Bob Riter

When the Boss has Cancer

Posted October 6th, 2014

I recently received a phone call that went like this: “My boss is struggling with cancer, but he clearly doesn’t want to talk about it or even acknowledge how ill he is. I’m concerned about him, but I’m also concerned about everyone else who works here.


Head and Neck Cancers are Especially Difficult

Posted September 25th, 2014

If I’m in a support group, I always shut down conversations that begins with, “My cancer is worse than your cancer.” Those conversations are always pointless because every cancer is life-altering and potentially life-threatening. But one type of cancer does present exceptional challenges during treatment and recovery. These cancers are head and neck cancers, and […]


Bob Riter

Writing About Cancer

Posted September 23rd, 2014

When I began writing this newspaper column about cancer, I wondered how long it could last. After all, how many story ideas about cancer could there be? Seven years later, the ideas keep coming and I’m still writing. I’ve decided that writing about cancer is writing about life. Cancer is a lens that makes life […]


Bob Riter

Cancer Caregivers Need a Break

Posted August 28th, 2014

As we get ready for a long weekend, Bob offers some encouragement for cancer caregivers to remember to care for themselves.


Bob Riter

Common Phrases Heard at the Cancer Resource Center

Posted August 11th, 2014

Although every situation is unique, I often hear certain common phrases repeated on a regular basis at the cancer resource center.


Bob Riter

When a Friend has Cancer, Just Listen

Posted July 30th, 2014

At the Cancer Resource Center, we try to keep our mouths shut, and to listen without judgment or agenda. Most of us instinctively try to reassure the person with cancer, share our own experiences, or otherwise just talk. When a friend has cancer, just listen.


Bob Riter

Don’t Give Advice to Friends with Cancer

Posted July 18th, 2014

People often call me and say, “My friend was just diagnosed with cancer. What can I do to help her?” My answer is simple: Be present and don’t give advice.


Bob Riter

Don’t be an Obnoxious Patient

Posted June 30th, 2014

I sometimes hear people say that the best way to get good health care is to be obnoxious. By this, they mean that you should demand that the doctor see you immediately, or that you should demand that your needs be met first. Let me give you some advice: Don’t be obnoxious. It always works […]


Bob Riter

Decision Making with Cancer

Posted June 16th, 2014

Everyone diagnosed with cancer has decisions to make. What type of treatment? Where to have treatment? Should the cancer even be treated? Decision Making with Cancer.


Bob Riter

Personality and Cancer

Posted June 2nd, 2014

Aside from inappropriately blaming the person with cancer for causing her cancer, it suggests that cancer is a result of one’s thought-processes or personality. That’s a myth.