Connections - September 2012

Mon, 09/24/2012

Fitness for Survivors

Fitness for Survivors Exercise is important for cancer survivors, although few patients report discussing exercise with their oncologists, according to a survey published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. The survey found that patients who had always exercised were more likely to continue working out after their treatment. But many others were reluctant, and believed their daily activity to be sufficient. Exercise affords survivors several important benefits, including:

  • improved mobility
  • increased ability to enjoy activities
  • reduced isolation
  • feelings of strength and physical safety
  • less cancer-related fatigue and sleep problems.

“Patients should talk to their oncologist about exercise, especially if they experience weakness, fatigue or loss of mobility,” says Annalise Biondolillo, DPT, Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “After an evaluation with the rehabilitation department, we can create an individualized program that addresses specific needs. In addition, we can help connect patients with appropriate wellness programs in the community.”

Baby Boomers Urged to Have Hepatitis C Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that baby boomers undergo a one-time screening test for hepatitis C, a viral infection that’s a leading cause of liver cancer and other liver disease. This generation of adults, born between 1945 and 1965, account for more than 75% of people living with the virus.

Many baby boomers may not realize they have contracted the virus, which could have occurred years ago. Hepatitis C is known as a silent killer. The infection may become chronic, with few telltale symptoms, while slowly damaging the liver over the years. Experts estimate that detecting and treating the infection could prevent as many as 50,000 cases of liver cancer. Hepatitis C is detected through a blood test. Treatment may include medications such interferon and ribavirin and taking steps to prevent further liver damage like avoiding alcohol and getting vaccinated against other hepatitis viruses.

“Detecting who has chronic hepatitis C can help identify the people who should be monitored for early liver cancer,” says Renuka Iyer, MD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Co-Director of the Liver and Pancreas Tumor Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  “We know detecting liver cancer earlier allows us to offer patients more options and potentially more curable treatments.” If you know you have hepatitis C infection and a blood test shows you have elevated alpha-fetoprotein, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI to learn whether you should have liver cancer surveillance testing. 

Audio Podcast: Roswellness Radio

The Psychosocial Impact of Pediatric Cancers

 September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Check out this recent episode of Roswellness Radio to learn more about the impact cancer can have on a child and family.

Video Spotlight

Mario Williams Unveils Cereal to Support Carly’s Club

Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams recently launched his new cereal, MariO’s. Sales from the cereal, which is available at Tops Friendly Markets in Western New York and online, will be donated to Carly’s Club.

Roswell Roundup

RPCI Scientists Publish Findings About Novel Anticancer Agent

The study demonstrates important new progress in making cancer cells  more susceptible and less resistant to treatment.

David Nelson of the Buffalo Bills Knows His Prostate Cancer Stats. Do You Know Yours? 

Roswell Park has once again teamed up with the Buffalo Bills to offer free prostate cancer screenings and education at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Held in collaboration with the American Urological Association Foundation’s Know Your Stats about Prostate Cancer® campaign, the Prostate Cancer Early Diagnosis Outreach Clinic will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at the Paul Maguire Club at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

Roswell Park doctors will be performing free prostate cancer screenings, including prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) to eligible men. Special appearances will be made throughout the event by the Buffalo JillsBuffalo Bills alumni and Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver David Nelson. There will also be tours of Ralph Wilson Stadium, as well as raffle prizes!

Pre-registration is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED by calling 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).

David Nelson Promotes Early Detection of Prostate Cancer (Stats 2012) from Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Vimeo.

Your Questions About Breast Cancer – Answered!

On Saturday, October 27 from noon to 2 pm, four experts from Roswell Park will be in studio at WBEN (AM 930) to take your calls about breast cancer — on everything from diet and preventive screenings to advanced surgical techniques.

Manning the phones will be:
  • Ermelinda Bonaccio, MD, Director of the RPCI Mammography Center
  • Stephen Edge, MD, Breast Center Medical Director and Chief of Breast Surgery at RPCI
  • Kilian Salerno, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in RPCI's Department of Radiation Medicine
  • Kirsten Moysich, PhD, MS, Professor of Oncology in RPCI's Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
Get your questions ready! In the Buffalo area, the live call-in number will be 803-0930. From a mobile phone, just dial *930, or call toll-free 800-616-WBEN (800-616-9236). Or submit your questions ahead of time on Roswell Park's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Live Web Chat with Lymphedema Experts on

Join Dr. Stephen Edge, Breast Center Medical Director and Chief of Breast Surgery at RPCI, and Kathleen Fassl, PT, Co-Director of RPCI Lymphedema Management Services, on October 30 at 6 pm as they discuss and field questions about lymphedema.

A presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session.

Donor Impact

Defining a Unique Role of a Tumor Suppressing Gene in Childhood Leukemia

Scott Abrams, PhD, of the Department of Immunology at Roswell Park, is leading new research funded by your gifts that seeks to better understand the role of a protein known as IRF4 in the development of a subtype of leukemia.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Don’t Miss All Star Night 2012

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available for All Star Night on November 3! This year’s gala features the theme “Destination: Cure” and remarks by entertainment journalist and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic.

Go Pink in October to Support Breast Cancer Research at Roswell Park!

There are a number of ways to support breast cancer research and patients during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

  • Chef’s Pink Wall of Hope: Honor a loved one with their name on a brick on the Pink Wall of Hope. Buy a brick during the month of October to be entered to win a pink Schwinn scooter, courtesy of 97 Rock and Bob Weaver Motorsports! No purchase necessary to win.
  • Entercom’s Pink Party: On Thursday, October 11 from 6pm – 9pm, join Star 102.5FM for the Pink Party to benefit breast cancer research at Roswell Park. The party features cocktails, light appetizers, a gift bag, plus a musical performance by Tristan Prettyman.
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club: Look for specially marked pink ribbon Proctor & Gamble products during October. A percentage of all sales will be donated to fourteen cancer centers on the East Coast. You are invited to a Pink Picnic at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Clarence on October 4 at 11 am featuring food, gift bags, and Roswell Park’s own guest speaker Dr. Shicha Kumar.
Partners for a Cure

Mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month with The Paint Box Project

The Paint Box Project Breast Cancer Awareness MonthSpread awareness this October and honor the breast cancer patients in your life by purchasing cards and gifts from The Paint Box Project’s breast cancer awareness line.  The line, available online thanks to Partner for a Cure Mod-Pac, features mugs, candles, note cards, and more. Visit to purchase items. Sale of these items supports patient support programs at Roswell Park.