Archive Posts

Archive for the ‘ cancer’ Category

How to relieve pain — for cancer patients and others

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Brendan McGinn, MDCancer patients must deal with pain – from tumors pressing against body parts or from their treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Brendan McGinn, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology at Upstate, outlines how various types of pain are treated for cancer patients and others and tells how stress and anxiety can worsen pain.


Personalized care for patients needing radiation oncology

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Anna Shapiro, MDRadiation oncologist Anna Shapiro, MD, explains the multidisciplinary care that breast cancer patients receive at Upstate. She recently receieved the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund’s “Humanitarian Award.”


Variety of medicines offers hope to prostate cancer patients

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Andrew Burgdorf, PharmDThe array of medicines to treat prostate cancer offers more hope than ever before, says Andrew Burgdorf, a clinical pharmacist who works with adult hematology/oncology patients at the Upstate Cancer Center. The treatments include ways to block male hormones as well as attack the cancer cells, he said, and some newer drugs have been shown to help patients live longer. Biosimilar drugs on the horizon could help lower the cost of some therapies.


Why exercise is important during cancer treatment

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Cassandra M Terpening, PT, DPT, CSCSExercise can improve cancer patients’ quality of life by helping to maintain strength and energy and feel better overall as they heal, said Cassi Terpening, DPT, a physical therapist at Upstate. Physical therapists help set up an exercise program tailored to the patients’ needs and guide them as they progress. It might involve simply walking and stretching or more vigorous activity. For more information on the rehabilitation program for patients with cancer, visit


Making sense of lab reports for prostate cancer

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Gustavo de la Roza, MDDoctors predict the course of a man’s prostate cancer and select appropriate treatment based on the staging and grading of the tumor, information provided largely by laboratory pathologists, Gustavo de la Roza, MD, explains in this HealthLink on Air interview. The cellular anatomy and structure in a tissue sample reveal a histologic grade, which tells the aggressiveness of the cancer. Staging is a number that reveals whether the cancer has spread, and how far. Clinical staging accomplishes this through use of imaging studies. Pathological staging relies on the examination of tissue.


Cancer Center medical director reflects on decades of advances in cancer prevention, treatments

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Leslie J Kohman, MD, FACSLeslie Kohman, MD, explains advances in cancer prevention that have taken place over the years, plus how surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments have changed and improved. Kohman is medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center, which teams with WCNY on March 25 to offer previews of the upcoming cancer documentary that is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies.”


Prostate cancer includes emotional challenges

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Aliya M Hafeez, MD ABIHMAliya Hafeez, MD, the chief psychiatric consultant at Upstate Cancer Center, tells about the emotional challenges of a prostate cancer diagnosis, and the importance of communication during trying times.


Upstate hosts program on history of cancer

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Ken Burns Cancer ProgramDebbie Stack, the director of education and community engagement at WCNY, tells about the upcoming cancer documentary that is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies.” Upstate is teaming up with WCNY to offer previews of this program at an event from 6 to 8 p.m. March 25.


A Tale of Two Boobies – One Year with Cancer

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Shelly StraubShelly Straub of Cicero thought that her nipple developed a dimple because she was getting older and because she had breastfed her daughters. She did not realize until she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer that dimpling can be a sign.

She was diagnosed in October 2013. By October 2014, she was recovered from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Soon after, she published a book called “A Tale of Two Boobies: One Year With Cancer,” which offers an organized perspective of her experience.

“I really wanted to remember my story,” she says. “It feels surreal, like I can’t believe that it really happened.”

The book carries a parental advisory on the cover, because of the graphic photos she includes. Straub discusses why she wrote the book and what that year was like for her.


“The Boring Patient”

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

R. David Lankes, PhDProfessor David Lankes, from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, was diagnosed in 2012 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During his treatment, he wanted to be the boring patient, the man who simply needed his vitals checked or a scheduled dose of chemo. “You don’t want to be interesting in most medical settings. Interesting means complications, and that is bad,” Lankes explains in the book he wrote with the title, “The Boring Patient.”

The book was his way of summing up his experience. 

Lankes talks about how many people say a person with cancer is “fighting” the disease. The way he sees it, chemistry is fighting the disease. As a patient, he was not fighting so much as surrendering — surrendering that his son had to help him up the stairs, for instance.


The role of a dietitian during cancer treatment

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Maria Erdman, RDMaria Erdman, RDN, explains how a registered dietitian nutritionst who specializes in oncology can help cancer patients as they go through treatment. Appetite, eating habits and weight are all potentially affected by cancer treatment. “Some people sail right through, but for many people it’s very challenging,” she says. Some patients benefit from eating small meals throughout the day. It’s also important to know how to choose the most nutritious foods.


Men to Men group (prostate cancer)

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Jason Warchal & Ray StraubLearn about Men to Men, a prostate cancer support group that has existed in the Syracuse area since the mid-90′s. Ray Straub, one of the group’s facilitators, talks about the meetings with Jason Warchal, from the American Cancer Society. The group meets at 5 p.m. the last Thursday of month at the HealthLink offices in East Syracuse. Spouses and partners are welcome. Please call Upstate Connect at 315 464-8668 for more information.