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National Cancer Survivors Day event held in Whitesboro

By WKTV News

WHITESBORO, N.Y.(WKTV) The first Sunday in June has come to be known as National Cancer Survivors Day, and once agian this year, local cancer survivors and their families gathered for breakfast to celebrate.

The annual breakfast is put on by Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare's Regional Cancer Center and was held at Harts Hil Inn and was a full house.

Cancer Center Executive Director Carrie Pulaski says evenst like these are held all across the country on this first Sunday in June, "currently there's about 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S., and this is an opportunity to acknowledge their journey, their experience, to support them and their families and providers and get together."

Area cancer survivor Mathew Zennamo has survived cancer for 12 years, "you sort of beaten it for 12 years, it gives you a little hope. It gives you some energy to keep going. It's a wonderful life, and I enjoy myself the best I can for an 82 year old man."

Many of the attending survivors also take part in the Relay for Life walks held throughout the Mohawk Valley during this three week period in late spring.

Betty Ann Mazurowski is an 11 year cancer survivor, having survived a double mastecomy.

She says she attened Satruday's Relay for Life event in Whitesboro, "what really, really put me in tears was, you're doing the Survivor's Walk and everybody's standing there clapping their hands, you can't help but cry, because you're very proud and I'm very proud, I really am. I'm proud to say I'm here, life is great."

This weekend in Baltimore, 40-thousand doctors have converged to talk about the latest breakthroughs in cancer treatement.

On Saturday, the talk was about a new kind of treatement that breaks down the walls of the cancers cells, and allows the body's own white blood cells to attack the cancer cells on their own.

Bety Ann Mazurowski says that's good news, "I would try it. I would really try it. I mean if I found out I had ovarian cancer, I would try it, really, I really would, anything for hope, anything that could help you."

Regional Cancer Center Executive Director Carrie Pulaski says with the word of new treatments, always comes more hope, "and I think it changes it for both the individuals diagnosed with cancer, as well as the caregivers, because they're always knowing that there's new hope, new treatments on the horizon and the fight against cancer to survive. That's why there are twelve million survivors because it used to be often times, cancer used to be perceived as a death sentence, and that's not the way it is anymore."

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