This is a time of unprecedented opportunity in cancer treatment. And as the Clinical Chief of Genitourinary Medicine at Roswell Park, I believe there is so much to look forward to.
I hope you will take a moment to write down what you want your 2017 to be. And whether you are in the middle of treatment, completing treatment, or newly diagnosed, trust that you will get to a place where you can say, “I'm happy, and I am alive.”
In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka, a Japanese stem cell researcher, made a groundbreaking discovery that would win him the Nobel Prize. Yamanaka discovered a new way to turn adult, dividing cells into pluripotent stem cells.
As a cancer survivor of 24 years, I’ve been through a significant amount of ups and downs when it comes to my health. In this environment, one learns to become fluid and quickly adapt. I’ve had the opportunity to revisit and evaluate several facets of my life—priorities, family, careers and other relationships. Twenty-four years post-diagnosis, I am still constantly making those assessments and adjustments.
Watchful waiting is a treatment approach that may be recommended in certain situations for certain types of cancer, including some blood cancers. While this method may seem frightening, understanding the reasoning and science behind it can help to ease your fears.
With only a few days until Christmas, I’m doing everything I can to channel that strength and use it to begin 2017 on a grateful and optimistic note.