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THE NEWS YOU NEED | April 2011
Expanding Outreach Efforts »  Mushrooms for Cancer Prevention & Survival  » 21 Day Vegan Kickstart » Easter & Passover Brunch Menu » Honor a Someone Special with a Tribute Gift » Diet and Cancer in the News » New Food for Life Cooking Classes
Question of
the Month
Does sugar feed cancer cells?


Dear Cancer Project supporter,

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about radiation, the delicate balance of life, and the connectedness of our world. I realize that there couldn't be a better time in history to be consuming a plant-based diet. We know that plants have an amazing ability to build our immunity and maybe even protect us against radiation. Perhaps most importantly, since pollutants are known to accumulate and potentially become toxic the higher up on the food chain you go, then consuming foods at the lower trophic level (plants!) reduces your exposure to environmental contaminants. Add in the cancer-fighting, health-promoting, earth-sustaining, cost-effective features of this diet, and it becomes clear that this is the direction our civilization needs to head.

If you haven't given the 100 percent plant-based diet a fair chance, now is the time to try! Join the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart and read on for more Cancer Project news.

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

Expanding Outreach Efforts

The Cancer Project’s Food for Life Program continues to expand nationwide. This March, 16 new instructors and Educational Alliance Program (EAP) members joined the Food for Life team. The addition of these new instructors and EAP members will enable the cooking and nutrition class program to now be offered in the following new states: Delaware, Missouri, Rhode Island, Utah, and West Virginia, as well as in the cities of Ottawa, Ontario, and Waterville, Quebec in Canada. The new instructors and EAP members are eager to empower cancer survivors, friends, and family members with easy-to-implement cooking skills that turn every meal into a delicious dose of healthy nutrition. To find out if there is a class near you, please visit our class resource page. Please contact to learn more about becoming involved with teaching the Food for Life program or to bring classes to your community.


Mushrooms for Cancer Prevention and Survival

For centuries, Eastern medicine has explored the health benefits of mushrooms. Today, researchers are finding that certain properties in mushrooms appear to have anticancerous effects. In 2009, a study from southeast China found that women could reduce their risk of breast cancer by consuming a small amount of mushrooms. When the women in the study included green tea, their breast cancer risk decreased even more. Intake of fresh mushrooms (greater than or equal to 10 grams per day) and dried mushrooms (greater than or equal to 4 grams per day) decreased risk by 64 percent and 47 percent, respectively. The most commonly eaten mushroom in this study was the white button mushroom; one small white button mushroom weighs 10 grams.

So why mushrooms? Apparently mushrooms have multiple beneficial effects on the body that work synergistically to signal certain receptors, which then enhance the immune system. Extracts from certain species of mushrooms are now used pharmaceutically to combat diseases. Some antifungal proteins in mushrooms have been shown to inhibit enzymes that stimulate the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and have also shown to inhibit tumor cell proliferation. Beta-Glucans are a type of polysaccharide (long chains of glucose) found in mushrooms. These polysaccharide substances appear to stimulate the immune system.

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, mushrooms do not have to go though numerous trials in order to be found “safe.” Their ability to modulate the immune system is promising. The research is not perfect, but mushrooms (like many other plant foods) offer for a healthful option for breast cancer patients, survivors, and those looking for ways to prevent cancer.

Reishi mushrooms (rarely found in nature) contain more than 400 different bioactive compounds. Similar to the phytonutrients found in brightly colored plants, mushrooms offer multiple ways to protect the body from foreign invaders. For example, they promote anti-inflammatory responses, protect from chemo and radiation therapy, stimulate antihormonal responses, regulate sleep cycle, and contain potent antioxidants. Because of the various beneficial roles mushrooms exhibit, many nutritionists encourage increased mushroom intake. Shitake, portabella, and chanterelle mushrooms are some of the better known types available.

Wong JH, Ng TB, Cheung RC, et al. Proteins with antifungal properties and other medicinal applications from plants and mushrooms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010;87(4):1221-1235.

Ramberg JE, Nelson ED, Sinnott RA. Immunomodulatory dietary polysaccharides: a systematic review of the literature. Nutr J. 2010;9:54

Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Baghel RK, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. Ganoderma lucidum: a potent pharmacological macrofungus. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009;10(8):717-742.

Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, Holman CD. Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer. 2009;124:1404-1408.

Lull C, Wichers HJ, Savelkoul HF. Antiinflammatory and immunomodulating properties of fungal metabolites. Mediators Inflamm. 2005(2):63-80.


21-Day Vegan Kickstart

PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart began on April 4 and is designed to help you explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet! It’s not too late to sign up now to receive daily e-tips geared towards helping you on the path to weight loss, better health, and an overall greater well-being.

This free, online 21-day program includes: celebrity coaches providing guidance and inspiration, a 21-day meal plan with delicious, easy, and satisfying recipes, weekly motivational nutrition webcasts, social support of other Kickstart participants through a community forum, and much more!

What are you waiting for? Register today at!

Brunch Menu

Easter and Passover Brunch Menu

With Easter and Passover fast approaching, PCRM and The Cancer Project are overjoyed to bring you a delicious brunch menu that can be served on either occasion! Both occasions recognize food as an important part of the celebration. Whether or not you take part in Easter or Passover festivities, we have a variety of high-fiber, low-fat recipes that can be added and enjoyed with any of your meals. Preparing healthy meals together with family and friends gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and share in this special time. Take a peek at our special menu >>

Honor a Someone Special with a Tribute Gift

Making a donation to fight cancer is a meaningful way to honor a special person or occasion. A tribute gift to celebrate Mother’s Day, an upcoming birthday, or an important milestone in cancer recovery is a thoughtful way to mark the occasion and support the work of The Cancer Project to wipe out this disease. If you would like to make a gift in memory or in honor of a loved one, we will send a card to the family or honoree acknowledging your thoughtful donation. Click here to donate.

Diet and Cancer in the News

McCormick Spices for Life

Evaluating Plant-Based Nutrition for Disease Prevention
On Feb. 24, Cancer Project dietitian Joseph Gonzales, R.D., L.D., presented an evidence-based nutrition lecture, "Evaluating Plant-Based Nutrition for Disease Prevention," for McCormick & Company, Inc. Scientists and dietitians in McCormick’s Sensory Science Division gathered to learn about plant-based nutrition as they experienced a raw, vegan meal from a local caterer in Hunt Valley, Md. Attendees dined on live pizzas, healthy dips and spreads, and fresh salads with sprouted whole grains. Many of the 40 scientists were surprised that the live plant foods were flavorful and delicious. But more important than the delicious food was the peer-reviewed research accompanying their meal. Studies continue to be published touting the health benefits of plant foods. One of the world’s leading cancer organizations, the American Institute for Cancer Research, highly recommends plant foods, such as soy, broccoli, flax seeds, and whole grains, among others, for fighting cancer.

Some cancers can be greatly ameliorated by plant-based diets, and the overall benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet are tremendous. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and many other common health problems can often be prevented or reversed with a healthy lifestyle. It starts with an optimal diet full of the foods scientifically proven to help fight cancer, followed by a bit of physical activity and stress reduction (such as yoga, playing an instrument, or gardening). For more information on this presentation, you may contact Joseph Gonzales at

New Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition Classes for April 

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



Scottsdale: Blessed Sacrament Parish (04/26, 05/03, 05/10, 05/17)
Yuma: Yuma Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church (03/03, 03/10, 03/24, 03/31, 04/07, 04/14)
Yuma: Yuma Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church (05/05, 05/12, 05/19, 06/02, 06/09, 06/16)


Long Beach: St. Mary Medical Center (05/02, 05/09, 05/16, 05/23)
San Diego: Beauty Kliniek (04/21, 04/28, 05/05, 05/12)
San Diego: Cooking 4 Life, Inc. (05/09)
San Diego: Sharp Outpatient Pavilion (03/22, 03/29, 04/12, 04/19, 04/26, 05/03, 05/10)
Santa Cruz: New Leaf Community Markets (04/26, 05/03, 05/10, 05/17)


Bridgeport: St. Vincent's Medical Center (03/22, 04/26, 05/24)
Danbury: Praxair Cancer Center, Danbury Hospital (05/03, 05/10, 05/17)
Litchfield: The Litchfield Community Center (05/09, 05/16, 05/23, 06/01)
Waterbury: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Uconn (03/18, 03/25, 04/08, 04/15, 04/29, 05/06, 05/19)


Cape Coral: Lee Memorial Health System (04/05, 04/12, 04/19, 04/26)
Fort Myers: Mother Earth Natural Foods (04/04, 04/11, 04/18, 04/25)
Sarasota: Sarasota County Administration Center (04/25, 05/02, 05/09, 05/16)


Concord: The Wright Tavern for Spritual Renewal (03/23, 03/30, 04/06, 04/13)

North Dakota

Fargo: Skaff Apartments (05/03, 05/10, 05/17, 05/24)


Portland: Northwest Cancer Specialists (05/03, 05/10, 05/17, 05/24)


Ambler: Ambler Area YMCA (04/28, 05/05, 05/12, 05/19)
Pittsburgh: Whole Foods Market (04/04, 04/11, 04/18)
Pittsburgh: St. Clair Hospital (04/19)


Cedar Park: Chiro Fit Wellness Center (04/09, 04/16, 04/30)
Grand Prairie: First Baptist Church Grand Prairie (04/19, 04/26, 05/03, 05/10)
Grapevine: Unity Church in Grapevine (05/22)
Lewisville: TX Oncology (05/16, 05/23, 06/06, 06/13)


Arlington: Virginia Hospital Center (05/23)
Salem: Lewis-Gale Education Center (04/29)


Kennewick: Edison Elementary School (04/13)
Redmond: PCC Natural Market (04/01, 04/08, 04/15, 04/22)


Milwaukee: Whole Foods Market (05/05, 05/11, 05/18, 05/25)


Stoke on Trent: Healthier by Farr (04/21, 04/28, 05/05, 05/12)

The Cancer Project

Advancing cancer prevention and survival
through nutrition education and research.

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