Prevent Cancer Foundation Dec2015 Newsletter

Page 1

Issue: Dec. 2015


Star Power on the Hill

5k 2015 Foundation launches new public awareness campaign (p.9)




with our 5k thanks to you!



Building immunitytrends Indoor fitness against cancer

It's never too early to learn about breast health

How does the U.S. stack up? (p.3) p.


What should your REAL New Year's resolution be? (p.10)





Double jeopardy

Winter-proof your workout

Prevention takes center stage (p.9) p.


Music to our ears





President’s Corner Dear Readers, ’Tis the season for preventing cancer. With the holiday season well under way, it can be easy to lose track of our vision to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™ Fortunately, we are here to keep you in-the-know on the latest news in cancer prevention and early detection. In this issue we are diving into the hot topic of immunoprevention and the potential to train our own bodies to fight disease, which could lead to more cancer vaccines and methods of early detection. Read on as we tackle the confusion surrounding mammography guidelines, talk to Miss Illinois United States about healthy habits and take a look at how the U.S. stacks up against other countries when it comes to cancer. And before you finish your holiday shopping, please remember to make your year-end donation— a thoughtful holiday gift, perhaps in honor or memory of someone you care about. Just visit to make your tax-deductible gift today. Happy Holidays!

Carolyn Aldigé President and Founder

Star power on the Hill Utilizing your platform

Celebrities have powerful voices that inspire audiences to pay attention—and fortunately, many of them use their voices for good. This year, the theme of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program was Utilizing Your Platform. We honored four individuals who used their star power and their unique platforms to promote the message of cancer prevention and early detection. They were recognized during the annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards Luncheon before a bipartisan, bicameral audience of Members of Congress and spouses, diplomats, Foundation board members and invited guests. Food Network star Sandra Lee was presented the Excellence in Cancer Awareness Award for spreading awareness to a broad audience following her own cancer diagnosis in May 2015. Ms. Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram at age 48 and shared the news on “Good Morning America,” where she urged viewers to stop watching the segment and “instead go schedule a mammogram.” Oncologist and author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., was honored with the Distinguished Service in Media Award for his book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.” Dr. Mukherjee’s work won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and has educated an international audience about cancer. It was also translated into a three-part documentary that aired on PBS in 2015. WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller was given a Special Recognition Award for her role in translating Dr. Mukherjee’s book into film. Franki Roberts (Mrs. Pat Roberts, Kansas) was awarded the Congressional Families Leadership Award for her service since 1997 as Honorary Co-Chair of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s health awareness and cancer screening booth. The widely-attended state fair provides a perfect opportunity to educate and reach many in rural communities.



5k 2015

The 7th annual Prevent Cancer 5K Walk/Run and Health Fair brought teams of families, friends, co-workers and dogs to Nationals Park on October 4th to raise awareness and funds for community programs, which provide free educational events and screenings. Hundreds braved the rain and cold to walk or run along the Capitol Riverfront and raise $200,000 for prevention and early detection. A highlight of the day was the Health Fair, where participants could get skin checks, oral cancer screenings, nutrition counseling, flu shots and more. Baseball fans had their dreams come true when they took a swing in the Nationals’ batting cages and posed for photos in the team dugouts and on the field. The Prevent Cancer 5k provides the perfect opportunity to start building healthy habits and learn more about health, wellness and cancer prevention at the health fair. Thank you to all the participants and sponsors who made this event possible so we can...

Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™

How does the U.S. stack up?

As a world leader, the U.S. strives to be #1 in all areas. We want the best government, military, businesses and learning institutions. When it comes to cancer rates, however, no one wants to be at the head of the pack. Though we are not the leading country in cancer incidence (that distinction belongs to Denmark), we are trailing not too far behind at #6. There are 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, and that number is expected to soar in the coming years. Globally, tobacco is the leading cause of cancer and is responsible for about 20 percent of cancer deaths (70 percent of lung cancer deaths). Diet and physical activity have strong links to cancer, and the obesity epidemic is a significant factor in rising cancer incidence rates. Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980, and obesity is poised to surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer within a few years. Approximately two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight and, without major changes, by 2030 half of Americans will be obese. By eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising, you will lower your chances of being obese or overweight and will significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Making smart lifestyle choices for you and your family can potentially save your lives. Infections for which we have vaccinations also account for 16 percent of cancer cases worldwide. Though we know virtually all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV, vaccination rates continue to be low. In the U.S., only 38 percent of girls have received all three doses in the vaccine series, and rates among boys are much lower. Ask your doctor about getting the HPV vaccine for your sons and daughters. (The general recommendation is for boys and girls ages 11-12.) Now is the time to be proactive about your family’s health. The U.S. might be near the top in cancer incidence, but where there is a problem, there is also an opportunity. Research shows that up to 50 percent of all cancer cases and 50 percent of cancer deaths are preventable. We can lead the world in lowering cancer rates by making smart, healthy choices to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™



Building immunity against cancer By Koren Wetmore

If immunologist Olivera Finn’s hunch is right, you may one day trade your colonoscopy for a shot that prevents colon cancer. Even more exciting, the vaccine her team is working on might be able to protect you from other cancers, including those of the pancreas, breast and lung. The vaccine targets MUC1, a growth-related protein found in normal cells that behaves and looks differently in cancer cells. Like vaccines that teach our bodies to recognize and destroy viruses and bacteria, Finn’s MUC1 formula trains the immune system to “see” and then kill tumor cells. “We get cancer for the same reason we come down with other diseases, meaning there was a weakness in some part of the immune system,” says Dr. Finn, distinguished professor of immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. “With vaccines that treat cancer, you try to supplement what the patient couldn’t make enough of. With a prevention vaccine, we’re trying to ensure that everyone has enough of the needed immune cells and antibodies to begin with.” Finn is one of a growing number of researchers shifting from using the immune system to fight cancer to priming the system to prevent cancer in the first place. For example, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., recently filed with the Food and Drug Administration to study a preventive lung cancer vaccine developed in Cuba . Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, is working on a vaccine that might prevent breast cancer. Cancer Research UK is offering up to $30.1 million US (£20 million) in research funds to spur development of cancer prevention vaccines . The trend follows on the success of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B (hep B) vaccines, which prevent viral infections that can cause cancers of the cervix, anus, throat (HPV) and liver (hep B). About 20 percent of all human tumors arise from cancers caused by viral infections . If researchers like Finn are successful, their vaccines might target the remaining 80 percent. In an early study using the MUC1 vaccine in 41 patients who had pre-cancerous colon polyps removed, nearly half responded to the vaccine . “We never get a 50 percent response in cancer patients, but in about half of these patients we induced a normal immune response using the vaccine,” Dr. Finn says. “These polyps develop into colon cancer, so if we can prevent them, we prevent the cancer.” The vaccine is now part of a larger clinical trial to test how effective it is at helping the immune system


see and kill abnormal polyp cells before they become tumors. It is being used in 110 patients who, because of the type of polyps they had removed, are at high risk of developing more polyps within the next three to five years. The patients will be checked at the three-year mark to see if any new polyps have formed .

Cells to detect cancer Methods similar to those used to create vaccines might help to screen for cancer in its earliest stages. When scientists look at the antibodies found in different tumor types, they can tell which proteins or enzymes the cancer cells bind with and then create man-made antibodies— called monoclonal antibodies—that find and attach themselves to the cancer cells. But instead of rousing the immune system to fight the cancer, they work with special imaging tools to reveal where the cancer is hiding in a person’s body. “This is a very promising application of monoclonal antibodies, but it is still in the experimental stages,” says Sudhir Srivastava, Ph.D., MPH, chief of the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group for the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention. “It’s possible that it might be able to detect pre-cancerous lesions, but the technology has not been fully validated.” Tinkering with antibodies also carries risks, Srivastava warns. In fact, many of them can react with normal cells, which could trigger side effects or cause the immune system to attack the body. Finn agrees, but says testing and the careful choice of vaccine targets can avoid such risks. “We have shown over and over—with animal studies and human safety trials—that with MUC1 these problems don’t happen.” While the field is still young, use of the immune system to prevent cancer offers much hope. Vaccines could protect high-risk individuals such as those with compromised immune systems or a genetic cancer risk. Should science find a way to spur the production of antibodies and immune cells that target all known cancers, we might even see a “universal” vaccine in the future. Such a breakthrough could help us achieve our vision to

Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™



Double jeopardy

Access to mammograms is in jeopardy for millions of women Two groups have been making waves when it comes to breast cancer screening. Both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) are rocking the boat with new recommendations, and access to mammograms might be in jeopardy for millions of women.

In October, ACS increased the age it recommends women of average risk begin mammograms from age 40 to 45, while the recent draft recommendations from the USPSTF recommend women begin screening at age 50. Each group is influential; ACS is the unequivocal leader in the cancer field, and the USPSTF sets the standards for what insurance plans must cover. If the USPSTF draft recommendations are finalized, 22 million women ages 40-49 could lose insurance coverage for their annual mammograms, forcing them to pay out-of-pocket or worse, avoid the exam altogether. The Prevent Cancer Foundation will continue to recommend that women begin annual mammography screening at age 40 with no barriers to access or costsharing. It is critical that insurance plans cover these screenings for possible lifesaving early detection.

Women should begin annual mammography screening at age 40 with no barriers to access

Prevent Cancer Foundation

Research has validated that when breast cancer is detected early and treated before it spreads, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent. Traditional and 3D mammograms are critical tools in finding and diagnosing cancer early so that women have the best chance of successful treatment outcomes. Since 1990, breast cancer mortality has decreased by 34 percent, attributable to early detection and improved treatment. In response to these revisions, Congress has introduced two bills that could prevent the USPSTF recommendations from being finalized until concerns from the medical community and patients have been addressed. The “Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act” (PALS Act) introduced in the Senate (S. 1926), and its companion bill in the House under the same name (H.R. 3339), will be voted on in the coming months. The Prevent Cancer Foundation, along with 14 partner organizations, has sponsored a petition to "Stop The Guidelines," because we know mammograms save lives. If Congress does not pass the PALS Act, we may soon see a day when people are not getting their mammograms until age 50—and we will also surely see diagnoses of late stage breast cancers rise, and subsequently, an increase in death from this disease.

You can view and sign the petition at



It's never too early to learn about breast health

The Foundation is pleased to release an updated Breast Health Education for Young Women Facilitator’s Guide, which is designed to increase young women’s knowledge about breast health. Research shows it is never too early to start talking to the young women in your life about good breast health. This updated guide includes activities, tests and resources that appeal to young women and debunk common myths associated with breast cancer, such as breast size increasing or reducing your risk for cancer, or deodorants causing cancer. You can use the Facilitator’s Guide to teach young women how to take care of their bodies, what to look for when performing self-exams and when they should talk to their doctors. You should also encourage them to share this information with female relatives who are ageappropriate for screening. This guide is a great starting point for families to discuss their family histories to ensure everyone is receiving timely screenings. The Guide was created in 2008 by the Foundation in partnership with Howard University Cancer Center, and has been used by sororities, high schools, church groups and women’s health centers. This user-friendly educational tool has been used to teach women from urban schools in Minnesota to health fairs in New York to a health center in Bermuda about the importance of breast health. The guide can easily be adapted internationally as well, and has been used in such countries as Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Ghana, Iran, Nigeria, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.

Facilitator’s Guide November 2015

If you would like to organize an educational session on breast health, visit to download a free guide.

Visit to download the guide for free.



Winter-proof your workout

Don’t let the cold be an excuse not to exercise. If you enjoy outdoor workouts, you can keep them up all year long despite winter weather. Snow is a great resistance builder—running in snow increases your calorie burn with every stride. Make sure you’re prepared for an outdoor workout with these health and safety tips:

Invest in some trail-running shoes or winter cleats that grip the snow. You can find water-resistant models perfect for taking on a snowy trail. Remember, fresh powder is the safest form to run on, and you can avoid dangerous falls by sticking to flat routes. Take shorter strides and move slower than usual. Moving at the pace you’re used to can strain your calves and feet because your toes are more likely to claw the ground to keep your footing. You also have to allow your body to get used to running in the cold. Sunscreen and lip balm with at least 30 SPF are crucial, even in the year’s coldest months. Snow reflects the sun’s harmful UV rays, so be sure to protect any exposed skin with an SPF 30 sunscreen and protect your eyes with UV filtering sunglasses. Even if it’s cloudy, UV rays can pass through the clouds. Don’t get caught thinking thicker is better. When the weather is below 32 degrees, put on thin, wicking layers and leave your sweatshirt at home. This breathable, yet warm gear is perfect for a run on a cold day. Stay hydrated. Runners typically sweat less in the winter and are not as thirsty as on a hot summer day. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking 16 ounces of water two hours prior to your workout and another 8–12 ounces about 10 minutes before you begin.

Be safe and enjoy the new challenges of a winter workout!

Prevention takes center stage

Tiaras, gowns, hairspray, high heels and cancer prevention? Aubry Bozzano, the reigning Miss Illinois United States, competed in the Miss United States pageant this summer and chose cancer prevention as her platform. At age 17, Aubry found a lump in her breast. Thinking it would go away soon, she waited weeks before telling her parents, who are health care professionals. After finally speaking up—and within a week of seeing a doctor—she had ultrasounds, mammograms and surgery to remove the lump. It wasn’t cancer, but she was diagnosed with fibrocystic disease and was inspired to make a difference. Since then, Aubry has become a powerful advocate for the Foundation.

What do you do to stay healthy and reduce your risk for cancer? Prevention starts in the home, kitchen and gym. I fill my diet with chicken, veggies and good carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice. I also work out 5-6 days a week. Workouts relieve stress and sweat is your body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins. It is our own responsibility to practice these daily habits, not the doctor’s.

What do you want young people to know about cancer prevention?



I believe my generation’s greatest contribution to the cure for cancer will be preventing it.

My experience taught me that cancer has no age range. It is our job to check ourselves and speak up when we notice something is different. I believe my generation’s greatest contribution to the cure for cancer will be preventing it. Between raising awareness and medical advances, my generation and those after have a responsibility to be proactive about our health.

Foundation launches new public awareness campaign

Did you know that some cancers are caused by viruses—and some cancers can even be prevented by getting a vaccine?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the viruses linked directly to cancer. At any given time, one in every four people in the U.S. is infected with at least one strain of HPV. This virus is responsible for more than 90 percent of anal and cervical cancers and more than 50 percent of vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers.

Hepatitis B and C (hep B and C) are also strongly linked to cancer. Over the next 10 years, approximately 150,000 people in the U.S. will die from liver cancer and end-stage liver disease associated with these viruses. Approximately 65 percent and 75 percent of the infected population are unaware that they are infected with hep B and hep C, respectively. Fortunately, you can avoid HPV- and hep B-related cancers with immunizations. Though there is no vaccine for hep C, screening and treatment for this virus can also prevent liver cancer. Ask your doctor if you fall into a high-risk group and should be tested. To raise the public’s awareness of the connection between HPV, hep B, hep C and cancer, the Foundation will launch the Think About the Link (TATL) Campaign. With your help, we will strive to increase immunization rates for the HPV and hep B vaccine series and access to hep C treatment in vulnerable populations. The multi-year campaign will be launched in the U.S. and then go global in subsequent years.

To learn more about the link between viruses and cancer, visit



What should your REAL New Year's re If you set a New Year’s resolution last year that didn’t last past March, don’t worry—you are not alone. Approximately 45 percent of the population sets resolutions for how to be happier and healthier in the coming year. But if we are so eager to make a change for the better, why do studies show a mere 8 percent keep their resolutions? Oftentimes, the problem is that you are too vague with your resolution. This year, set specific goals that will help you achieve your end game. Instead of the most popular New Year’s Resolution—losing weight—try one of these new resolutions to get started, or create your own.

Cut out soda/fast food/sugar

These high-calorie, low-nutrient foods are not only bad for your diet, they will also wreak havoc on your metabolism. While once-in-a-while treats are ok, eat these foods in moderation or you will be packing on the pounds before you know it.

Eat breakfast every day

It’s a cliché that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it really is true. Eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day. It also keeps you from feeling famished so you can make healthier choices come lunchtime.

Eat vegetables or fruit with every meal

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is the first step toward making healthy food choices. Fruits and veggies are full of nutrients and help fill you up. Once you master fruits and vegetables, try adding nuts, beans and whole grains and limiting alcohol and red and processed meats.

Music to our ears

Everyone has his or her own way of coping with difficult situations in life. For Brad Marullo, that way is through music. Brad is both a music teacher and musician, spending much of his free time playing guitar in the New Jersey-based band SteppingSTONE. When his older brother, Ron, was diagnosed with colon cancer, Brad turned to music as an avenue of expression during a difficult and emotional time. What was born was the song “Hyperdrive,” a collaboration between Brad and his bandmates Ryan Schutz, Bill Fajvan, Eric Schaberg and Jonathan Presnell. As the song took shape, so too did Brad’s goals and motivation; not just to communicate with his brother, but to remind others to prioritize healthy lifestyle choices, regular doctor visits and timely screenings, and to support the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “Prevent Cancer’s message of prevention and early awareness, their [mission] and their staff made them an ideal organization to partner with,” Brad said. SteppingSTONE has made their song available for free download, but is requesting donations for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. You can download the song at

You can download the song at

What do YOU love to do? Use your passion to help make a difference by setting up a beneficiary event with the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Visit to learn more.

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PPY A H EW N AR! YE ne do t i t e #g


March 11: Annual Spring Gala

April 6-8: Dialogue for Action™ conference & Laurels Luncheon

We have a new website!

Accessible on all smart devices Check us out to learn how to





June 11-12: Lung Cancer Workshop


Stop Cancer Before It Starts!

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:

News for 2015

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

Building immunity against cancer

New Website!

Double jeopardy

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