Our favorite blog posts of 2019

Roswell Tree of Hope 2019

At Roswell Park, 2019 was another year of progress in our fight against cancer as we celebrated every victory made toward new cures. We continue to set the bar high as a member of an elite group of cancer centers. This year the National Cancer Institute renewed Roswell Park's designation as a comprehensive cancer center – a distinction we have held for more than 45 years. 

This year brought us tremendous growth, and we are forever grateful to our community supporters and donors who make our work possible. We launched the Roswell Park Care Network, which unites healthcare providers across New York — from Buffalo to Long Island and into Pennsylvania — all committed to reducing the burden of cancer and improving access to the services of our region's only comprehensive cancer center.

During it all, here on the Cancer Talk Blog, our doctors and specialists shared preventive tips for living healthy, cancer-free lifestyles and practical tips for those living with and after cancer, 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 blog throughout the year. We're recapping our most viewed and favorite blog posts from 2019 (below) to make sure you didn't miss some of our most popular reads! We look forward to all that 2020 brings as Roswell Park continues its mission to unleash the healing power of hope.

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1. When Your Cancer Doctor Gets Cancer: Dr. McCarthy's Story

May 9, 2019

He gives his patients hope; he gives families hope. He’s a world-renowned physician who has dedicated his career, his passion and his life to providing advanced stem cell transplants to hematological cancer patients. He’s well respected by his peers, well loved by his patients, and one of the most caring (and funny) individuals you will ever meet.

But a couple of years ago, the roles were flipped. Dr. McCarthy became the cancer patient.

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2. Top Myths About Colon Cancer, Debunked

April 1, 2019

Colon cancer tumor

More than 50,000 people die of colorectal cancer each year — but the death rate is on a steady decline, and the American Cancer Society projects that the 2020 death rate will be 50% lower than the 2000 rate. That forecast is based on the assumption that more people will take advantage of colon cancer screening, fewer people will smoke, people will eat healthier, and more effective treatments will be introduced.

But myths may keep some people from taking steps to protect themselves against the disease. Here are the facts.

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3. Severe Aplastic Anemia: Luci's Story

February 11, 2019

When you’re a teenager, your whole life is in front of you. Luci Takas was a varsity swimmer, an avid skier and CrossFit athlete. Then something didn’t seem right.

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4. Stage 4 Liver Cancer Survivor: David's Story

February 4, 2019

“I’ve been very active and have had a wonderful life. I felt so good yesterday, it’s hard for me to believe that I’m full of cancer."

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5. When Am I a Cancer Survivor?

March 21, 2019

What makes me a survivor? The answer seems obvious. Three and a half years after being diagnosed with Stage IIc ovarian cancer, I am still alive.

If only it were that simple. But, for physicians and patients, being a survivor means many different things, ranging from clinical definitions and test results to emotional and physical milestones.

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6. Does Eating Organic Foods Reduce Cancer Risk?

January 23, 2019

Agricultural worker spraying crops

In 2015 the World Health Organization declared that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup® weed killer and the most-used herbicide in the world — is “probably carcinogenic [cancer-causing] to humans.” Those headlines have boosted concerns about whether chemicals used for growing crops can increase the risk of cancer. Past research has focused mostly on the risk to agricultural workers, who may be exposed to large volumes of herbicides and pesticides on a regular basis. But could eating foods grown with those chemicals also put you at risk?

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7. Cure for Cancer: What's Taking So Long?

September 30, 2019

Cancer cell

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, now Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. More than a century later, it’s reasonable to ask, “What’s taking so long?”

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8. Neuroendocrine Cancer: Elaine's Story

April 5, 2019

In October 2017, while attending a family wedding in Raleigh, NC, Elaine Nydahl experienced extreme pain in her abdomen. With symptoms that mirrored a gallbladder attack, she visited the emergency room at Duke University Hospital. She was discharged with a diagnosis that sludge had been detected in her gallbladder and that she most likely had a viral infection; she was advised to follow up with a gastroenterologist. When she started feeling unwell again in May 2018, she visited her family doctor, who found nothing unusual.

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9. Why Cancer Patients Push Loved Ones Away

April 15, 2019

Some cancer patients may feel overwhelmed by the situation and not know how to talk about their feelings with those who are closest to them. This can lead family members and close friends to feel rejected or unwanted, especially when they want to be there during their loved one’s time of need. To figure out how you can best help someone on their cancer journey, it's important to understand why they might seem to be distant or pushing loved ones away.

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10. Spirituality During Treatment: Michaela's Story

June 17, 2019

As a nursing student at Jamestown Community College, Michaela Pastorius was assigned to take a lecture class on spirituality. "At the time, I didn't understand, and it all went right over my head,” she says. “I thought, how can I help a patient with their spirituality if I don't even know my own? I don't identify with a specific religious group. I never have. I wasn't raised in a family that really identified strongly with one religion, and up until this experience, I couldn't connect with my spirituality, either. I just couldn't figure out how." Then Michaela received some unexpected news last summer.

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