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Dear Cancer Project supporter,
Every February, I remember a young woman who passed away several years ago, at this time of year. She was too young to die of cancer. All of her life, she ate the standard American diet—lots of meat and fast food—and did not have the time or energy to think much about food choices. After her passing, her mother began investigating the link between diet and cancer and discovered the incredible body of scientific evidence linking meat-heavy diets to colorectal cancer. Turning tragedy into hope, she now has become one of our biggest supporters and advocates for plant-based diets.
Every person who we teach in our Food for Life program comes away with a tremendous choice about whether or not to follow the dietary recommendations. My hope is that you will make health-promoting choices every day—at the market, at a restaurant, in the kitchen, anywhere that you can choose low-fat, plant-based, whole foods—for yourself and your family. As far as we know, we only have one life, so let’s take care of this amazing body!
Bring the Food for Life Program to Your Community: Become an Instructor or Educational Alliance Program Member
Since 2001, The Cancer Project has been delivering our Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking for Cancer Prevention and Survival program to educate the public on how and why to eat nutritiously to fight cancer. Reaching more than 160 cities in the United States, the program is also now available in Canada, Panama, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In our ongoing effort to spread this vital nutrition information, this spring we will conduct another live training for new instructors and Educational Alliance Program (EAP) members to teach the program in their communities.
We are seeking to expand the Food for Life into areas where we do not currently have instructors and will place priority on applicants from these locations: Mesa, Ariz.; Land O’Lakes, Fla.; Norris, Ill.; Springfield, Mo.; Alex, Okla.; Virginia Beach, Va. Additionally, educational, medical, culinary, and faith-based institutions are encouraged to join the EAP and to add the Food for Life program to their institutions’ program offerings. Accepted instructor and EAP applicants will participate in the spring 2011 New Food for Life Instructor and Educational Alliance Program Member Training held on March 28-30, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The deadline to apply to attend the spring 2011 training is Feb. 16.
To learn about becoming a Food for Life Instructor and to apply, visit CancerProject.org/careers/cooking_instructors.php. Find out more about the Educational Alliance Program and complete a membership application at CancerProject.org/edu.
Survivor Story Highlight: Kris Carr
After being diagnosed with cancer, as part of her healing process, Kris Carr found the power of food as medicine. Not only did she decide to make the change to a vegan diet, she decided to film herself going through the treatment process. Her documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, gained worldwide attention. Now, two books later and the founder of an award-winning online magazine, she brings more hope and information than ever in her new book, Crazy Sexy Diet.
Kris recently shared with The Cancer Project the story of her personal cancer journey and the invaluable role that plant-based nutrition played in her fight to beat the disease:
“In 2003, when I was 31 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare and incurable stage IV cancer. At the time, I was given ten years to live and told to learn how to deal with it. And deal with it I did. I scoured the planet looking for the best lifestyle for longevity. I found my wellness plan in the plant-based diet. My goal was to learn how to make energy deposits instead of constant withdrawals. I wanted to feel better, have more energy and truthfully, to be happier.
It's been eight years since I was diagnosed, and though I still have cancer, I am happier and healthier than ever before. My disease remains stable, we co-exist peacefully together. Staying well is a revolutionary act. Prevention is the cure and we need to teach and empower people to grab the reigns and participate in their wellbeing.”
To see a clip of Kris’s recent TV appearance, visit Good Morning America.
Today is the Perfect Time to Join or Renew Your PCRM Membership
As you have already read, PCRM’s The Cancer Project has ambitious plans for 2011. But we need your help to make them a reality, by joining or renewing your PCRM membership for 2011 today.
PCRM depends on the generosity of people like you so that we can continue our award-winning programs to educate more people how to prevent and survive cancer. With your help we will expand our cooking and nutrition courses, develop new programs and online resources, and even fight against companies and government policies that fail to put people’s health above corporate profits.
Your tax-deductible membership gift will include a one-year subscription to PCRM’s quarterly journal, Good Medicine, and discounts for selected Food for Life classes and other events. But most importantly, you will be making a difference in the lives of people like you who want to do everything they can to prevent and survive cancer.
Heart Healthy Menu on this Valentine's Day
The Cancer Project is delighted to share with you a Heart Healthy Menu on this Valentine's Day holiday. The menus you prepare at home on special holidays don't have to mean indulging in heavy meals with high levels of fat, salt, and sugar. The key is to incorporate fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables into your recipes and to keep your recipes simple. Treat your loved ones to a day of delicious, health promoting dishes sure to spark their taste buds. Start cooking! >>
Diet and Cancer in the News
Nutrition and Cervical Cancer: Focus on Antioxidants
January was National Cervical Cancer Awareness month, a time for women to remember the power of good nutrition for cancer prevention. Researchers have known for years that certain micronutrients help protect women from cervical cancer. A study from 2008 found eating more fruits, vegetables, and fiber may lead to reduced cervical cancer risk. In the study, women with higher intakes of vitamin A, C, and E had roughly a 50 percent decreased risk, compared to women who consumed the least. More recent studies from 2010 confirmed the protective effects of vitamins A, C, and E—those who consumed the most of these vitamins from food sources had the most protection.
Rich sources of vitamins A, C, and E stem from whole fruits and vegetables. Red peppers, oranges, and cooked Brussels sprouts are very high in vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables containing vitamin E include blueberries, kiwis, broccoli, pumpkin, and tropical fruits like mango. Vitamin A is formed when beta-carotene is consumed and some of the best sources are carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale.
The impact of plant foods on reducing cancer risk is remarkable. Even when immunity is down, and women are at risk for certain infections, nutrition still plays its role. For example, women with human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are at increased risk of cervical cancer. The development of cancer from HPV comes in stages: one must acquire HPV, the virus persists, development of HPV-induced lesions, and finally progression to cervical cancer. Although unpleasing, the good news is that diet has been shown to significantly reduce risk of developing cervical cancer in women with HPV. A new study found women who consumed plenty of antioxidants from fruits, specifically papaya and oranges, had a large decrease in the progression of lesions. Antioxidants in particular were α-carotene, which are found in pumpkins and carrots, and ß-cryptoxanthin, which can be found in pumpkin, sweet red peppers, and papaya.
Every day you can build an antioxidant-rich diet by including an array of colorful fruits and veggies. Also remember to fill up your power plate with legumes and whole grains, which have powerful antioxidants. Consider this Cancer Project recipe favorite: Mango Salsa—use this delicious topping to spice up a burrito, salad, or even some basic rice and beans.
Kim J, Kim MK, Lee JK, et al. Intakes of vitamin A, C, and E, and beta-carotene are associated with risk of cervical cancer: a case-control study in Korea. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(2):181-9.
Siegel EM, Salemi JL, Villa LL, Ferenczy A, Franco EL, Giuliano AR.
Dietary consumption of antioxidant nutrients and risk of incident cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Gynecol Oncol. 2010;118(3):289-94.
The Cancer and Diabetes Connection
An estimated 25.8 million children and adults in America have diabetes, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2008, the figure was 23.6 million. About one in four is unaware of the condition. An additional 79 million now have pre-diabetes, 22 million more than estimated in 2008. The United States’ diabetes epidemic raises concern for health professionals focused on cancer prevention. People with diabetes have up to twice the risk of developing liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers, compared to the risk for people who do not have diabetes, according to a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Cancers of the colon, rectum, bladder, and breast are also more common among people with diabetes. The reason for the increased risk is unknown but may be due to similar risk factors for both diseases, such as obesity and older age. However, the link may also be from diabetic complications like high blood sugar, high blood insulin, inflammation, or altered hormone regulation, all having the potential to increase cancer risk. This report from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society suggests that a high intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low intake of processed and red meats are associated with lower cancer risk.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.
Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, et al. Diabetes and Cancer: A Consensus Report. CA Cancer J Clin. Published ahead of print June 16, 2010. doi: 10.3322/caac.20078
New Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition Classes for February
See a full class schedule and to register visit here >>