Page 1


Issue 28

understanding the cancer experience

in the

complimentary magazine

Get with the

program A look at the ways we can help cancer patients and their families

Also in this issue: How to make & keep your resolutions Cancer awareness ribbon guide New CD release by Patty Tiscare単o

in BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gordon L. Black, M.D., Honorary Michele Aboud Robert Ash Patricia Carter, RN Ted Edmunds Sam Faraone Jeanne Foskett Monica Gomez Dan Olivas Irene Pistella Shelly Ruddock Ruben Schaeffer Ken Slavin Polly Vaughn Patti Wetzel, M.D. Steve Yellen EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Patricia Tiscareño PROGRAM OFFICER Jutta Ramirez OFFICE MANAGER Cindi Martinez ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS

this issue:

A noted author once said that ‘time does not pass; it only continues’. If that is the case, then all of us at the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation declare that 2013 has come and gone with incredible continuation! Welcome to the final 2013 issue of In the Know: Understanding the Cancer Experience. In our 28th issue, we reflect on how we have used that precious commodity – time- to meet our mission of reducing the burden of cancer in our beloved community. In her article ‘Have Bags Will Travel’, our program office, Jutta Ramirez offers up practical information to cancer patients about out of town travel. Navigating airports and bus terminals is challenging enough, but can become overwhelming for the person undergoing cancer treatment. ITK welcomes Sallie Damron to our writing team with articles on “How to Look and Feel Your Best During Cancer Treatment” and on “Having Someone on your Side” during the cancer experience. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are often exacerbated during the

holidays and Sallie gives our readers tips on dealing with these and other issues. Lest I miss the opportunity to brag a bit on the good work your local cancer foundation has done during 2013, each of the above articles is accompanied by a side bar about how the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation programs have positively impacted people in just these types of situations. We also proudly share with you the organizations who were awarded grants in 2013, the many individuals and groups who worked to support our programs through third-party fundraisers, and a pictorial look back at those events. Finally, I am delighted to announce the release of our second fund-raising musical CD entitled ‘Comes in All Colors’. Read all about it on pages 12 and 13. All proceeds from the sale of this CD will benefit the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation programs, so if you want to help support us, order several copies for your holiday gifts. You can order your own copy online at our website I wish I had more time; but like life, time moves on and stops for no one. Sincerely, Patty Tiscareño Executive Director

Maggie Rodriguez Rachel Juarez

in the



4 page

12 page

15 page

is published by the

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation 10460 Vista del Sol, Suite 101 El Paso, TX 79925 (915) 562-7660 fax (915) 562-7841 by

Snappy Publishing El Paso, Texas 79912 (915) 820-2800

Getting with the program

A Musical Tribute

Resolution Solutions

Many of readers may not be aware of the various programs we offer to help cancer patients. In this multi-page feature, we take a look at these progarms and even hear from our patrons who have utilized them. We start with our PATS program so, get ready for take-off!

Our own Patty Tiscareño is well known for her musical abilities. Read about her latest CD and how a little music is making a huge difference in our community.

Any time of year is a good time to promise yourself to improve, but the new year does fill us with an extra desire to be better. Here we give you a slight push in all the right directions.

Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials to In the Know for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested to do so by In the Know in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other submitted materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed overnight delivery return envelope, postage pre-paid. However, In the Know is not responsible for unsolicited submissions. ©2013 Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of any article or photograph contained in this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of In the Know. In the Know assumes no responsibility whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in In the Know. Editorial or advertising content in In the Know does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. In the Know assumes no responsibility for the products or services advertised in this magazine. Publisher reserves the right to edit any material or refuse any advertising submitted.


Cancer and Travel:

Ready for Take-off by Jutta Ramirez

Have bags, will travel


ith proper planning, a cancer patient can travel and manage cancer treatment away from home.

Consider these travel tips.

• Talk to your Doctor. Talk to your doctor before you plan a trip, especially if you are undergoing treatment. Your doctor may have some specific precautions, especially during airline travel. • Take medical information. Be sure to pack your copies of your medical records or get a letter from your doctor detailing your diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as any medical instructions. Let your travel companion know. • Check your health insurance. Before traveling, check with your health insurance company to determine whether your plan will cover health costs in other states, or if you should visit a certain provider for treatment (if needed). If you are traveling overseas, verify if your health insurance covers costs outside the United States, or if you need to purchase travel health insurance.

5 • Do you need shots? If traveling abroad, check the vaccination requirements, as some vaccines needed for entry into certain countries may be contraindicated for cancer patients. For example, certain cancer treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation therapy, steroid therapy) can weaken the immune system and may limit the effectiveness of vaccinations that are required to travel to some parts of the world.

Know more about the PATS Program

• Get a doctor’s note. Tighter airline security may require you to carry a letter from your doctor if you have metal in your body as a result of surgery or if you need to take certain medical supplies, such as syringes, on board. Call your doctor well in advance to get a letter. • Don’t put medications in checked bags. Be sure to keep medications with you at all times. If your luggage gets lost, you don’t want to lose your medicine, too. Take with you a sufficient supply of your medications in case your trip gets extended. It is helpful to keep your medication in the original prescription bottles, which includes your name, medication name, prescription date, pharmacy, and physician’s name. • Request an airport wheelchair. Airports are big, exhausting places. Save your energy for your destination. • Practice good airplane health. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Get up and stretch during long flights to prevent blood clots. If you have had surgery that affected lymph nodes, consider a compression garment to reduce risk of lymphedema, chronic swelling that can occur as a result of damage to lymph nodes. • Find a local health-care provider. If you are planning to be away for several weeks, find a local doctor who can help coordinate your care. Your doctor may be able to provide recommendations. Should an emergency arise, you will know exactly where to go and what to do.

• Save adventure for travel another time. If your immune system is weakened by treatment, be a little more cautious than you normally would during your trip. Skip roadside food carts for better established restaurants. Drink bottled water. Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently. • Take your time getting there. Allow extra time at the airport due to long lines, delays going through security checks or managing carry-on luggage. • Finally...enjoy yourself!

PATS program provides both airline and ground transportation to patients who are referred outside the El Paso area for evaluation, treatment, surgery or diagnostic studies unavailable in El Paso. The program is available to patients who have a genuine financial need and requires a referral from their local oncologist. In 2012 the PATS program provided assistance to 204 patients. Typically the program utilizes Southwest Airlines for air travel, but occasionally provides travel via Greyhound Bus Lines and also offers prepaid Visa cards for the purchase of gasoline when a personal vehicle is used.

Meet one of our patrons

Paula Diaz

For more information about the PATS program, call the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation at 562-7660 or visit

“There are an incredible number of bills that go along with being a cancer patient; and one less thing to worry about, like flying, especially when you have to go to Houston a couple of times a year, is awesome! I don’t have that kind of money and most patients don’t. I can’t thank the Foundation enough.” – Paula Diaz Diagnosed in 2008 with Leiomyosarcoma


If you are undergoing cancer treatment during the holidays, rest assured we can help you put a brave (and beautiful) face forward. Equipping yourself with beauty-boosting tools and the skills to cope with such events will have you feeling your best before you know it.

How to look and do your best during cancer treatment

By Sallie Damron


Outer Beauty Radiation and chemotherapy pose numerous challenges to maintaining healthy skin and hair. Since your skin may become extremely sensitive, dry, and rash-prone, it is best to be as gentle as possible. Start with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and alcohol-free skin care products for cleansing and moisturizing. Avoid scrubbing the skin as well as long, hot showers or baths and always pat dry. When moisturizing, choose a cream or ointment, rather than a lotion. The thicker consistency is much better at preventing dehydration. Reexamine your makeup drawer; consider purchasing new, hypo-allergenic versions of your makeup and use disposable applicators when applying to prevent infection. When prepping for a holiday event, take special care with your makeup. Focus on the features you can highlight such as your eyes and smile. Use an eye makeup primer before applying eye shadow to improve lasting coverage. False eye lashes are actually on-trend now and can be the perfect enhancement to draw attention to your eyes. Layering lip liner and lip stick before attending an event can mean a lasting smile that is easily touched up with a tinted gloss. If you are not normally a makeup-gal, considering using it to help with any skin changes during and after treatment. Mineral powder makeup is excellent at covering ruddy, discolored, or washed out skin without the heavy-feel of liquid foundation. A perfectly matched concealer can also work wonders against dark under-eye circles. A natural shade of blush and bronzer can be used to brighten the skin as well as give the face depth and shape. Contour your nose, jaw line and cheek bones to minimize puffiness and add a touch of blush to the apple of the cheeks for a healthy glow. During treatment your hair may become dry and brittle. Shampoos and conditioners for chemically treated hair are best, leave-in conditioners are also nourishing and following a “rinse, rather than lather” method of caring for your hair will help you avoid excessive shampooing (simply apply conditioner and rinse with warm to cool water).

Curling irons and straighteners should be avoided as well as excessive brushing and combing. Keep in mind that you should never perm or color your hair during chemotherapy. If you experience hair loss, consider wearing a wig that is close to your original style, but don't be afraid to try a new style that is flattering to your face shape. Scarves also camouflage hair loss and can be fetching when paired with an elegant holiday outfit.

Prosthetics can also boost self confidence; a discussion with your doctor may be necessary as some prostheses can be placed or implanted during surgery. Many are also covered by medical insurance (including wigs) but a prescription will be required. External prostheses, such as breast forms, can be found in surgical supply stores as well as many department stores. Shop around to find the best fit and the right price. Not sure what to try first? Give yourself a virtual makeover at; the American Cancer Society's program on skin care, make-up, and hair loss. For more information call 915-633-1231.

Inner Beauty Many find it difficult to tame the beast of negative thoughts and low self-esteem while undergoing treatment. Mentally preparing yourself for social situations is recommended, particularly during the holidays when many friends and family members are seeing you for the first time during or after treatment. Consider the following tips and tricks for attending

social events with your self esteem and positive attitude intact. A strong connection exists between physical appearance and self esteem. Making an effort to improve your physical appearance may enhance your self confidence but also take into account your self worth as a valuable person in your family, your community, and your group of friends. Remember that you are loved; expressing gratitude for those around you will only help you stay positive. Second, paying particular attention to your diet and nutrition is an excellent way to work on your inner beauty. To feel better you will need to eat better. Eating well means eating a variety of foods packed with nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. The American Cancer Society’s website offers numerous resources for nutrition during cancer treatment, coping with eating problems, changes in appetite and much more. Finally, when attending a holiday or other event your health may be a top conversation starter. Rather than avoiding answering the concerns of your loved ones, set the tone. Focus on being positive, yet honest, and proactive. Those closest to you will follow your lead and help deter any negative conversational turns or excessive displays of pity. Many awkward conversations happen simply because most people are unsure of what to say or do. You can help them by giving them specific ways they can support you (if they ask) and graciously accept their kind words. Let the holidays be an uplifting time for you as you surround yourself with family and friends but also allow yourself to set the pace of your activities and the freedom to decline invitations. You’ll want to have the energy to enjoy the events that are most important to you. If you are used to entertaining and you don’t want to give up that responsibility, make it easier by having a potluck where your loved ones bring a dish to share, accept help with preparing your home for company, and elect a close friend or family member to help you host the event.

How to look and do your best during cancer treatment

Know more about the Four Seasons Program The Four Seasons Beauty program provides practical assistance for women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. · Educational programs, and free wigs, hats, and scarves are available. · Wigs are available for selection at The Green House, 10460 Vista del Sol, Suite 101 and in limited supplies at our five satellite locations. · Donate wigs for refurbishing at The Green House. · The RGCF partners with area salons which clean and style donated wigs, shave patron's heads, and hold donated wigs for pickup by The Green House staff. · Susan G. Komen for the Cure - El Paso Affiliate is a partner and helps fund the Four Seasons Beauty Program.

For more information about the Four Seasons program, call the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation at 562-7660 or visit


Wear it well!

The colors of Cancer Wearing awareness ribbons help to remind us of the challenges associated with a cancer experience. So get your favorite color on and let’s support ourselves, our friends, our loved ones and anyone who has walked the cancer journey!

Pink Breast Cancer

Orange Leukemia

Yellow Bladder Cancer

Purple Pancreatic, Leiomyosarcoma

Teal Ovarian, Cervical, Uterine

Blue Anal, Colon, Rectal

Green Gall Bladder, Liver, Kidney

Burgundy Multiple Myeloma

Black Melanoma

Lime Lymphoma

Red & White Head and Neck

Gold Childhood Cancer

The models at left posed for our special Women’s Cancer Awarenes issue in the Spring of 2009. They are: (Top to Bottom) Adriana Valdes (Also pictured on cover at left) Andrea Gates Ingle Anoushka Valodya Pat Olchefski-Winston


A cancer diagnosis may make you feel completely alienated from the rest of the world. Feelings of isolation are quite normal but can be made worse if you find it difficult to talk about your situation. You may want to protect your family and friends from an upsetting conversation. Fortunately, there are many options of support for you whether it be one on one, or in a group--it is possible to alleviate your feelings of loneliness.

Having someone on

your side By Sallie Damron

That first step towards opening up can be the hardest one to take. Setting goals to find and maintain sources of support may help you open up in incremental steps. For example, make a goal to set aside time each day, week, or month to spend time and connect with those you care about. Your next goal can be to work on communicating honestly in order to find a new openness with loved ones. This type of sharing can go a long way to reducing the anxiety and fear that cancer can cause. If you find expressing how you genuinely feel difficult because no one understands what you're going through you may want to seek an alternate source of support. Many recently diagnosed cancer patients rely on the safety, comfort, and connection felt while receiving chemotherapy at the hospital. Meeting with other patients on the same journey can be beneficial in that they are in the same situation. No explanation is needed,


Know more about the Alliance Program

The mission of the Alliance is to enhance the lives of cancer patients by connecting newly diagnosed with seasoned survivors toward emotional and practical support. You can make a difference · Join our vision to bring one-on-one support to people undergoing treatment for cancer. As a survivor yourself, you will make a positive difference in the lives of those newly diagnosed or in active treatment. · After a short training process, we will match you with patients and you can determine how often you would like to be matched based upon your life situation and commitments. · Because the volunteer work is done primarily over the telephone, you can give support and make a difference from the comfort of your own home. Our staff is always available to answer questions or provide guidance. Know one of our patrons: “There was no one to offer information or support when I was diagnosed with brain cancer, but in my position now, I can be there to communicate for someone else. That one simple connection is sometimes all you need and if I can be that support, it will be a great help and make me feel good too.” - Alex Benhumea, brain cancer survivor

your hair loss is understood, you don't have to act healthy, and you can learn and validate coping skills. Formal means of support such as psychotherapy and support groups can also provide health-enhancing strength and a safe place where fears and anxieties can be expressed. There is much comfort to be found in camaraderie. Often individuals going through cancer treatment choose to be alone; there is actually a distinction of choosing to be alone from a sense of disconnection and isolation. Being alone can provide space for contemplation and self-assessment as well as a feeling of control--many may find a connection through religion, spirituality, or artistic immersion. But despite the sense of support found in these sources, those undergoing treatment may still require someone on their side. One way to maintain a sense of self control but still feel "supported" is the use of social media. Social media is a fairly new medium of cancer support but it nevertheless is a valuable resource. You may be surprised with how many people will send words of encouragement or thoughtful messages just when you need them. Ask a friend or family member to manage your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc. so when you need the

support the most your advocate has already posted a message and you have several responses. Post simple messages that convey your treatment schedule, successes, or even tough days. Review your past messages of support for an extra boost on particularly low days. Days that tend to be tougher than most are the holidays, but fear not, it is possible to cope with grief and even experience joy. While you and those closest to you may experience sadness due to issues related to your cancer, there is joy to be found in spending time together. Express gratitude for the love and support of those around you and create happy memories of this special time together. Of course it is completely understandable if adjusting to the reality of a cancer diagnosis has left you feeling less than celebratory. With that in mind, you do not want to let your fears about being a "downer" keep you from seeing the important people in your life. Maintaining holiday traditions is also important but that doesn't mean these traditions must remain unaltered. Consider changing your traditions to fit your circumstances or replace them all together. For example, taking a family trip to see displays of holiday lights may be the

For more information about the Alliance program, call the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation at 562-7660 or visit

tradition but you aren't up for leaving the house. Alter this tradition by having photos taken on the traditional trip that can be shared with you in a slideshow presentation in the comfort of your home or replace it all together with a holiday movie viewing complete with popcorn, hot chocolate, and fuzzy blankets all around. If your family doesn't resemble a Norman Rockwell painting, you may need to learn how to deal with your family in relation to the holidays and your diagnosis. Your family may be worried about bothering you or afraid of the situation or just incapable of providing the kind of support you need at this time. For the most part, others will take their cues from you. You can be open with them about your expectations concerning the holidays. If you are in need of any special assistance in order to spend time with them, you will need to tell them. You may also choose not to see your family over the holidays, especially if you believe time spent with them would be detrimental to your ability to cope with your diagnosis. This is completely your choice and probably a wise one. It is important to surround yourself with people who want the best for you and can make your holidays joyful.



Comes in All Colors CD is available at:

In my prayers of thanksgiving for the many gifts I have been given, I number my family, my friends, the work I am privileged to do and the gift of a musical voice. It is my honor to be able to share that gift for the benefit of the thousands of people who have touched my life during my seventeen year tenure at the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. Every day I meet people whose lives are governed by tumor markers and white blood cell counts and who still greet each day with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. It is vastly humbling. The “Comes in All Colors” project is a follow up to the highly successful “Kitchen Project” CD by PT & the Cruisers which was released in 2009. That effort has generated over $40,000 in proceeds to the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. So why not do it again? It has been on my ‘bucket list’ for some time now to record a jazz themed album. An even grander desire was to work with the inimitable pianist Billy Townes and his indie label studio, Shade Records. Born in New York City, Townes' early experience with the piano came from his music teacher mother when he was still a toddler in Okinawa, Japan, where his father was stationed in the army. The family settled in El Paso in

1971, and soon after that, Townes began formal classical training on his primary instrument while also learning drums and, later, marching in his high school band. Townes attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, where he took both business and piloting courses. And while the field of aviation may have lost a career pilot, the music industry gained a performer extraordinaire. Billy has played throughout the country, in the last few years opening for the Neville Bros., the Pointer Sisters, All-4-One, Nelson Rangel, Everette Harp, the Rippingtons, and Brandon Fields at various venues throughout the Southwest while performing at New York’s famed Blue Note club and twice with famed Grammy nominated jazz keyboardist Rob Mullins. And, when time permits, Billy still enjoys teaching and flying various aircraft. Within these pages, you will find the often requested “Colors of Cancer” dancing ribbons poster. It was these colors which were the inspiration for the album title. Cancer survivors… and music … come in all colors and melodies. We hope you will enjoy reading the stories of the individuals in whose tribute these songs were recorded. Thank you for your support. -Patty Tiscareño, Executive Director

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation 10460 Vista del Sol, Suite 101 (915) 562-7660 Online orders at All That Music and Video 6800 Gateway Blvd E Ste 1B (915) 594-9900 D’Elias Boutique 2623 N Stanton St (915) 532-5530 Collectibles 4700 N Mesa St Ste F2 (915) 534-4243 Collectibles 1530 Lomaland Dr Ste G (915) 594-0162 Olivas Music 1320 N Zaragoza (915) 833-0346 Olivas Music Inc 125 Thunderbird Dr (915) 833-0346 Galleria Zia El Paso International Airport (915) 778-7722


Th e Ye a r t h at wa s


RGCF Grantees 2013 The Board of Directors for the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation proudly announces the organizations and programs selected to receive 2013 funding. The eight not-for-profits will receive a combined total of $175,000 to fund the delivery of cancer-related supports services in El Paso. Grantee



Cancer & Chronic Disease Consortium Surviving Cancer Program




$ 5,000

University Breast Care Center

General Operating Support


El Paso Baptist Clinic

Gynecological Services


Candlelighters of El Paso

Helping Hands Assistance Program


Children’s Grief Center of El Paso

Peer to Peer Grief Support Program


University Medical Center Foundation

Sobreviviendo al Cancer Support Program


Creative Kids Inc.

Arts in Motion (Project AIM)



EAT LIVE &BE WELL in 2014 Know how to

Th e Ye a r t h at w il l b e


It’s the start of another new year, and most people make annual resolutions to lead healthier lives. But if you really want to succeed, don't go for a dramatic lifestyle upheaval.Try introducing small changes, one at a time. For 2014, we have compiled several lists of things, ideas and inspirations to help you live fully beyond cancer.


Know what to eat


o single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But scientists believe that the combination of foods in a predominantly plant-based diet may. There is evidence that the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods could interact in ways that boost their individual anticancer effects. In addition, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are low in calorie-density and protect against weight gain. Expert reports say that carrying excess body fat is implicated in the development of cancer. Eating a predominantly plant based diet can help prevent weight gain and protect against those cancers whose risk is convincingly increased by higher body fat (cancers of the colorectum, esophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney and breast in postmenopausal women).

Beans Beans (also known as legumes) include lentils and peas along with many other varieties. Soybeans fall into this category as well. The active ingredients in beans that scientists believe may play a role in cancer prevention include: saponins, protease inhibitors and phytic acid. These compounds, called phytochemicals, are found naturally in plants and appear to protect our cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

Berries Berries are good sources of vitamin C and fiber. Foods high in vitamin C probably protect against cancer of the esophagus, while foods containing dietary fiber probably decrease colorectal cancer risk. All berries, but particularly strawberries and raspberries, are rich in ellagic acid. In laboratory studies, this phytochemical has shown the ability to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast. Strawberries also contain a wide range of other phytochemicals, called flavonoids, each of which seems to employ a similar array of anti-cancer strategies. Blueberries contain

a family of phenolic compounds called anthocyanosides, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.

Cruciferous Vegetables The cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. Non-starchy vegetables, like those listed above, probably protect against some types of cancers. This protective effect is strongest for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach. Components of these vegetables have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in various cell, tissue and animal models, including tumors of the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, and cervix.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, along with saponins and flavonoids. According to a report from the

American Institute for Cancer Research, foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.The report also noted probable evidence that foods containing folate decrease risk of pancreatic cancer and that foods containing dietary fiber probably reduce one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.

Flaxseed Flaxseed is available as flaxseed flour, flaxseed meal (which has the texture of cornmeal), flaxseed oil and whole flaxseeds. The whole seeds are not digested well, so they provide little nutritional or health benefits unless they are ground. Flaxseed is the best dietary source for substances called lignans. Lignans are classified as phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) because they seem to mimic the action of estrogen in the body. Note that flaxseed oil does not naturally contain lignans, although some manufacturers add them during processing. Flax is also the richest plant source of one

17 kind of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In some studies, this fat has shown promising health benefits, including offering potential protection from heart disease and some cancers. Note: If you are on medications, talk with your doctor before taking flaxseed. Flaxseed may slow or decrease absorption of medications and interact with certain medications, including fish oil, EPA +DHA supplements and anticoagulant medications such as aspirin or other blood thinners.

Garlic Garlic belongs to the family of vegetables called Allium, which also includes onions, scallions, leeks and chives. Foods belonging to the allium family of vegetables probably protect against stomach cancer. Moreover, the evidence in the report shows that garlic, in particular, probably decreases one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer. In laboratory studies, components of garlic have shown the ability to slow or stop the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue. Laboratory research has also shown that one garlic component, called diallyl disulfide, exerts potent preventive effects against cancers of the skin, colon and lung. Recently, this compound proved able to kill leukemia cells in the laboratory. In animal studies, components in Allium vegetables have slowed the development of cancer in several stages and at various body sites: stomach, breast, esophagus, colon and lung.

Grapes and Grape Juice Both grapes and grape juice are rich sources of resveratrol, a type of natural phytochemical that belongs to a much larger group of phytochemicals called polyphenols. The skin of the grape contains the most resveratrol, and red and purple grapes contain significantly more resveratrol than green grapes. Grape jam and raisins contain much smaller amounts of this phytochemical. Red wine also contains resveratrol. However, with AICR’s second expert report noting convincing evidence that alcohol is associated with increased risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, breast (pre- and

postmenopausal) and colon and rectum (in men), wine is not a recommended source of resveratrol. Other laboratory research points to resveratrol’s ability to slow the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the formation of tumors in lymph, liver, stomach and breast cells. Resveratrol has also triggered the death of leukemic and colon cancer tumors. In one series of studies, resveratrol blocked the development of skin, breast and leukemia cancers at all three stages of the disease (initiation, promotion and progression).

Green Tea Since ancient times, tea has been used as both beverage and medicine. Both black and green teas contain numerous active ingredients, including polyphenols and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. One class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of widespread study for their anti-cancer potential. Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, and green tea contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea. In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells. Other studies involving green tea have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin and digestive tract. Studies that track the diets of human subjects over several years (particularly studies conducted in Asia, where green tea consumption is common) have also associated regular usage of green tea with lower risk for bladder, colon, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. Note: Very high amounts of green tea components (usually associated with overdosage of green tea supplements) have been shown to interact with drugs that affect blood clotting such as aspirin and change the way the body metabolizes certain medications.

Soy Soybeans are a type of legume, or bean. Foods made from soybeans include tofu, soymilk, soybeans, soynuts, miso (soy paste), tempeh, soy burgers and soynut butter. Soy appears to contain some components

that resemble very weak forms of the body’s natural hormones. As a result, soy foods can mimic the actions of hormones under certain conditions and counteract these hormonal actions at other times. Because of such complexities, most of the studies that have investigated soy’s role in cancer development have dealt with hormone-related cancers such as those of the breast and prostate. Several human and laboratory studies suggest that consuming soy early in life (such as adolescence) may help protect against breast cancer later in life. Results are less encouraging when soy is consumed later in life. Current research shows that it is safe to eat moderate amounts of soy foods (e.g., soymilk, tofu), up to two to three servings per day .As a precaution, women receiving anti-estrogen treatments such as tamoxifen, should minimize soy foods and avoid isoflavone supplements.

Tomatoes The tomato’s red hue comes chiefly from a phytochemical called lycopene. Tomatoes have attracted particular attention from prostate cancer researchers because lycopene and its related compounds tend to concentrate in tissues of the prostate. AICR's second expert report, found substantial and convincing evidence that foods containing lycopene probably protect against prostate cancer. Moreover, there is evidence that this cancer-fighting potential is increased if tomatoes are consumed in a processed form that allows these natural compounds to be released and more easily absorbed, such as tomato sauce, tomato paste or tomato juice. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, together with a group of related compounds collectively called the “red family,” has displayed anti-cancer potential in a variety of laboratory studies. In the laboratory, tomato components have stopped the proliferation of several other cancer cell types, including breast, lung, and endometrial. From the American Institute for Cancer Research web-site. To learn more visit


Know how to move Circles in the sky

Pilates Workout Plan

For core, inner thighs, outer hips, butt

Lie on your back with hands behind your head. Contract abs, lifting upper body slightly off the ground. Raise right leg 5 inches (or keep it on the ground if that’s too challenging) and left leg straight up toward the sky (shown). Keeping your core engaged and hips stable, trace 4 softball-size circles clockwise with your entire left leg; reverse, circling 4 times counterclockwise. Lower both legs, switch sides, and repeat.

Easier than you think From Health Magazine

Incline plank

Ever caught yourself staring enviously at the toned abs and tight butt of the woman next to you in the produce section? Chances are, she’s getting help from Pilates.

For triceps, biceps, chest, core, quads, hamstrings, butt

Pilates is the workout to turn to for a flat tummy. A 2008 study found that Pilates mat exercises engage and strengthen the deeper ab muscles responsible for a sleek, flat stomach. But Pilates isn’t just about whittling your waistline: It can also give you exceptional whole-body toning and graceful posture, plus make your daily activities (like hoisting groceries) easier to do. Ready to get a Pilates body of your own? We’ve partnered with New York City–based expert Kristin McGee (her clients include LeAnn Rimes and Soledad O’Brien), shown here, to bring you the ultimate 20-minute Pilates workout. Do it three times a week for a month to drop up to 6 allover inches.

From a seated, feet-forward position, place hands on ground slightly behind waist, fingertips facing forward. Straighten both legs, pressing heels and palms into the ground, and contract abs while lifting hips up, forming a straight line from head to toe. Keep gaze forward and shoulders pressed down; don’t lock your elbows. Lift your left leg straight up as high as you can (shown), then lower it without allowing your right hip to sag. Do 4 reps; repeat on opposite side.

Donkey kickbacks For triceps, biceps, core, butt, hamstrings, back

Kneel on all fours, toes tucked under, keeping your back neutral. Draw your belly in toward your spine as you contract your abs and lift both knees about 2 inches off the ground. Keeping abs engaged, bring right knee to nose (shown). Then kick right leg straight out behind you, squeezing your butt (shown); keep lower abs contracted and hips facing the ground to protect your back. Repeat 8 times; switch legs and repeat.



Swan dive For triceps, shoulders, lower back; stretches abs, chest

Lie on your stomach, stretch your arms overhead, point your toes, and lift your arms and legs about 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 1 count, imagining your legs being pulled out and back, away from your hips. Next, circle your arms out to the sides and behind you. Exhale and reach your arms toward your toes, palms facing in (shown). Hold for 1 count, then bring arms back to starting position and relax entire body to ground. Repeat 6–8 times.

Side incline twist For triceps, biceps, chest, core, quads, hamstrings, butt

Lie on your right side with forearm directly under shoulder, hand perpendicular to your body, and legs stacked. Engage your abs and the right side of your waist, lifting your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Extend your left arm toward the sky, staying engaged through your core (shown). Now scoop your left arm in front of your body and reach under the space between your chest and the ground, twisting only from the waist up. Come back up; repeat 4 times, then lower body to the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

Charlie's Angels abs For triceps, lower abs, inner thighs, hips

From a seated, feet-forward position, lean your upper body back while contracting your abs. Straighten arms, interlacing all fingers except your index fingers. Lift knees, forming a tabletop with shins. Keep arms pointing forward and circle knees to the right, down, to the left, and up (shown); reverse direction. (If this is too challenging, place palms on floor behind you for support.) Complete 4 circles in each direction. Maintain a 120-degree bend in knees, straightening out as you circle through the 6 o’clock position. Continuously contract abs to protect lower back. Repeat 2–4 times.


Know how to quit

by Michael Kelly, PhD

Like most people, you already know that smoking cigarettes is harmful to one’s health and is a leading cause of cancer. When a large portion of the 22% of men and 15% of women smokers in Texas (about 15% of adults in El Paso are smokers) started smoking, they did so as a teenager or as a fearless young adult. They didn’t have the advantage of a lifetime of experience and knowledge informing their decision. I bet you don’t know many 40 or 50 year old adults saying, “Hey, smoking is a good idea. I think I’ll start.” Instead about 60% of adult smokers in El Paso try to quit smoking in a given year. For most, this isn’t their first quit attempt and it probably won’t be their last. Still, what is smoking? We all recognize the chain smoker or daily smokers. But about a third of El Paso smokers don’t smoke every day. They may smoke only on weekends, at a party, or other times. They are called “someday smokers” or “irregular smokers”. Of course, most people don’t smoke at all and never have. Most (84%) of El Paso smokers say they are confident they could quit. I wonder – if 60% of smokers say they are trying to quit and 84% report being confident they can quit, then why are people still smoking? The answer may be hard for most non-smokers to understand and accept. We likely know the person who just threw-down the package of cigarettes one day and said, “I quit” and has never had another cigarette. Now, who knows how many times that style of “cold turkey” quitting was attempted before it was successful? Most smokers make


Curb Your Smoking Enthusiasm several quit attempts before success. This is because smoking is tightly linked to daily routine, like smoking with coffee or while driving, and is chemically addictive. Even if someone quits smoking, a stressful life event may tempt them to, once again, pick up a cigarette; it can be like calling an old friend for comfort. Most people know that quitting smoking has documented health benefits. People who quit smoking after a heart attack are less likely to die within the next 10 years than those who continue to smoke. The risk of lung cancer among former smokers, after about 10 years of being smoke-free, is about half the risk of those who continue to smoke. A smoker who quits at age 55 years old increases life expectancy on average about five or six years. A smoke-free lifestyle also contributes to a better quality of life. No matter one’s age, quitting smoking has positive health benefits. Apart from personal health, there are other important reasons for quitting. For example, secondhand smoke, which is smoke from the lit end of a cigarette, damages the health of other people who are exposed. Children exposed to smoke are more likely to have respiratory infections, pneumonia, and ear infections. Quitting allows others in the home to breathe more freely. Quitting smoking shows strength and caring for the family. This is one time that being a quitter makes you a role model. Most people quit smoking on their own. But using help, like a nicotine replacement patch or calling the Quit Line, makes success more likely. If you have already quit, congratulations! If not, think about it. Set a date, like Ash Wednesday, a loved one’s birthday, or Independence Day, to quit. Announce your plans to quit, and ask family and friends to be supportive. Call the El Paso Quit Line at 534-QUIT. They will provide free help and counseling. Michael Kelly, PhD is a Senior Program Officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation

A distressing fact about smoking is that most individuals that are addicted to nicotine began during their teenage years. As part of our ‘New Year – New You” feature, we offer a few facts and tips to curb the inclination for teens to start smoking. If a teen you know has already begun, here are some handy tools to quit. A few alarming facts • Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. • More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents--the decision to smoke cigarettes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) • An estimated 2.1 million people began smoking on a daily basis in 1997. More than half of these new daily smokers were younger than age 18. This translates to more than 3,000 new youth smokers per day. The rate of youth initiation of daily smoking increased somewhat from 55.5 to 74.9 per 1,000 potential new users between 1991 and 1996, but remained level in 1997 (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.) • Nearly all first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation. • Most young people who smoke are addicted to nicotine and report that they want to quit but are unable to do so. • Tobacco is often the first drug used by young people who use alcohol and illegal drugs. • Among young people, those with poorer grades and lower self-images are most likely to begin using tobacco. • Over the past decade, there has been virtually no decline in smoking rates among all teens. Among black adolescents, however, the prevalence of smoking has declined dramatically.

• Young people who come from a lowincome family and have fewer than two adults living in their household are especially at risk for becoming smokers. Texans say “no” to teen smoking Texas Tobacco Laws • Possession, purchase or consumption by a minor under age 18 results in: -up to $250 fine (1st offense)-attend tobacco awareness programcommunity service • Minors who fail to attend & complete the program can lose their driver’s license for 6 months. Winning the War • Be aware of situations & feelings that give you the urges to use tobacco • Don’t even take a puff or dip. If you do, there is a good chance you’ll slip. • Try to spend less time with other tobacco users when you have the greatest urges. • Eat healthy snacks to keep your hands occupied. • Cinnamon flavored gums & mouthwash make tobacco taste too bad to use. • Drink water to help stop cravings. Make a Plan Plan ahead, decide how you will handle: • cravings • social situations. • for when you’re angry • for boredom. • for stress and/or depression. • Avoid situations that may make you have some of the feelings that you often deal with by using tobacco.

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Know how to be "When the body is totally deprived of food, the metabolism slows and life can be sustained for several weeks. However, when the body is totally deprived of oxygen, metabolism comes to a halt immediately and life can only be sustained for a few minutes. Does it not make common sense that the way we breathe dayto-day has the most dramatic effect on our body's health and metabolism than any other single process?" --Jill R. Johnson, Author "The Oxycise! System"

by Patty Tiscareño We don’t think about it; it just happens. Breathing is such a primary function of our body that we take its power for granted and often overlook that it is an amazing tool that we can both regulate and stimulate for better health. Take for instance, a situation where you find yourself angry, fearful or pressured. Notice how your breath will be fast, short and shallow when you are under stress and how you naturally take deeper, slower and longer breaths when you are in a peaceful or more relaxed state. Observe that when you breathe deeply, the chest expands and you can release inner tensions as you exhale. The simple act of breathing correctly can positively impact your respiratory, circulatory, and nervous and digestive systems, increase flexibility of movement and even make your skin more radiant. Optimal breathing can even help with the fight against the expanding waistline. In simple terms, the word "aerobic" means to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream to convert to fuel in order to burn fat. We have been programmed to

believe that aerobic means running or jumping, when in fact, optimal breathing techniques and exercises can flood the bloodstream with oxygen almost immediately and with far less damage to the knees! As we breathe, oxygen that is inhaled purifies our blood by removing poisonous waste products circulating throughout our blood systems. Irregular breathing will hamper this purification process and cause waste products to remain in circulation. Digestion will then become irregular, leaving tissues and organs undernourished. This improper consumption of oxygen will ultimately lead to fatigue and heighten tension throughout the body. By becoming aware of your breathing habits and making a concerted effort to change them, you will notice that you look and feel more rested. Proper deep breathing exercises should be performed while lying on the floor on a rug or blanket with your legs straight and slightly apart, your toes pointed comfortably outwards, arms at your sides not touching your body, palms up and eyes closed. Breathe through the nose, as the tiny hairs and mucous membranes

filter out dust and toxins from the inhaled air. Keep your mouth closed as your breathe. As you breathe, your chest and abdomen should move together. If only the chest seems to rise and fall, your breathing is shallow and you are not making good use of the lower part of your lungs. As you inhale you should feel your abdomen rising; it is as if your stomach is filing with air. As you exhale, the abdomen comes back in, like a balloon releasing all of its air. Continue until your breathing becomes rhythmic and comfortable. Find yourself yawning during the day? This is a sign that you are not getting enough oxygen. Take a few minutes at your desk to practice a relaxing sigh which will release a bit of tension and will help you relax. • Sit or stand up straight • Sigh deeply, letting out a sound of deep relief as the air rushes out of your lungs • Let new air come in naturally • Repeat the procedure eight to twelve times whenever you feel the need

The Clenched Fist exercise will help stimulate your breathing, circulation and nervous system. • Stand up straight, hands at your sides • Inhale and hold a complete natural breath as described above • Raise your arms out in front of you , keeping them up and relaxed • Gradually bring your hands to your shoulders. As you do, slowly contract your hands into fists so that when they reach your shoulders they are clenched as tight as possible • Keep the fists tense as you push your arms out straight again, very slowly. • Pull your arms back to your shoulder and straighten them out, fists tense, as fast as you can, several times. You might want to close your office door for the Humming Breath Exercise! • Sit up straight. Exhale • Inhale and, at the same time, relax the belly muscles. Feel as though the belly is filling with air. • After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand. • As you begin to slowly exhale, make a HUM sound for as long as possible. Pull your stomach muscles in, squeezing out a few more seconds of humming. Then relax. Practice for 2 to 3 minutes. According to breathing specialists, most people use only about twenty percent of their lung capacity. Couple that statistic with the fact that oxygen concentrations around most major cities have been measured as much as 30% below normal, most of us are bringing in less and less oxygen to our bodies. Because 70% of elimination from our bodies is through breathing, it isn’t rocket science to understand that we are allowing the accumulation of toxins that invite illness and disease. Make a new start and resolve to develop better breathing habits. Become aware of your breathing patterns and incorporate breathing exercise into your daily routine, like sitting in front of your computer. You will be amazed at the power you have to breathe your way into a healthier and happier life!

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation 10460 Vista del Sol Suite 101 El Paso, TX 79925


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