Connections - April 2012

Fri, 04/27/2012

Birds of a Feather

Having a friend group that mirrors your characteristics--body mass, age, fitness level and diet preferences may be helpful when working to improve health habits. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created an online social network site to promote health and fitness for 710 participants who were divided into small groups called Health Buddies. The participants were urged to use the online diet diary and health "dashboard," which displayed the number of daily exercise minutes, health behaviors and personal characteristics of the other Health Buddies in the group. Participants were more likely to participate in the health improvement activities if they were assigned to a group based on homophily, the tendency to have similar friends, than if they were randomly assigned. 

"Changing health behaviors is challenging," says Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. "Sharing that process with a group, whether it is just one other person, or a larger group, helps with affecting that change. Individuals in the group provide support, encouragement and motivation, as well as helpful hints and validation of commonly experienced cravings, thoughts and emotions." Try these online tools to help you make positive health changes.


Vitamin D Influences Racial Difference in Breast Cancer Risk

While discussion about vitamin D's role in breast cancer continues, new research by RPCI researchers, led by Song Yao, PhD, Assistant Member/Assistant Professor of Oncology and Christine Ambrosone, PhD, Professor of Oncology and Chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, and four other institutions points to a possible genetic component that affects vitamin D levels. Researchers first found that severe vitamin D deficiency was six times more common among black women than white women. Then they looked at genetic variations of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and enzymes responsible for breaking down vitamin D in the body. They found that black women with the highest vitamin D levels, had a specific variation in VDR. Although white women also had this variation, it did not appear to affect their vitamin D levels. What's more, black women with variations associated with higher Vitamin D levels, had only half the risk for breast cancer compared to women without it.

"While it is difficult to determine the effect of low levels of vitamin D on the risk of developing breast cancer," says Dr. Yao. "Our results show that these genetic variations, which contribute to the function of vitamin D, are strongly associated with ER-negative breast cancer and may contribute to the more aggressive breast cancer features seen in African American women."

Audio Podcast

Recognizing RPCI's Volunteers

April is National Volunteer Month. Check out this recent Roswellness Radio podcast to hear from some of Roswell Park's own dedicated volunteers.
Video Spotlight

The Impact of Goin' Bald for Bucks

The excitement of Goin' Bald for Bucks is sweeping across organizations and schools in Western New York and beyond. Want to know why? Check out this video to see what these events are all about.
Roswell RoundUp

New ICU Unites State-of-the-Art Technology, Patient-Centered Design

Roswell Park recently unveiled a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that unites state-of-the-art technology with patient-centered design to support optimal care for those patients with the most sensitive medical needs.

Don't Miss The Ride Opening Ceremony!

Riders, registered Ride volunteers, and Roswell Park patients and survivors are invited for free to the first-ever Ride For Roswell Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 22. The evening will feature an exclusive performance by “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield! Learn more or RSVP today.
Events and Giving Opportunities

Register for The Ride for Roswell

The Ride is right around the corner! Have you registered yet?

Buffalo Wild Wings "Teams Up" for Roswell Park

Going out to dinner? Visit the Buffalo Wild Wings location at 3035 Niagara Falls Boulevard and 10% of your food and non-alcoholic drink purchases will be donated to Roswell Park. Just show your “Teammate Card” or mention the Roswell Park promotion. Call Katie Delmonte at 716-845-8119 to receive a Teammate Card.

Carly"s Crossing Registration is Open!


Tuxedo Juntion and Bridesworld

Thanks to a new partnership, Tuxedo Junction is helping bring The Paint Box Project"s all new Wedding Line to brides and grooms across the region! Tuxedo Junction"s support is helping raise awareness of the line through online and in-store advertising and at their Bridesworld bridal shows. Plus, just in time for prom season, Tuxedo Junction is offering a $40 discount coupon on tuxedo rentals, and in return, will make a donation to Roswell Park each time a customer redeems the coupon

Thank you to Tuxedo Junction and Bridesworld for their ongoing commitment and support!