Bob Riter

What to tell your young children if you have cancer

Posted November 9th, 2015

If you are diagnosed with cancer when you have young children, you’re faced with what to share with them and how to share it. Children can usually sense when something is wrong. And they will likely overhear the word “cancer” when you’re talking with someone else. If you tell them the truth, they can focus […]

Bob Riter

Being OK with Brain Cancer

Posted October 22nd, 2015

Most cancers become life-threatening when they spread, or metastasize, from the original site to distant organs. Brain cancer is different in that it rarely metastasizes elsewhere. That isn’t much consolation, however, because the brain is our most essential organ. Emily is a young woman with brain cancer. She’s had two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. […]

Bob Riter

My Cancer Experience

Posted October 6th, 2015

I’ve been writing this column for nearly five years and I often make passing reference to my personal experience with cancer. Today, I wanted to share my story more fully. I first noticed a small lump under my left nipple when I was scratching my chest one summer night. I wasn’t especially concerned until a […]

OncoLink Blogs

Adam Goodwin

Posted September 21st, 2015

Everyone who has been treated for cancer has been through difficult weeks and months. I always tell people it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. But some people never get to raise their arms at the finish line because they have to keep running. Their personal cancer marathons never end. If perseverance is the […]

Bob Riter

Learning to Coexist With the Uncertainty of Cancer

Posted September 11th, 2015

I routinely talk with people who have just been diagnosed with cancer. They’re struggling with treatment decisions and the realization that life is suddenly different. I also talk with people with advanced cancer who are coming to terms with a poor prognosis and the realization that, in all likelihood, they will die prematurely because of […]

Bob Riter

Patient, Not Family, Should Decide on Cancer Treatment

Posted August 31st, 2015

Ninety-year-old Jimmy Carter is beginning treatment for cancer. Some people may wonder if age should be a factor when making treatment decisions. Can you be too old for treatment? I think it’s great when an older person says, “I want to aggressively treat my cancer. Give me chemo, give me whatever.” But I cringe when […]


In Celebration of Eric Ott

Posted August 17th, 2015

The Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg, NY was filled last Sunday afternoon with people who love music. More importantly, the Rongo was filled with people who love Eric Ott. Eric is a well-known local musician who plays with the Yardvarks and the Lost Sailors. He’s also dealing with advanced esophageal cancer. On Sunday, it was clear […]

Bob Riter

Don’t Assume You Understand

Posted July 29th, 2015

When Donna Berich tells people that she has skin cancer, they sometimes say, “Skin cancer? Oh, everyone gets that.” Well, not quite. Few people have skin cancer like Donna and others who have Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome (BCCNS). It’s common to think of skin cancers as falling into one of two categories: Melanomas which […]

Bob Riter

Retired Nurses and Their Memories of Cancer

Posted July 16th, 2015

I routinely speak with retired nurses and other health professionals who are concerned about a loved one with cancer. The word “cancer” often terrifies them because they went through training decades ago when cancer treatment was such a different experience. I’ve heard more than one nurse say, “Back then, cancer treatment was so awful that […]

Bob Riter

Important to Accommodate Vacations in Chemo Schedule

Posted June 22nd, 2015

Oncologists see the benefits of accommodating vacations in a cancer patient’s chemotherapy schedule. Accommodations in the treatment schedule are sometimes possible and appropriate.