“You would think that after 34 years of marriage, I would have known everything there was to know about my wife, Theresa,” says Ralph Germaine. But as he watched her yearlong battle with breast cancer, her inner strength and optimism surprised even him. While Theresa was hospitalized at Roswell Park, she and Ralph found respite in the peace and greenery of Kaminski Park, in the center of the Roswell campus.
Over the past 14 years, Roswell Park patients, their families and friends have helped build one of the most powerful tools available to cancer researchers. Here’s how it works — and how you can help.
The news that you are cancer-free can stir up many feelings — relief, exhaustion, excitement, apprehension — and you may wonder what happens next. Although you and your loved ones have worked toward and hoped for this outcome, there are many aspects of survivorship, and it may take time to adjust to life after treatment.
It’s a myth that people of color, including African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, don’t get skin cancer. In fact, Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley died at the age of 36 from a rare form of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
Oral health is a crucial component of cancer care. About 40 percent of patients develop complications that affect the mouth. Head and neck radiation, chemotherapy, and blood and marrow transplantation can cause issues ranging from dry mouth to life-threatening infections. These problems interfere with cancer treatment and affect quality of life.
I’m not one to worry about what comes next. I live in the moment. That’s the attitude I had nearly 20 years ago when I was first treated for breast cancer, and that’s how I took it two years ago when a routine mammogram showed that my cancer had come back. I was not the least bit concerned about having a mastectomy. But this time, after the mastectomy, my surgeon suggested that I consider breast reconstruction.
In December, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) announced a major collaboration focused on an emerging area of cancer research: neoantigens. These small proteins on the surface of cancer cells arise from mutations often unique to a tumor, making personalized immunotherapies like cancer vaccines a possibility.
The study found that more than 42 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 59 have a type of genital HPV and nearly 23 percent of adults are infected with strains of the virus that carry a higher risk of causing cancer. CDC and Roswell Park recommend getting adolescents and young adults vaccinated.