2018 In Review: Our Ten Most-Read Blogs

2018 was an exciting year at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. We unveiled our new logo and mission statement and celebrated our 120th anniversary as a cancer center. Roswell Park was also named a 2018 Best Hospital for Cancer by U.S. News & World Report, ranking 30 out of nearly 900 hospitals nationwide.

Our campus saw the opening of our award-winning MMMB Patient Terrace. The new open-air terrace, located on the second floor of the Scott Bieler Clinical Sciences Center offers a peaceful place to relax, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and find an escape from worry and stress.

It was also another significant year in our collaboration with Cuban scientists. Dr. Grace Dy shared the first results from the groundbreaking clinical trial with CIMAvax, a promising immunotherapy developed at the Centro de Inmunología Molecular (CIM). Roswell Park and the CIM marked another historical milestone by creating the first-ever joint venture between U.S. and Cuban partners to bring CIMAvax and other immunotherapies to U.S. patients.

During it all, here on the Cancer Talk Blog, our doctors and specialists shared preventive tips for living healthy, cancer-free lifestyles as we continued to be captivated by the inspiring stories of our patients and survivors.

We thank you for reading, and hope you enjoyed our blogs throughout the year. We're recapping our most viewed blogs from 2018 below to make sure you didn't miss some of our most popular reads! We look forward to all that 2019 brings as Roswell Park continues its mission to unleash the healing power of hope.

1. A Thank You Note to My Caregiver

November 22, 2018

"There’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for my wife.

Hilary has held our family together. She has held me together. She has been the person who pushes me when she needs to and supports me always. I keep as positive as I can, but cancer is really challenging if you have to go at it alone. There are days when you just don’t want to do this. But Hilary keeps me moving forward, through every hurdle and every setback. She helps me voice my emotions, as opposed to internalizing everything like I used to do. I’m extremely thankful for her, for both her softness and her firmness."

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2. Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer: The Importance of Early Detection

November 15, 2018

Early-stage pancreatic cancer is primarily treated with surgery. However, only about half of early-stage pancreatic cancer patients in the U.S. are referred to a surgeon or a comprehensive cancer center and undergo surgery. A common misconception about pancreatic cancer is the lack of treatment options and the grim prognosis. But if caught early, pancreatic cancer is treatable and potentially curable. It’s critically important to educate patients about the options and the importance of early detection.

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3. Symptoms of Colon Cancer in Women

March 23, 2018

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Although it is slightly more common in men, 1 in every 24 women will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer at some point in her life.

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4. Stronger Together

October 17, 2018

"When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, my boyfriend Michael and I were still in the beginning stages of our relationship. I told him that the next couple of months, even years, wouldn’t be easy — physically or mentally — and that if he needed to leave, I wouldn’t hold any ill feelings against him. I remember when I told him this, he just looked at me with that smile that made me fall in love with him and said, 'Shut up — when’s the next doctor's appointment?' And just like that, Michael never faltered."

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5. "Every Day I Wake Up Saying, ‘I’ve Got Another Day’"

October 3, 2018

It was 2005, and 47-year-old Rick Crowley had a lump growing in his neck. The first biopsy indicated that it was benign, but his doctors in Olean, New York, were not convinced. A good thing, too: The second biopsy found cancer.

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6. How I Learned I Had Ovarian Cancer

October 2, 2018

"After my exam, I was sent for an ultrasound, and when the ultrasound revealed a mass, I was sent for an MRI. The following day, my doctor called me while I was in the car. She asked if I wanted to pull over and I said, 'No, just tell me what you have to tell me.' My doctor said that some fluid and a mass in my right ovary looked suspicious."

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7. Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

February 1, 2018

What side effects can a cancer patient expect from radiation treatment? Dr. Simon Fung-Kee-Fung describes some of the common side effects that may occur and how the Roswell Park team works to mitigate these effects as much as possible.

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8. Melanoma Strikes Close to Home for Buffalo Bisons Head Groundskeeper

May 7, 2018

"Four years ago, I noticed a mole on my back. For more than a year, I didn’t think much of it. But when it started to bleed, I figured it might be worth having someone take a look. I actually had a really hard time finding a dermatologist who could take me. I called five or six places, and they were all booked up for months. When I finally found one up in Lockport, he thought it was just an irritated skin tag. A week later, he called me up and said, 'It turns out to be bad news.'"

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9. Doctoral Research Leads to Clinical Trial in Head and Neck Cancers

June 4, 2018

In 2012, Laurie Rich, PhD, arrived at Roswell Park to begin his doctoral work under the mentorship of Mukund Seshadri, PhD, DDS, Chair of Oral Oncology. He arrived at the same time as a very important piece of equipment, and as some crucial research was taking place. The cancer center had just purchased a photoacoustic imaging (PAI) machine combining ultrasound and optics to measure tissue oxygen and hemoglobin levels. The extensive work by Dr. Rich on this machine would advance the research taking place at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for head and neck cancer patients.

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10. My BMT Journey & the Importance of Connecting With Others

July 19, 2018

"If you’re going through a BMT journey, I think it’s really important to connect with other people who have been through it. Six years ago, when I had my transplant, I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know anyone who had been through it. No one else can really relate during that time, because it’s such a different level of complications. You get knocked down pretty hard; it’s not easy for someone else to understand unless they have experienced it."

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Editor’s Note: Cancer patient outcomes and experiences may vary, even for those with the same type of cancer. An individual patient’s story should not be used as a prediction of how another patient will respond to treatment. Roswell Park is transparent about the survival rates of our patients as compared to national standards, and provides this information, when available, within the cancer type sections of this website.