check out photos from the day on our Flickr page.

RPCI Robotic Surgery Director, UB Collaborator Receive Award
To honor their work in developing robot-assisted surgical simulators and training tools, Khurshid A. Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery at RPCI and University at Buffalo Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology, and Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas, PhD, UB Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received the Faculty Entrepreneur Award at UB Partners Day on June 3. The award recognizes faculty members who have developed an idea or invention into a product or service that benefits society and improves quality of life. Read more. To learn more about the robotic surgery program at RPCI, visit

Join Western New York Firefighters in the Fight Against Lung Cancer
While you're out celebrating this Fourth of July, watch for an important message about lung cancer from your local firefighters. Various firehouses around Western New York will be handing out Firefighters Against Lung Cancer materials during parades and other July 4th festivities to help educate their communities about the importance of early detection and the Roswell Park High Risk Lung Cancer program. Listen to 97 Rock for important messages from the Roswell Park lung cancer experts and visit to assess your own lung-cancer risk level.

Events and Giving Opportunities

We Need Ride For Roswell Volunteers!
Looking for a fun way to give back to Roswell Park? Join us on June 25 at The Ride For Roswell as a volunteer. Due to The Ride’s continued growth, the need for volunteers is more critical than ever. Sign up online or call 716-THE-RIDE (843-7433). Your time and efforts will make a difference.

Be a Virtual Swimmer at Carly’s Crossing
Not a swimmer, but want to help out at Carly’s Crossing? Do your part without dipping a toe in the water by becoming a virtual swimmer. This new opportunity gives non-swimmers the chance to collect donations on behalf of pediatric research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. Even if you’re not swimming, stop by and celebrate with some beach-side fun on August 14! Get all the details at

Make it a Summer to Remember at the Tops 5K/10K
Are you lining up your events for the summer? Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the August 27 Tops 5K/10K Run/Walk with Team Cure Challenge. This day of fun in the sun in Williamsville offers something for every ability level: from an easy walk with your kids to a challenging 10K run. Visit to sign up and learn more.

Patient Voice

Josephine Bella
It takes strength and courage to share your personal experience with cancer. Josephine Bella spoke at the announcement of a $10 million gift in support of Roswell Park's clinical expansion, allowing donors to see firsthand the impact of Roswell Park's care. Watch video of Josephine's moving story.

Donor Impact

Using Targeted Radiation to Discover New Ways of Fighting Kidney Cancer
This year, more than 13,000 Americans will die of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. Effective treatment options for metastatic RCC are limited, and the prognosis for patients with metastatic disease is poor. Thanks to your donations, new research led by Dr. Thomas Schwaab (pictured), Assistant Professor in the Departments of Immunology and Urology at RPCI, is exploring whether using existing treatment methods in new ways will give patients a better shot at survival.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a procedure that allows doctors to deliver high doses of radiation to precise, well-defined areas of the body in an effort to reduce side effects and make radiation treatments more effective. SBRT has been used mostly to treat other forms of cancer, but Dr. Schwaab's team is exploring the impact that SBRT has on kidney cancer cells. They theorize that SBRT will help change the structure of kidney cancer cells in such a way that the immune system will be able to identify these radiated cells as targets to be destroyed, similar to the concept of a flu vaccine. Compared to traditional methods of fighting RCC, a vaccine would be more easily deliverable and could lead to improved outcomes for renal cell carcinoma patients.
"By using SBRT to deliver high doses of radiation to kidney tumors, we'll learn more about the best way to defeat these cancer cells. An added benefit will be that SBRT will reduce the size of kidney tumors and make it possible for us to resect only the kidney tumor itself and preserve the remainder of the  kidney," said Dr. Schwaab. "Our ultimate goal is to translate these findings into a vaccine that offers kidney cancer patients a better chance at survival. "

Partners for a Cure

The Ride For Roswell's Big Wheel Sponsors

Thank you to our 2011 Ride For Roswell Big Wheel Sponsors! This year's Ride takes place on Saturday, June 25. Please show your support for the following Big Wheel sponsors at The Ride and throughout the year:
RFR11 blue wegmans footer logoWegmans has been a long-standing sponsor of The Ride since 1998. Their generosity through the years has helped The Ride to continue to grow and exceed expectations.  
Wellness Sponsor - PraxairPraxair, Inc. has been a supporter of The Ride since 2007.  In addition to being a Big Wheel Sponsor, Praxair also has one of the largest employee Ride teams which has contributed over $252,044.91 to The Ride over the years (not including this year's total.)
0223 superior group logo 150pxSuperior Group is a new Big Wheel Sponsor this year, Superior Group's support helps recognize Extra Mile Club and encourage other riders to join this elite group of top fundraisers.   

SahlensSahlen's supports The Ride through a cash sponsorship, in-kind food donation and by forming a large and enthusiastic company Ride team.
WGRZ Channel 2 WGRZ - Channel 2 is the official media sponsor for the event, and The Ride's only TV sponsor. WGRZ helps spread the word about The Ride by sharing the touching personal stories of riders and survivors.
RFR10 UB stacked logo 300pxUniversity at Buffalo hosts The Ride each year, offering their beautiful campus to meet all of the event's physical needs.
RFR10 Local Edge logoLocalEdge promotes The Ride year-round in print media by showcasing the event. In addition, they support The Ride by organizing a company team.
emc-newera-100pxNew Era Cap Company is a very involved supporter of Roswell Park Cancer Insitute, and plays a large role in supporting The Ride through their sponsorship, supplying volunteers and creating a Ride team.