NEPA Cancer Institute Releases New Surveillance Report

cancer instituteThe Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, a local community-based nonprofit organization, has released the latest “Cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania: Incidence and Mortality for Common Cancers” surveillance report.  

The report is available at:

This unique, locally focused report was compiled by Cancer Institute Surveillance Coordinator, Karen Ryczak, RN and Medical Director, Samuel Lesko, MD, MPH. The report documents that both incidence and mortality rates for cancer are significantly higher in NEPA than the US as a whole.

It also identifies those cancer sites for which there is a disparity in either incidence or mortality. Of note, tobacco related cancers, such as lung, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and bladder cancers are statistically significantly higher than the U.S. rate in both men and women.   

Also noteworthy is an increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer in individuals under the age of 50, a trend that has also been documented in the U.S.  Although screening for this cancer is not routinely conducted among patients younger than 50 without specific risk factors, clinicians should consider the possibility of an underlying malignancy among patients with symptoms consistent with this diagnosis.  This may be especially true in northeast Pennsylvania where the incidence of colorectal cancer is higher than the U.S. average.

The goal in sharing these data is to raise awareness across the community and to promote collaborative efforts to reduce the risk of select cancers through healthy lifestyle choices and adherence to proper screening guidelines. The report offers important insight for Northeastern Pennsylvania residents, health professionals, and government leaders.

The Cancer Institute can provide additional information or interviews regarding the latest report. For a hard copy of this report, contact the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute directly at 570-941-7984 or

Spirit of Hope Celebration Benefits Cancer Institute


The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute board of ambassadors and associate board of ambassadors met recently at Montage Mountain for a wrap-up meeting of the 2016 Spirit of Hope Celebration. The Ambassadors presented the Cancer Institute with a $67,205 check.

Pictured, from left: Tom Blaskewicz, Traci Fosnot, event chair, Richard Conaboy, Thomas Cummings Jr., Charles C. Jefferson, Robin Long, William Rinaldi, Pat Sicilio, Leo Vergnetti, Spirit of Hope Celebration board chair, Jessica Kalinoski, Amanda E. Marchegiani, community relations coordinator, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute (holding one end of the check), Chuck Morgan, Angela Rempe Jones and Andrew Wallace. Absent from the photo: Philip Medico, David Nape, Vince Scarpetta, Atty. Gene Sperazza, Kristie Hynoski, Paul McGloin, James Gorman, Joe Ferguson, Greg Gagorik, John P. Rodgers, P. Richard Scheller, Brian McQuestion, John and Jennifer Heil, Dr. Steven J. Szydlowski, Sharon Lynett, Jennifer Lynett, John Moran, Dan Meuser, Scott E. Henry, Atty.y Mark J. Conway, Jim Brady, Susan Brady,  Clifford and Marsha Fay, Roxanne Schulman, Scott Henry, Christopher Peters, M.D.,  Nicholas F. Colangelo, Evie Rafalko McNulty, Karen M. Saunders and Joe Van Wie.


Celebrating World Pancreatic Cancer Day


The Lackawanna County Commissioners recently proclaimed World Pancreatic Cancer Day in our area to increase awareness about this debilitating disease.

Pancreatic cancer has become the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States with a very small survival rate percentage.  Research for early detention, root causes and effective treatments are the goals of the medical community for helping patients and finding a cure.

Shown from left: Commissioner Jerry Notarianni, Susie Connors, Tammy Saunders, Teresa Grabowski, Mayor James Connors, Christian Saunders, Pancreatic Cancer organization; Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley, and Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings.