roswellness connections(July 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.


Choose Sunscreen Wisely
Sun exposure causes the skin to age prematurely leading to wrinkles, dull complexion and irregular pigmentation as well as cancer.

“It’s not too late to begin using sunscreen to slowly reverse the process,” says Marcelle Grassi, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology at RPCI. “Be sure to have a regular skin exam by your doctor or dermatologist, too.” Sunscreens, however, are not created equal. Many sunscreens protect only against sunlight’s ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the kind that causes sunburn. But it’s ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation that penetrates skin deeper and causes the kind of damage that leads to cancer. By next summer, new FDA regulations for sunscreens will help make it easier to decipher the label, but don’t wait. Here’s what you need to know to protect your skin now:
  • Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. Lower SPFs don’t offer enough protection against sun damage.
  • Reapply at least every 2 hours and more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Don’t rely on sunscreen alone. Limit time in the sun, especially between 10am and 2 pm, and cover up with protective clothing—long sleeves, pants, hats, sunglasses, etc.
  • Avoid tanning salons! Tanning beds are a group 1 carcinogenic (the same group as arsenic, benzene and tobacco).
Concerned about your risk of skin 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.

TV Viewing Habits Boost Health Risks
Calling all couch potatoes: Turn off the TV before it cancels your health. Watching television for more than two to three hours a day is linked to significantly higher risk for diabetes and heart disease and for dying from all causes, according to findings from the Harvard School of Public Health. That’s sobering news for Americans, who watch TV an average of five hours a day—the most common activity after working and sleeping. Researchers estimated that each two-hour increment of daily TV time, resulted in 176 new cases of type 2 diabetes, 38 new cases of cardiovascular disease, and 104 more all-cause deaths per 100,000 people per year.

“Watching television is sedentary,” says James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. “People need physical activity for weight control, circulation and general health. The report provides additional evidence that sedentary lifestyles are leading to an epidemic of obesity-related early death and disability.”
Safety Improving for High-Risk Surgeries
Anyone facing an operation, particularly a cancer surgery, may find comfort with the news that the procedures are getting safer. Reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at Medicare data to analyze cancer and cardiac surgeries among older patients and found mortality rates on a promising downward trend. For complex cancer procedures, mortality dropped more than 10 percent. For example, mortality dropped 11 percent for resection of esophageal cancer and 19 percent for resection of pancreas cancer. Researchers suggest that for cancer surgeries, safety improved in part because patients seek surgery at hospitals that perform a high volume of the procedures.

“Many hospitals that invest in the technology for laparoscopic and robotic equipment are focusing these procedures on a fewer number of surgeons,” points out James Mohler, MD, Chair, Department of Urology at RPCI. “Patients benefit from minimally invasive surgery with faster recovery and more experienced surgeons resulting in fewer complications.” Many low-volume centers have discontinued performing some of the trickier procedures. Still, outcomes vary from hospital to hospital. Learn more about RPCI’s data in our Quality Outcomes Report for 2011.

Recipes for Health: Oven Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
Asparagus is noted for more than just its bold, green color. Packed with nutritional value, this vegetable is high in vitamin C and numerous antioxidants. Asparagus also helps improve kidney function, maintain a healthy blood pressure and boost immune function. Check out this quick, easy and delicious asparagus recipe from It only takes 20 minutes to prepare, and can be a great lunch, side dish to dinner or afternoon snack any day of the year!

  • 2 lbs. asparagus
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 400. Toss asparagus with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice lemon very thin and layer on a baking sheet. Spread asparagus over top of the lemon and roast for 15 minutes. Asparagus should become tender and just start to brown. Serve and enjoy!

Video Spotlight

A Look Back at The Ride For Roswell 2011
The June 25 Ride For Roswell raised more than $3 million for cancer research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. The day is a tribute to cancer survivors, patients and those we have lost to the disease, and a triumphant celebration in the fight against cancer. Check out this video recap of The Ride 2011 to see what the day was all about. Many thanks to videographer John Guinane for helping us capture The Ride 2011.

Audio Podcast

Accomodating Families Traveling for Cancer Treatment
When you or a loved one faces cancer treatment, there are numerous challenges and stresses to overcome. Traveling from outside Western New York to seek care at Roswell Park can add extra worries to an already stressful time. Social workers Teresa Gordon and Christy Paddon joined a recent session of Roswellness Radio to talk about what this kind of travel can mean to a family facing cancer, and the support systems provided by RPCI to help ease some of those issues. Listen here.

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 Listed Again Among Nation's Best Hospitals
Roswell Park has again been ranked among the top cancer hospitals in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2011-12 Best Hospitals.
RPCI Researchers Share in NIH Program of Excellence Award in Glycosciences
The laboratory of Joseph Lau, PhD, Associate Member of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), will share in a seven-year, $17.6 million Programs of Excellence Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). One of only five Programs of Excellence in Glycosciences (PEG) awards nationwide, the grant will support the team’s investigations in glycobiology, the study of the role sugars play in biologic processes. More than $4.5 million has been allocated for Dr. Lau's team's work.

WNY Family Makes $1 Million Gift to Roswell Park
RPCI is another $1 million closer to completing its $40 million Making Room to Save Lives capital campaign thanks to a generous gift from Albert and Katherine "Kit" Maroone of Boca Raton, Florida. The Maroones formerly lived in the Buffalo area and owned The Maroone Auto Group. They are active philanthropists in Southern Florida where they have been longtime residents. Read more about what this generous gift will mean for the future of patient care at Roswell Park.

Johns Hopkins Honors RPCI President and CEO
Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association June 10 during his alma mater’s 2011 Reunion Weekend. The award honors graduates who have brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement or humanitarian service. Read more about Dr. Trump's recognition.

Cancer Survivor's Gift Makes New Liver and Pancreas Tumor Center Possible
A generous donation from a grateful liver cancer survivor has provided the remaining funds necessary to create a $1.1 million Comprehensive Liver and Pancreas Tumor Center at Roswell Park. Anne Virag, a native of Canada who makes her home in Western New York, has made a gift of $500,000 to initiate the Center’s work. The donation is from Ms. Virag and Mr. Nate Benderson in recognition of Ms. Virag’s Roswell Park doctor, Boris W. Kuvshinoff, MD, MBA. Dr. Kuvshinoff is the co-director along with Dr. Renuka Iyer of the Liver Tumor Program at RPCI. The new Center is additionally funded by $600,000 previously committed by RPCI. Read more about this generous gift. Watch video as Ms. Virag shares her thoughts on the day of the announcement.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Plan Your Day at the Beach with Carly's Crossing
We're just under a month away from Carly's Crossing, the open-water swim event on Buffalo's waterfront that raises funds for Carly's Club. Register today to spend a day on the beach with us on August 14! Whether you're a competitive swimmer, a less experienced participant or just want to hang out on land, Carly's Crossing has something for you. Choose from 1-mile timed or non-competitive courses or a 600-yard non-competitive course. Or, don't swim at all and be a virtual swimmer, raising pledges for Carly's Club without getting in the water. Explore all your options and sign up today at Tweeting about Carly's Crossing? Use the hashtag #CarlysCrossing to join the conversation!

Want a Tops Gift Card? Sign Up for the Tops 5K/10K!
Thanks to our generous partners at Tops Markets, the first 400 people registered for the Tops 5K/10K Run/Walk will receive at $10 Tops gift card! Register today for this fun and challenging Team Cure Challenge event, set for August 27 in support of Roswell Park. Runners and walkers of all ability levels are encouraged to join! Register and learn more about the Tops 5K/10K and all Team Cure Challenge events at

Mark Your Calendars for the Lebro's Fun Run 2011!
The Lebro's 23rd annual Fall Classic 5K is set for September 17, 2011. This beloved local running event is hosted by (and starts from) Lebro's Restaurant in Getzville and raises funds for Carly's Club at Roswell Park. Register online and start getting prepped for this family-friendly event that features a post-race carnival!

Patient Voice

Cameron MacDonald
Cameron MacDonald is a pediatric cancer survivor who beat Hodkgin's lyphoma with the goal of getting back to his favorite sports. Watch this video of Cameron sharing his personal experience with cancer and why he takes part in the annual Carly's Crossing to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and patient support programs.

Donor Impact

Making Progress Against Lung Cancer
With help from your gifts, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation has recently awarded four new grants totaling $181,000 to help make progress in the fight against lung cancer. Last year lung cancer was diagnosed in more than 222,500 Americans, and 157,300 individuals died from the disease. The disease continues to claim more lives than any other cancer. Roswell Park scientists applied for funding and were competitively awarded the grants by a committee of top RPCI scientists and doctors.

Funded projects include the following topics:
  • Development of an improved laboratory model for testing new treatments for lung cancer
  • Studies of the most frequently mutated genes involved in lung cancer
  • Research of vitamin D levels in people considered high risk for lung cancer
  • Evaluation of the use of new inhibitors in lung cancer therapy

Like all Alliance Foundation grants, dollars to make the research possible came from a host of fundraising efforts including The Ride For Roswell, All Star Night, the Annual Appeal letter campaign and hundreds of Team Cure community fundraising events held on Roswell Park’s behalf.

Are you concerned about your risk of lung cancer, or have questions about lung cancer treatments at Roswell Park? Call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or use our online Become a Patient form to learn more.

Partners for a Cure

Counsel Financial Partners Up to Host Summer Night of Comedy and Dancing

In addition to providing critical support through The Ride For Roswell and All Star Night, Counsel Financial is partnering up with Mikey's Way and Roswell Park to host "A Summer Night of Comedy and Dancing!"

Counsel Financial will help present the event, hosted on August 14, 2011 at the beautiful Brookfield Country Club for a night filled with dinner, dancing and comedy from WNY’s own Rob Lederman, plus auctions and surprises! All to benefit Roswell Park and the Mikey’s Way Foundation and help sick children and teens throughout Western New York. You can also enter to win a Basket of Cash—guaranteed to hold at least $2,000!

Roswell Park and Mikey’s Way have recently formed an extraordinary partnership that will profoundly impact countless sick children and adolescents in WNY through Mikey's Way Days hosted at Roswell's pediatric cancer unit. Mikey's Way gives pediatric patients gifts of electronic toys and games that provide fun and entertainment during their treatment and hospital stays. Since its inception in 2005, Mikey’s Way has been able to reach over 1,000 seriously ill children and have a meaningful effect on their road to recovery. The organization plans to touch the lives of many more patients right here at Roswell Park.

For additional details and to register online, please visit or call Corrie at 817-7018. You can also view a commercial for the Gala here. Thank you to our friends at Counsel Financial for their continuing support! Click image above to view full-size event flyer.