Connections - May 2012

Thu, 05/31/2012

Infections Cause Many Cancers

A surprising number of cancers worldwide—one in six—are caused by an infection that can be prevented and/or treated. According to a study published online in The Lancet Oncology, of the 7.5 million cancer deaths globally, 1.5 million were attributed to infection with certain viruses, bacteria and parasites.

The most common infection-related cancers were malignancies in the stomach, liver and cervix and are linked to infection with Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses and human papillomavirus (HPV). The study involved data on 27 cancers in 184 countries, finding that 16 percent were infection-related. Poorer, less developed countries bear a heavier burden with as many as 23 percent of cancers infection-related; in developed countries, the rate drops to 7 percent. Improving vaccination against HPV and hepatitis B was cited as an important step towards preventing many cancers.

“It is important to emphasize that many cancers are preventable or amenable to early detection,” says Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD, Director, Research Scientist and Director of the Cancer Prevention & Detection Center at RPCI. “Cancer prevention can be achieved through smoking prevention and cessation, as well as by use of vaccines against hepatitis B and HPV. Everyone should be up to date with screening for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer early detection and those at high risk of lung cancer should discuss surveillance strategies with their doctor or visit the RPCI high risk lung cancer program.”


Greater Depression Risk Not Tied to Hysterectomy

That’s good news for women facing a hysterectomy who are concerned about coping with the effects of a sudden, surgical menopause. Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is common with about 600,000 women in the United States undergoing the procedure each year.  About 55 percent to 80 percent of the operations also remove the ovaries and the loss of the estrogen-generating ovaries induces menopause abruptly.

The change in hormone levels is associated with a range of symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia and hot flashes, but it was unclear whether surgical menopause increased symptoms. According to the report published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers followed about 2,000 women for more than ten years and compared the 1,793 women who experienced a natural menopause to the 177 women who underwent hysterectomy (101 of whom also had their ovaries removed). Depression scores taken at the time they entered menopause and at the end of the study showed that across all groups, depression scores decreased over time and at the same rate.

“Women who have a hysterectomy to reduce their risk of cancer or to treat a newly diagnosed cancer can now rest a little easier,” says Nefertiti duPont, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, “with the results of this study showing that depression isn’t linked to removing the uterus.”

While the study doesn’t indicate that women won’t experience depression after menopause, it does show that the symptoms improve, no matter how menopause came about. If you experience symptoms of depression at any time, talk with your healthcare provider.

Audio Podcast

Skin Cancer Awareness, Just in Time for Summer

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Check out this recent Roswellness Radio show to hear from a young melanoma survivor who frequented tanning salons, and hear expert advice from RPCI’s Ilene Rothman, MD.

Video Spotlight

Improving Chemothereapy Response Rates for Melanoma Patients

In this Cancer Talk blog post, Nikhil Khushalani, MD, shares his thoughts on recent melanoma research and our next challenges in fighting the disease.
Roswell RoundUp
Roswellness is Going Digital!

Rick Springfield to perform at The Ride Opening Ceremony!

Don’t miss the party of the summer! Roswell Park’s largest fundraiser, The Ride for Roswell, will take place on Saturday, June 23, on the North Campus of the University at Buffalo in Amherst, NY.

New this year, ride participants and Roswell Park patients and survivors are invited to celebrate at The Ride Opening Ceremony on Friday evening, June 22, at the football stadium at University of Buffalo’s North Campus. 

The event will feature food and family-friendly activities and the evening wraps with an 8 p.m. performance by “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield.
If you are a Roswell Park patient or survivor and would like to attend the all-new Opening Ceremony free, please RSVP for the event today.  Registered riders and ride volunteers also need to RSVP to attend the ceremony for free.  
With routes ranging from 3 miles to 104 miles, cyclists of all abilities and with all kinds of bikes can be part of The Ride and help raise needed funds for research and patient care at RPCI. Register today to become a rider or an urgently needed Ride volunteer.

Roswellness is Going Digital!

Transformed into an interactive experience with the Roswellness iPad app, Roswell Park's flagship magazine, Roswellness, has hit the digital bookshelf!
The new format, viewable on your iPad and soon-to-be viewable on your computer, allows you to see photo galleries and videos, listen to audio clips, take quizzes and so much more as you gain insights and inspiration from Roswell Park's cancer experts, survivors and caregivers.
To view the first issue -“Redefining Survivorship”- on your iPad, visit and download the Roswellness iPad app.

Alex Adjei Receives Drug Development Professorship from Conquer Cancer Foundation


Events and Giving Opportunities

Country Music is Inspiring Cures – And You Can Too!

Country Music Pink GuitarHelp us beat breast cancer and you could win the one-of-a-kind Country Music Inspires Cures guitar — complete with a star-studded collection of autographs from more than a dozen country music artists! With help from our friends at WYRK, Country 106.5 FM radio, Roswell Park is excited to give away this special pink, acoustic guitar. You can enter to win by supporting the Country Music Inspires Cures campaign with an online gift of $10 before Sunday, June 3. 

Visit to see which celebrities autographed the guitar and to enter to win. The winner will be announced live on the WYRK (106.5 FM) Morning Show Monday, June 4. 

Going to the Taste of Country concert on June 1? Then make sure you stop by the Country Music Inspires Cures booth to buy your pink cowboy hat! Proceeds from the hat sales will also benefit breast cancer research.

Carly's Crossing Registration is Open!

Partners for a Cure

City Mattress

Night after night, City Mattress is there for its customers. This June, the company will be there once again for RPCI’s patients thanks to a month-long fundraising promotion.

City Mattress, Western New York’s favorite mattress and furniture dealer, is donating a portion of proceeds from their sales during the month of June to support cancer research and patient support programs at Roswell Park. They will once again generously feature the partnership in a television commercial to raise awareness of the cause.

Head to to see store locations and products. So if you’re in need of a good night’s sleep, don’t wait. Visit your nearest City Mattress location during the month of June!


Donor Impact

With Customer-Driven Campaign, Tops and Coca-Cola Support Cancer Patients

Representatives from Tops Friendly Markets and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo recently made a donation fueled by the support of Western New Yorkers.