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THE NEWS YOU NEED | October 2010
StayClassy Classy Award Winner » The Cancer Project Speaks at New York VegFest 2010 » Survivor Story Highlight: Marlene Marcello » Thanksgiving Meal Plan  » Diet and Cancer in the News » New Food for Life Cooking Classes

Dear Cancer Project supporter,

Autumn reminds me that change is always occurring around and within us, whether we like it or not! Although we may not notice them at first, suddenly the accumulation of small changes manifest—as a grandeur of fall colors, or the billows of breath in strikingly cold air. Likewise, the daily small choices in our lives accumulate and manifest in ways we may not realize immediately. The reality is that each new day presents an opportunity to awaken to a renewed realization of the choices before us—however big or small—such as the foods we consume, the products we support with our purchases, and the gratitude we can embrace for all that we already have in our lives.

This year has provided many opportunities for The Cancer Project: We’ve embarked on many speaking engagements and awareness campaigns across the country. Our Food for Life program is now award winning! Health professionals and laypersons alike are converting to plant-based diets for disease prevention. Read on for more great news this November!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm wishes,
Lauray MacElhern, Managing Director
Lauray MacElhern
Managing Director


StayClassy Classy Award Winner: The Cancer Project as Best Awareness Campaign

Thanks to you and thousands of PCRM supporters like you, The Cancer Project is now Washington, D.C.'s most effective awareness campaign for 2010! We're so proud of this accomplishment, as we can now say Food for Life is our "award-winning" nutrition program for cancer prevention and survival. Although we didn't win the national round of competition where we competed against other citywide winners from Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco, we made a very strong showing. Again, thank you for all your support.

Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

The Cancer Project Speaks at New York VegFest 2010

On Oct. 23, Cancer Project dietitian Joseph Gonzales, R.D., was greeted by festival goers during the second annual NYC VegFest at Union Square Park. Gonzales' lecture began by dispelling typical misconceptions about vegetarian diets and went into the latest studies showing how plant-based nutrition is considered healthful in every stage of life. There are many reasons why individuals choose a plant-based diet. Although environmental and ethical reasons for diet change are very important to consider, The Cancer Project relies on nutritional science to pave the way. New Yorkers learned about plant-based nutrition and how diet and lifestyle can decrease cancer rates by up to 80 percent. Using peer-reviewed studies and research from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society, Gonzales ensured that participants understood exactly how their food choices directly influence cancer risk. He also pointed out that the same diet that works for cancer prevention also works for helping control blood sugar, hypertension, obesity, allergies, heart disease, and many other common ailments. For more information on this presentation, you may contact Joseph Gonzales at

Marlene M. Marcello

Survivor Story Highlight: Marlene Marcello

I was diagnosed with Stage Four malignant melanoma on March 19, 1986, and given less than a year to live. At 40 years old, I was married, a mother of four (ages 20, 17, 12, and 9), and a successful investment executive. With everything to live for, I was stunned when I heard the diagnosis.

The story of my cancer journey begins in 1984, after my surgeon and my dermatologist both announced that my cancer was in Stage Three—that meant it could metastasize to other parts of my body. Within months, I had a subsurface lump appear on my neck, not far from the site of the original mole. After following the lump's progression, my doctors suggested that I have a section of lymph nodes removed. No chemotherapy or radiation was recommended.

Everything appeared stable for about a year, until in 1985, I started experiencing severe weight loss, dizzy spells, and extreme discomfort. This time the cancer had spread to my small intestines and abdominal cavity, which meant that the chance of my survival was dramatically shortened. Totally emaciated, I had eight blood transfusions in the early months of 1986 and then underwent three and a half hours of surgery in March, 1986. I discovered later that I had not been expected to survive the surgery! But that certainly wasn't the end of my cancer journey.

Read the whole story here...

A Healthy Thanksgiving Meal Plan is Here!

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to try new and healthy recipes on family and friends. The Cancer Project has a variety of high-fiber, low-fat recipes that can be added to your Thanksgiving spread. The key is to incorporate fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables into your recipes and to keep your recipes simple. For a sneak preview into our Thanksgiving Menu, please click here.

Creative Fundraising in Berkeley: Forks Over Knives Screening
More than 200 people gathered in Berkeley, Calif., for a screening of the new documentary Forks Over Knives. This screening not only raised awareness of the link between diet and cancer, but also served as a benefit for The Cancer Project, thanks to the generous support of Carl Myers, M.D., Jean Myers, and the staff of Nature's Express, who catered the event. It is only through these types of efforts that our organization will be able to carry on its important mission. To share your creative fundraising ideas, please contact Debbi Miller at

Diet and Cancer in the News

Time for Pancreatic Cancer Prevention
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. More than 95 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer experience less than a five year survival rate. Researchers are now exploring the relationship between time and changes in genetic factors that influence carcinogenesis. This research will help develop tools for detecting pancreatic cancer earlier, when treatment can be more effective. It takes roughly 12 years for the first cancer cell to develop, seven years for it to grow and spread, and about three years to lead to mortality. Although pancreatic cancer is often hard to detect early enough to be treated there are preventative steps to reduce risk.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce pancreatic caner risk. Studies have found that frequent meat consumption can double the risk, while simple carbohydrate intake (e.g., table sugar, white potatoes, honey) and other foods high on the glycemic index also increase risk. It is uncertain why cancer risk varies depending on dietary patterns, but researchers suspect insulin resistance plays a role.

Since diabetes accelerates cancer risk, it is very important to keep blood sugars under control. Maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active (walking, gardening), and incorporating a wide variety of fibrous plant foods can help achieve optimal health. Specific micronutrients found helpful for reducing risk include foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, and potassium.

Yachida S, Jones S, Bozic I, et al. Distant metastasis occurs late during the genetic evolution of pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2010;467(7319):1114-7.

Rossi M, Lipworth L, Polesel J, et al. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load and risk of pancreatic cancer: a case-control study. Ann Epidemiol. 2010;20(6):460-465.

Polesel J, Talamini R, Negri E, et al. Dietary habits and risk of pancreatic cancer: an Italian case-control study. Cancer Causes Control. 2010;21(4):493-500.

PCRM Needs Your Help to Alert the Public of the Dangers of Processed Meat
PCRM plans to file lawsuits in Connecticut and California protecting children and adults from fraudulent business practices in which restaurants do not warn about the increased risk of cancer from eating processed meats.

A comprehensive report recently released by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund concludes that processed meats increase one’s risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent for every 50 grams consumed daily. A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of a typical hot dog.

In order to bring this lawsuit, we need your help. We need to find parents who purchased restaurant meals containing processed meats for themselves and/or their children without knowing about the increased cancer risk. For example, the Denny’s Kids Menu, IHOP “Just For Kids” menu, Dairy Queen Kids’ Meal, and Nathan’s Kids Meal all include meals with substantial amounts of processed meats. We would like to include, as plaintiffs, any children whose parents are willing to participate in this lawsuit.

This lawsuit will raise public awareness about the unseen, unhealthful properties of processed meats for both adults and children. The primary relief sought in this lawsuit is warnings to consumers.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping, please contact PCRM at or 202-527-7370.

New Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition Classes for November 

See a full class schedule and to register visit here >>



Yuma: Yuma Central Seventh-day Adventist Church (11/18, 12/02, 12/09, 12/16)
Phoenix: The Wellness Community (12/02, 12/09, 12/16)


Fullerton: Happy Cooking (11/18, 11/25, 12/09, 12/16)
San Diego: A & O Lifestyle Cooking (11/30)


Kalamazoo: West Michigan Cancer Center (11/22, 11/29, 12/06)
Novi: Assarian Cancer Center (11/16, 11/23, 11/30)


Portland: National College of Natural Medicine Clinic (11/18, 12/02, 12/09, 12/16)


Pittsburgh: UPMC Shadyside Center for Integrative Medicine (11/18, 12/02, 12/09)


Fort Worth: Westside UU Church (11/20)
Irving: Irving Cancer Center (11/17)
Irving: Irving Cancer Center (11/24)


Milwaukee: Whole Foods Market (11/17, 11/22)



Akron: Mustard Seed Market (11/18)
Dayton: Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking (11/20)

The Cancer Project

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