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Issue: April 2015

CONTACT: Prevent Cancer Foundation 1600 Duke Street, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314 Toll-Free: (800) 227-2732 Main: (703) 836-4412 Email: Visit:

Prevention in Full Bloom

Cancer PreventionWorks is published by the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and early detection of cancer. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The Prevent Cancer Foundation is a member of the Combined Federal Campaign (#11074).


Spring and early summer foods: picking the best produce

Rolling out the red carpet for prevention

1600 Duke Street, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314






Spring clean your exercise routine

The cancer vaccine that few have taken

Spring clean your exercise routine

"I became an advocate to save other women."




The future of cancer research funding





The cancer vaccine that few have taken Dense breast tissue can lead to false negative screening results Fight or flight: How fear of cancer keeps people from getting the help they need

Making the financial commitment








Prevention: Affordable and lifesaving Individualizing medicine for the 21st century The future of cancer research funding p.





President’s Corner Dear Readers, Despite all the advances in cancer prevention and early detection, we continue to experience major roadblocks to health. In this issue, you will learn about some of these obstacles and what we are able to do about them; obstacles such as how breast density affects mammograms, public perception of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and even our own fear when it comes to making healthy choices. You will also hear from advocate Marsha Glazer, who shares her candid experience about her breast cancer diagnosis and how she is turning the tide on breast density legislation. As we step into spring and leave the mounds of snow behind, we encourage you and your family to eat a healthy diet filled with spring produce, enjoy the sunshine by getting outside and play an active role in your healthincluding cancer prevention and early detection efforts. Let’s continue to spring forward and Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™ Carolyn Aldigé President and Founder

Rolling out the red carpet for prevention At first glance, the scene from the Prevent Cancer Foundation 2015 Annual Spring Gala looked straight out of Hollywood. As guests entered the National Building Museum on March 6, 2015, the stunning gowns, smart tuxedos and glamorous jewelry were reminiscent of the Oscars red carpet. This past awards season, the world pressed Hollywood to “ask her more”— that is, to ask actresses on the red carpet about their poignant work or causes they’re passionate about, rather than just “who designed the dress.” Just as Hollywood’s finest had much more to say, so too did the patrons of the Prevent Cancer Foundation Annual Spring Gala. Leaders from across the country and around the world gathered in Washington, D.C. to unite in support of the Foundation’s work on cancer prevention and early detection. Some were motivated by personal connections, while others were newly introduced to the Foundation and its mission—but all were dedicated to raising funds to help the Prevent Cancer Foundation Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™ The event honored “Ireland: Legendary and Contemporary,” with Her Excellency, the Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson serving as Honorary Patron. The Ambassador’s remarks highlighted Ireland’s determined efforts to be at the forefront of the fight against cancer, with the planned adoption of a new National Cancer Strategy in 2015 and the goal of becoming a tobacco-free country by 2025. The Foundation honored Idaho Senator Mike Crapo with the 2015 Cancer Champion award for his work in raising cancer awareness. “It was a privilege to work for many years with Senator Crapo and his staff, who organized a Health Awareness and Screening Booth at the Idaho State Fair. The booth provided

educational materials and screening services to many residents of this rural state, who would otherwise not have had access,” said Prevent Cancer President and Founder Carolyn Aldigé. The “Lighting the Way to Prevention” pledge drive was a tribute to Michele Conley, Founder of Living in Pink and long-time partner of the Foundation in funding breast cancer research. Michele died of breast cancer at the age of 52 in November 2014. Due to the generous underwriting of the event décor by Foundation Board member and celebrity designer David Tutera, 84 cents of every dollar from the $1.6 million raised will go directly to the Foundation’s vital research and community outreach programs, which provide free cancer screenings and education across the nation.

Left to right: FOX News Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, President and Founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation Carolyn Aldigé, Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson and former WJLA anchor Greta Kreuz pose at the Prevent Cancer Foundation 21st Annual Spring Gala.


Spring and early summer foods: Picking the best produce. Beginning in spring and early summer there is a bounty of fresh produce. Locally grown produce, if available, is often the best option when shopping; it will be less likely to be damaged from travel and you will be supporting your community’s local farms. This time of year is a great opportunity to spice it up and trade in your year-round staples for in-season produce.

Spring vegetables bring a whole new bouquet of bright colors to your grocery cart. The superstars of spring bursting with nutrition are asparagus, full of fiber, potassium and vitamins B and C, and artichokes, also full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins C and K. Choosing vegetables at their peak freshness will ensure that they last longer and are tastiest. Crisp green options like leafy greens, onions (leeks, spring onions and Vidalia onions) and fresh beans can be tossed into a salad, steamed or stir-fried. These vegetables take on any flavors added to the dish, making them extremely versatile. Get creative with spices and dressings to add some zing to your meal. Look for firm vegetables and leafy greens (packed with vitamins A and C) that are not wilted or bruised. Other examples: peas, green beans, fennel, arugula and spinach.

Spring fruit is the beginning of a long season of sweet, juicy and crunchy produce. Citrus favorites (orange and grapefruit) can be used in both sweet and savory dishes such as salads, desserts or even drinks. Other spring fruits make healthy snacks and desserts. To pick the ripest fruit, be sure to choose produce that is soft to the touch and avoid anything that feels squishy—that means it is over-ripe. Produce that is not quite ripe can be set out on your kitchen counter and will ripen within days. Fruit with a pungent smell will have the freshest and sweetest taste. Examples: oranges, grapefruit, apricots, cherries and strawberries. Get creative in the kitchen this spring and bite into something new.







DRINK WATER The more you sweat, the more fluids and salt (electrolytes) you need to replace. Experts recommend you drink 20 ounces of water two hours before your workout, 10 ounces of water 15 minutes before you begin and 8 ounces every 15 minutes during your workout. If it is really hot, make sure you eat salty foods like pretzels before your workout or drink sports drinks or water with electrolytes.

STRETCH IT OUT Warming up is the best way to prevent injuries and get the most out of your workout. Before you start, take 10 minutes to do some light cardio and dynamic (non-stationary) stretching to prepare your body for real work. Warm up all your major muscle groups and joints to maximize their ability. After exercising, be sure to stretch again to minimize soreness.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention will celebrate #DontFryDay on Friday, May 22. #DontFryDay is a national effort to spread awareness that “your tan is killing you.” They aim to educate on the dangers of the sun and promote sun safety at all ages.

WEAR SUNSCREEN The sun is beautiful but its rays can be dangerous. Before going outside, remember to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen to all exposed skin. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, and if you’re outside for more than two hours, remember to reapply.

Cervical cancer was once the most common cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Since the introduction of the Pap test more than 50 years ago, the rate of death from cervical cancer has decreased dramatically. Despite this improvement, there are still 12,000 women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and 4,000 women dying from this disease each year. In the more than five decades since the Pap test was introduced, we have learned that human papillomavirus, or HPV, causes 90% of cervical and anal cancers, about 70% of oropharyngeal cancers and more than 50% of vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers. And while a three-part vaccine series has been


Cervial & anal cancers


Oropharyngeal cancers


Vaginal, vuvlar & penile cancers

developed to protect against this cancercausing virus, only one-third of girls and less than seven percent of boys complete the vaccination series. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that increasing HPV vaccination rates from current levels to 80 percent would prevent an additional 53,000 future cervical cancer cases in the United States among girls who are now 12 years old or younger over the course of their lifetimes. The CDC recommends that ALL girls and boys ages 11 and 12 receive the vaccine. Teenage girls and young women can get the vaccine until age 26, and teenage boys and young men can receive the vaccine until age 21. Because the virus is transmitted sexually, perception has been a significant barrier to increasing vaccination completion rates. However, research shows that receiving the vaccination does not increase risky sexual behavior in young people. Even though the HPV vaccine is proven to guard against cervical and other cancers, a national survey from Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and Healthy Women shows that fewer than half of women understand that HPV can cause cervical cancer. And though 90% of women consider the Pap test to be important to their overall health, many are still not getting screened for cervical cancer, including 23.1% of women without health insurance and 25.5% of women without a regular health care provider. People often wish that there could be a vaccine to protect against cancer. For the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers, that vaccine is already here—the rest is up to you. *Statistics provided by the CDC unless otherwise noted. http:\\

Percentage of girls and boys complete the vaccination series for HPV

It’s tough to keep active in the winter. Cold and dark weather, layers of clothes and icy surfaces are not great motivators for exercising outdoors—or indoors either. As the temperatures begin to rise, it is time to head outside and shake the winter blues. But before you do, don’t forget to:

The cancer vaccine that few have taken

Percentage of cancers caused by HPV.

Spring clean your exercise routine


33.3% GIRLS





Dense breast tissue can lead to false negative screening results



Are you one of the millions of women who have dense breasts? Dense breast tissue can hide abnormalities and make warning signs hard to spot during a mammogram. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast density is the main cause of false negative results— when screening fails to detect cancer— of mammograms. Nearly half of women under 50 years old and 33% of older women have breasts dense enough to interfere with mammograms. Normal fat tissue appears dark on the screen and any potentially cancerous areas are light. Dense tissue appears cloudy-white, making it difficult to detect abnormalities. Mammograms can miss up to half of early cancers in women with dense breasts. For this reason, lawmakers in 21 states have responded by passing laws requiring doctors to tell women if they

have dense breast tissue—but you also should not be afraid to ask! Similar bills are pending in eight other states, and a national bill was introduced in Congress earlier this year. The FDA is also considering updating its Mammography Quality Standards Act to require reporting breast density to women.

Nearly half of women under 50 years old and 33% of older women have breasts dense enough to interfere with mammograms. A mammogram is the only breast cancer screening method proven to save lives, but there are several technologies being studied to find a more accurate way of screening dense breasts. A new form of imaging, called 3-D tomosynthesis, uses a rotating x-ray arm gathering

multiple images at different angles to generate a 3-D image for radiologists to examine. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 3-D tomosynthesis found 41% more cases of invasive cancers than a regular mammogram and yielded 15% fewer false positives. Other methods of breast cancer screening include ultrasounds, MRIs and molecular breast imaging (MBI), but are far more expensive than a mammogram. If your mammogram shows you have dense breast tissue, consult with your doctor to see if these more expensive but thorough tests are necessary.


"I became an advocate to save other women." By: Marsha Glazer

I have always taken good care of myself. I exercised and ate the right food. I had no family history of cancer, and I always went for my yearly mammogram. After 15 years of “normal” mammograms, I felt a tenderness in my breast. My gynecologist, however, insisted all was well—after all, my mammogram taken eight weeks prior had been “normal.” She referred me to a breast specialist to “put me at ease.” The breast specialist sent me for an ultrasound, which immediately showed two substantial areas of cancer in my left breast.

After 15 years of “normal” mammograms, I felt a tenderness in my breast. My gynecologist, however, insisted all was well—after all, my mammogram taken eight weeks prior had been “normal.” She referred me to a breast specialist to “put me at ease.” I learned then—after my cancer diagnosis— that I had dense breast tissue, which often makes tumors difficult to detect. Despite having mammograms for years, I had never before been told that I have dense breasts. What’s worse is that my cancer had been missed by mammograms for quite some time. It had been growing, and in addition

Breast density policy efforts Policy efforts are underway in Congress and in state legislatures to address the unique needs of women with dense breasts. On the federal level, Congresswoman Rose DeLauro (D-CT) has championed the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act which would help raise awareness of breast cancer risks and the importance of appropriate screening. It will ensure that the information women and their health care providers receive after a mammogram include patient’s relative breast density.

to the two large tumors in my breast, I had 18 affected lymph nodes. After a mastectomy, surgery, chemo and radiation, I knew I had to help save other women from a similar diagnosis. My crusade took me to the 2013 Maryland legislature where I testified on the “Breast Density Awareness Bill” that would require doctors to tell a woman if she had dense breasts. The bill was signed into law in June 2013. My path could have been drastically different had I known about my breast density—then I could have asked for an ultrasound, and my cancer could have been diagnosed early. It is absolutely critical that all women be informed of their breast density, and because we are speaking up, women will always know early if they have dense breasts. Knowledge is power, and this knowledge just might be what saves your life.

Advocacy efforts are also happening on the state level. More than 21 states have enacted dense breast legislation and numerous other states have pending bills dealing with breast density. Such legislation which would also require standardized communication regarding dense breast tissue to women and ensure access to reliable breast screening technologies. To advocate for the federal Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act or to see where you state stands with breast density legislation and how you can have impact, visit Connecticut was the first state to enact an Insurance Coverage Law and Breast Density Notification Law. Additionally, Texas, Virginia, New York, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Michigan all have state laws.



Prevention: Affordable and lifesaving The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 and overhauled our health care system in many ways. In addition to helping curb the rapid growth of health care spending, while helping individuals gain access to quality care and ultimately improve their health outcomes, the law includes coverage for prevention-based treatment as well. This is great news for you, as those with coverage under the ACA will be able to get screenings and other treatments for which you would have previously had to pay out-of-pocket. The ACA mandated that a host of preventive services must be provided by private insurance plans. In fact, these services must be covered without requiring you to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet a deductible. Breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings are included, as well as immunizations against a variety of infectious agents, including the human



papillomavirus (HPV). Women can be tested for the BRCA or PALB-2 genes to identify risk for breast cancer, and mammograms and breast cancer chemoprevention counseling are available to women over 40. Other benefits include obesity screening and counseling, diet counseling for adults at high risk for chronic disease, tobacco use screening and cessation interventions for tobacco users. Annual wellness visits are also included with no cost-sharing. At the end of 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that 76 million people have received no-cost coverage for preventive services. These services could reduce health care spending considerably due to improved health outcomes. More important, if you take advantage of these services you might avoid hearing those dreaded words, “You have cancer.”


Individualized medicine for the 21st century During President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address in January, he made a critical announcement that brought a previously little-known scientific concept into the spotlight. The President’s “Precision Medicine Initiative” was described as “an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles.” Cancer treatment is taking center stage in the President’s push to find innovative and individualized treatments for a host of chronic diseases.

The future of cancer research funding The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the single largest funder of biomedical research in the world. The NIH currently receives $30 billion in funding from the U.S. Congress. The agency awards over 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers at over 2,500 institutions each year. Thousands of scientists and physicians rely on the NIH for funding that allows them to conduct potentially lifesaving research that has resulted in groundbreaking findings. These investments translate into vital gains in knowledge and discoveries that are lengthening and enhancing people’s lives, particularly those living with chronic illnesses such as cancer. The NIH also contributes to the economy, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating $2 for every $1 spent. Despite these clear benefits, funding for NIH has dropped 24 percent since 2003 (after adjusting for inflation). America has spent decades building the premier research infrastructure,

which has led the world in innovation and discoveries. Yet, it is impossible to maintain scientific and medical leadership across the globe without adequate, predictable and sustained investments in our national research agency. It has been documented that some of the best and brightest medical

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will be tasked with accelerating effective, tailored treatments to enhance the knowledge base that can have a revolutionary impact on individuals living with the most perplexing and deadly forms of cancer. With a price tag of $215 million, the Precision Medicine Initiative is just the beginning of what will be a new frontier of chronic disease research and discovery. Building up to the President’s announcement, the Energy & Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives was laying the groundwork with its 21st Century Cures initiative. Led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), the committee has spent the last year taking a comprehensive look at steps to accelerate the pace of cures in


minds have left the U.S. to pursue more supportive opportunities in countries that have prioritized biomedical research. Several Members of Congress are concerned about this trend and have taken it upon themselves to do something about it. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative Rosa DeLauro(D-CT) have introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act to restore the purchasing power of the NIH. The bill would allow the budget cap put in place by the Budget Control Act to be adjusted for increased investments in the NIH. Likewise, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the American Cures Act, which would create a mandatory trust fund to benefit federal biomedical research at the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP) and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. The future of cancer research depends on the ability of NIH to carry out its mission and the Prevent Cancer Foundation urges you to support these legislative efforts to help do that. Please visit for more information.

America. Committee members have held hearings and roundtables across the nation to learn from patients, providers, innovators, regulators and researchers on how to push forward an agenda to help millions of Americans receive the treatments and services they need to enhance their health and wellbeing. In an effort to achieve this ambitious goal, the committee released draft legislation to build a foundation for 21st century medicine. At a time when investment in biomedical research has dramatically decreased at the federal level, this renewed focus on the critical need for medical innovation could not have come at a more opportune time.




Fight or flight: how fear of cancer keeps people from getting the help they need FIGHT FLIGHT CANCER CAN HAUNT US. It has an ability to cast shadows over us, even if we have never been personally affected by this disease. We know that cancer can affect anyone, from those who are seemingly in perfect health to those who are the most vulnerable. The way this fear manifests in terms of prevention results in two responses: fight or flight. Do all you can to deal with the disease—or run from it. You may use the fear to fight cancer before it starts. In these cases, fear becomes a motivator for healthy living and preventive measures, like sun safety, avoiding tobacco products of any kind and knowing your family medical history to help guide when and what cancer screenings are appropriate. For others, fear results in a flight response. Because of this fear, you avoid getting screened for cancer, and may even avoid the doctor altogether, despite experiencing warning signs or having a family history of cancer. According to a November 2014 study out of University College London, “Cancer Fear: Facilitator and Deterrent to Participation in Colorectal Cancer Screening,” people experience cancer fear in two different ways: the affective component, or those who worry about cancer, and the psychobiological component, or those who feel discomfort at thoughts of cancer. Those who experience affective fear are more likely to get screened, while those who experience psychobiological fear are 12% less likely to be screened for cancer. This year, more than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer,


Making the financial commitment “I was looking to support an organization whose mission was to reduce cancer incidence and help educate people on ways to prevent cancer,” said Jay Moore, a new donor to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Mr. Moore has seen more than one member of his family struggle with a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Motivated by that experience, he made a commitment to help others avoid a similar struggle. After learning about the Foundation’s work for cancer prevention and early detection, he decided to donate financial resources to its work by committing to a five-year recurring donation.

“As a businessman, I chose to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation on a recurring basis because it gave me the opportunity to be a little more generous and spread out my donation over a given period of time,” he said. “It also provides a basis for the Foundation’s long-term planning.” Please join Mr. Moore and others by making a recurring donation. It’s easy and will impact the lives of so many.



Donor ensures favorite charity receives ongoing support

Helps Foundation improve its long-range planning and decision-making

Donor spreads the monetary impact of their giving across the entire year, lessening the acute financial impact

Helps Foundation build a steady revenue base that can help reduce the impact of the seasonal nature of donations

Enables donors to make a bigger impact, as their gifts add up over time

Introduces new donors to the Foundation who otherwise might not have joined at that level

CFC #11074

UPCOMING EVENTS AND NEWS May 4-5, Lung Cancer Workshop May 10-17, Breakaway from Cancer October 4, 5k Walk/Run & Health Fair

and friends and family members will lose more than 580,000 loved ones to these diseases. Research has shown that 60% of cancer cases and more than 50% of cancer deaths are preventable with the knowledge we have today. How many of these cancer cases could have been prevented if not for fear? How many deaths could have been avoided if we had all set our fear aside and taken a proactive approach to cancer? Unfortunately, we cannot answer these

questions—but we can control what we do next. Fight or flight may be instinctive, but we all still have a choice. Armed with this knowledge, make the choice to cast your fear and discomfort aside and take the proper preventive measures for your health. Make the choice to fight.

At the Ball Park on PRACTICE GET FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS IN THE BATTING CAGES Bring your family and friends together and we will Stop Cancer Before It Starts!


2015 Apr newsletter