Cancer PreventionWorks: August 2018

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Issue: August 2018


INSIDE 2 3 4 5 6

Maintain a healthy weight Champion Awareness Do you Juul? Don’t fall for these skin cancer myths Live your best life


Breast health for young women

9 Check your balls new colorectal 10 The cancer generation 11 Recipe: non-alcoholic sangria 1


Corner Dear Readers, Do you think that you’re too young to get cancer? You’re not. Cancer can strike anyone, of any age, race or ethnicity. Young people need to especially be on the lookout for the pitfalls that can increase your cancer risk, like Juuling or spending time in the sun without protection. And with colorectal cancer on the rise in young adults, it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge so you can advocate for your health. Even doctors still think of colorectal cancer as an “older person’s disease.” We created this issue especially for you. You’re not too young for cancer, but the good news is that you’re also never too young to build healthy habits that can reduce your cancer risk. You can be the generation to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®

Carolyn Aldigé Founder and CEO

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and reduce your risk of cancer In just a few years, obesity will overtake tobacco as the leading cause of cancer. You read that right. At least 13 types of cancer, including breast (post-menopausal), colorectal, pancreatic and liver cancers have been linked to being overweight or obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in 2014 were related to excess weight. Obesity rates have continued to rise over the past few decades, with nearly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. designated as obese. Obesity-related cancers common in older adults are becoming more frequent in adults younger than 50, according to Nathan A. Berger, M.D., whose analysis of data from more than 100 publications was published this spring in Obesity. Even if an obese person loses weight, their risk of cancer may never return to normal because it changes their DNA, Dr. Berger said. That makes it even more important to begin maintaining a healthy weight at an early age. Take charge of your health by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week, eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and avoiding fast food and processed foods, sugary drinks and alcohol.

Parker Normann, Carolyn Aldigé and Matt Milner.

CHAMPION AWARENESS: Cycling from Pittsburgh to D.C. for cancer prevention

Day 1: 88 miles Pittsburgh to Confluence, PA

Women’s Cancers Awareness

Day 3: 83 miles Paw Paw to Sheperdstown, WV Prostate Cancer Awareness

Matt Milner, Patrick Byrne and Parker Normann are using their passion for cycling to make difference. In 2016, Matt and Patrick started “Champion Awareness,” a 100-mile bike ride along the Eastern Shore of Maryland to spread awareness about oral cancer. This spring, they were back at it again for the 340 mile ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. Matt and Parker were the riders this time around. Champion Awareness uses cycling and social media to educate people about cancer, raise awareness about early detection and support people who have battled and continue to fight these diseases. During their ride, the guys passed through rural towns in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. In each place, they met local residents and talked to them about their cause, handing out Prevent Cancer Foundation® materials with practical advice on cancer prevention. Friends and family back home supported them by making donations to the Prevent Cancer Foundation®. Each leg of their trip focused on a different type of cancer.

Day 2: 90 miles Confluence to Paw Paw, WV

Children’s Cancers Awareness

Day 4: ~80 miles Sheperdstown to Alexandria, VA Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

“For the 340 mile ride from Pittsburgh to D.C., we are honored to bring more light to prostate, pancreatic, women’s and children’s cancers,” Matt said. “We are proud to be working with the Prevent Cancer Foundation to raise money and to provide educational resources on cancer prevention.” Matt, Patrick and Parker have shown that it is possible to take what you love and turn it into a vehicle for change. Your passion can make a difference! To turn YOUR passion into a fundraiser, visit 3

DO YOU JUUL? E-cigarettes, on the surface, seem like a great idea. Though we don’t know much about what’s in them, they are likely less toxic than cigarettes, and the vapor they produce seems to be less disruptive to nonsmokers than conventional cigarettes. The popular Juul products are appealing and easy to conceal, often being mistaken for USB drives, so they are easy to use in school and other public places. They also produce less vapor than similar devices, which helps avoid attention. But while your friends may tell you that e-cigarettes are harmless, that’s not really the case: e-cigarettes, like conventional cigarettes, contain nicotine, which harms brain development and is highly addictive. With the Juul brand, each pod contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of conventional cigarettes. 4 Cancer Prevention Works: August 2018

Because e-cigarettes have so far gone unregulated by the FDA (though there are changes in progress), we have no way of knowing what harmful chemicals are in them or how much is being inhaled during use. Samples have contained carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, which is an ingredient used in antifreeze. As Juuls and other e-cigarettes grow in popularity, studies are beginning to show that e-cigarette use can lead to conventional cigarette use. Teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to go on to smoke conventional cigarettes than those who don’t vape. The bottom line? There’s no health benefit to young adults who have never smoked to start Juuling. If you wouldn’t smoke a conventional cigarette, don’t use an e-cigarette. Your body will thank you.

DON’T FALL FOR THESE SKIN CANCER MYTHS The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause more than just sun spots and wrinkles—they can also cause skin cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S., which affects more than three million people every year. When you head outside this summer, don’t be fooled by these common myths about sun safety—your skin will thank you later in life!

YOU ONLY NEED SUNSCREEN WHEN IT’S SUNNY. Lather up with at least SPF 30 sunscreen whenever you go outside, even on a cloudy day. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass through clouds and damage your skin.


PEOPLE WITH DARKER SKIN DON’T NEED SUNSCREEN. Skin cancer is more common in those with fair skin, but people with darker toned skin can still get skin cancer, and people of color are often diagnosed at later stages. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, occurs in all races.

A tan is just as dangerous as a sunburn—any change in skin color, whether it’s a burn or tan, is a sign of skin damage. A tan is the body’s response to UV rays changing DNA in the skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.

YOU CAN’T GET BURNED UNDER AN UMBRELLA. Beach umbrellas are a great way to shield yourself from the sun, but you still need to wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays can reflect off the sand and leave you with painful burns. 5

LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE You may think you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, limiting your alcohol intake and slathering on sunscreen before you head outdoors. While these are important and positive steps, there are even more things you can be doing to prevent cancer or detect it early. Check out these easy tips to live your best— and healthiest—life.

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GO TO THE DENTIST: It’s easy to go a few years without visiting the dentist, but you’re putting yourself at risk for more than just cavities. Dentists and dental hygienists are on the front lines of cancer prevention and early detection. If your dental office is not performing routine oral cancer screenings, ask to have one done. You should also be aware of early signs of oral cancer, like longlasting pain, white or red patches or swelling. If you notice these or other changes in your mouth, ask your dentist to take a look.

CHECK YOUR MATE: Sometimes your partner knows your body better than you do, or can spot changes in hard-to-see places, like a melanoma on your back. Get in the habit of exploring each other’s bodies on a regular basis and performing regular body checks. Pay particular attention to the breasts, skin and testicles. If either of you notices any change, go see a health care professional.

TALK TO YOUR PARENTS: Do you know your family’s full health history? When you’re young, it’s easy to rely on Mom and Dad for medical information, but now that you’re an adult, it’s time to take charge of your own health. That means getting the full family health history from your parents or other relatives and sharing that information with your health care professional. Depending on your family history, you may need to be screened for certain cancers earlier or more often than the general population. GET VACCINATED FOR HPV: The HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls and boys ages 11-12, but vaccination rates are low, and there’s a good chance you weren’t vaccinated as a kid. You can still get the vaccine until age 26 (for most women) or 21 (for most men)—talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated to protect yourself from cancer. Remember, HPV causes at least six types of cancer, including almost all cervical cancers. 7

BREAST HEALTH FOR YOUNG WOMEN Womanhood Training, an African-centered rites of passage program dedicated to transforming, nurturing, empowering and enriching the lives of young girls ages 12-17, recently did a session with the girls on breast health. Using the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Breast Health Education for Young Women Facilitator’s Guide, they taught the girls about breast health using interactive activities and role-playing. “They all could relate,” said Toni Stevenson, Womanhood Training President. “Whether it was personally, or whether it was through a story, something came to life for them, and you saw the lightbulb come on.” The Guide was developed to increase young women’s knowledge about breast health and encourage information sharing with female relatives who are age appropriate for screening. “A lot of times, you don’t think that things could happen to you, but the fact that it could…like, one of eight [women will be diagnosed will breast cancer], that was just crazy to me,” said one of the participants. The Guide is available for free download in English and Spanish, and has so far been downloaded in 49 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories and 37 countries. To download your free copy or see more about Womanhood Training’s experience using the Guide, visit

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“Whether it was personally, or whether it was through a story, something came to life for them.”

CHECK YOUR BALLS In February, Steven Eisner noticed an unusual firmness in his right testicle during a regular self-check. Since he’s a gamer and frequently participates in Awesome Games Done Quick, a video game marathon that has raised more than $6 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation®, he had read about the importance of monthly selfchecks for testicular cancer. Sure enough, after a few doctors’ appointments and an initial misdiagnosis of an infection, Steven learned he had testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men ages 15-34. The good news is that when it is diagnosed early, the survival rate is 99 percent. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to changes in your body and call your doctor when you notice anything different, like Steven did. “I was able to discover this change in my body early on thanks to the resources that the Prevent Cancer Foundation provided on their website, and I was lucky to have such smart and quick-thinking doctors to guide me along the way,” Steven said. “While my battle is only a couple months long so far, I’m confident that in five years I will officially declare myself cancer-free!” Once a month, take a couple minutes in the shower to check your testicles. If you notice a change in size, firmness or weight, or feel a lump, call your doctor. Speaking up when you notice something different just might save your life. If you would like to connect with Steven or learn more about his story, you can contact him on Twitter at @keizaron.

3 Steps to the Monthly Testicular Self-Exam 1. Best when done after a warm shower, when your scrotum is relaxed. If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin. 2. Examine each testicle with both hands. Place your index and middle fingers under the testicle with thumbs placed on top. Firmly but gentlly roll the testicle between your thumbs and fingers to feel any irregularities on the surface or texture of the testicle. 3. Find the epididymis, a soft rope-like structure on the back of the testicle. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for a suspicious lump. From the Testicular Cancer Society. 9

THE NEW COLORECTAL CANCER GENERATION Colorectal cancer is on the rise among young adults. Though the incidence of colorectal cancer has been declining in people older than 54, there has been a 51 percent increase in the rate of colorectal cancer among adults younger than 50 since 1994. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), adults born around 1990 have twice the risk of developing colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer, compared to adults born around 1950. The decrease in colorectal cancer among older adults is mostly due to the increased use of colorectal cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies and stool-based immunochemical and DNA tests, to detect and remove polyps before they develop into cancer. In response to the increasing rates of colorectal cancer among younger populations, ACS recently lowered their recommended starting age for colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45. This change is in effort to capture as many new cases of cancer as possible—and save more lives. While this is a positive step, young people—especially those younger than 45—need to be more vigilant than ever and advocate for your health when necessary. Colorectal cancer is still 10 Cancer Prevention Works: August 2018

considered an “older person’s disease,” and your health care professional might not recommend a colonoscopy, even if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of the disease. It’s also important to know your family history and discuss this with your health care professional—this information may affect when or how frequently you get screened. Jacinda Dunn of Georgia received her first colonoscopy earlier this year at age 25. “I was screened because my dad died of colon cancer at the age of 35,” she said. “It’s important for me to know my cancer risk due to family history. I now have to be screened every five years.” Colorectal cancer can happen to anyone, but there are proven ways to lower your risk of disease, such as staying physically active, eating a plant-based diet, avoiding tobacco and red or processed meats, and knowing your family history. It’s important for all adults, regardless of age, to discuss your cancer risk with a health care professional and take steps today to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!® For more information on how to reduce your colorectal cancer risk, visit

RECIPE: NONALCOHOLIC SANGRIA Nothing says summer like a pitcher of sangria shared with friends, but that’s not exactly the epitome of cancer prevention. Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of head and neck, liver, breast and colorectal cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says if you drink alcohol at all, do so in moderation, meaning no more than one drink a day for women and two for men (one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor). But you can still celebrate summer with your favorite fruity beverage! It’s easy to omit the alcohol and added sugar in sangria and still enjoy a refreshing drink for those hot afternoons at the pool—just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS • 2 cups cran-grape juice (look for unsweetened or “light” varieties with less sugar) • ½ cup orange juice (look for unsweetened or “light” varieties with less sugar, or use freshly squeezed orange juice) • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice • ¼ cup strawberries, halved or chopped • ¼ cup blueberries • ½ lemon, peeled and chopped • ½ lime, peeled and chopped • 3 cups sparkling water • ½ cup frozen mixed berries • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped Add the juices and chopped fruits to a pitcher and stir. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the sparkling water and stir. Pour into glasses over frozen berries and garnish with a couple of mint leaves. 11

Are you too young to get cancer?

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

1600 Duke Street, Suite 500 Alexandria, VA 22314

UPCOMING EVENTS AND NEWS September 16: Prevent Cancer Health Fair and 5k Walk/Run at Nationals Park

November 1-30: No-Shave November November 5-6: Quantitative Imaging Workshop


Breast health for young women

Do you Juul?

Live your best life

Don’t fall for these skin cancer myths

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