Archive for February, 2008

Super Colon Zigzags Across the U.S. Visiting Communities Hardest Hit by Colon Cancer

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 26, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brandon Pinney
703-307-7328
Brandon.Pinney@preventcancer.org

Prevent Cancer Foundation Set to Commemorate March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In keeping with its theme for 2008’s National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March — Let’s Make Colon Cancer Preventable! Beatable! Treatable! For All Communities — the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s interactive Super Colon™ is making a special visit to eight communities across the country saddled with the highest burden of colon cancer.

The Foundation is partnering with Hope Through Grace Foundation to make Houston, TX, the first stop of the cross-country tour. Houston has the second largest Hispanic population and the third largest African American population. African Americans and Hispanics are often diagnosed with late stage colon cancer because these populations are less likely to undergo regular screening. Alaska Natives and Northern Plain Tribes have the highest colorectal cancer rates in the nation so the Super Colon will also visit Fairbanks, AK, and Indian Country in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Rounding out the tour, the Super Colon will also make stops in Wichita, Kan., Chicago, Ill., Omaha and Kearney, Neb., and the town of York in North Central Pennsylvania. The Let’s Make Colon Cancer Preventable! Beatable! Treatable! For All Communities tour is part of the Foundation’s larger 2008 colorectal cancer awareness efforts. The Super Colon tour will make a total of 22 stops throughout National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2008, the Super Colon will visit a record number of cities, over 70 stops are already in the works, doubling last year’s number!

The Foundation addresses colon cancer year round and will distribute 150,000 colon cancer Buddy Bracelets™ and English and Spanish awareness brochures to the public in the month of March alone. In addition, the Foundation is launching a special section on its Web site at:www.preventcancer.org/colorectal where the public can order education materials on the importance of colon cancer screening to share with family and friends and read answers from experts on topics as varied as who’s at risk and who should be screened for colon cancer, the role of diet and weight, and what “virtual” colonoscopy means.

Other National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month initiatives include the unveiling of the first public service announcement in a new public relations campaign spearheaded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation in conjunction with C-Change, a consortium comprised of the nation’s key cancer leaders from the government, business and nonprofit sectors, the National Ad Council and Edelman, a public relations firm. The campaign, called Check Your Status & REDUCE CANCER RISK, is composed of a series of ads serving as a reminder to get screened for each of the eight preventable cancers. The first advertisement in the series is for colon cancer and depicts a middle-aged Elvis impersonator in full garb next to the headline “Remember this?” Underneath the photo the text reads, “Then it’s time to get screened for colon cancer. Starting at 50, you can reduce your risk by talking to your doctor.” The campaign was undertaken as a means of highlighting the fact that although colon cancer is the second leading killer of men and women in terms of cancer deaths, the disease is 90% curable when detected early and everyone should get screened. People may view the advertisement and help raise awareness and fund pioneering colon cancer prevention research in 2008 by visiting our Web site at: www.preventcancer.org and signing-up to stay informed.

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About the Prevent Cancer Foundation
The mission of the Prevent Cancer Foundation is cancer prevention and early detection through research, education and community outreach to all populations, including children and the underserved.
www.preventcancer.org

About National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
In 2000, the Prevent Cancer Foundation partnered with champions in Congress to designate and commemorate the month of March as the very first National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

About the Super ColonTM
The Super Colon, an inflatable, 20 foot long, 8 foot high replica of a human colon, is an interactive educational tool that is teaching people all across America that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable! Visitors learn about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, prevention tips, risk for developing colorectal cancer, symptoms and treatment options.

Special thanks to our NCRCAM sponsors: Premier Benefactor — Bristol-Myers Squibb; Major Benefactor — Roche; and Benefactor — Amgen
Special thanks to our Let’s Make Colon Cancer Preventable! Beatable! Treatable! For All Communities sponsor:  sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC

Prevent Cancer Foundation Awards $720,000 in Research Grants

Monday, February 25th, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 25, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Juhi Kunde
703-837-3687
juhi.kunde@preventcancer.org

Research in Cancer Prevention is Vital to Developing a Body of Knowledge to Fight the Nation’s Second Leading Killer

(Alexandria, VA) – The Prevent Cancer Foundation awarded its latest round of research grants and fellowships. The nine successful projects were selected from a pool of 77 applications nationwide. Each proposal passed rigorous examination by the Foundation’s Scientific Review Panel before being approved for funding.

“As Federal support continues to shrink, the availability of funds from the Foundation continues to be highly significant in the further development of the careers of junior cancer prevention researchers,” notes Bernard Levin, M.D., co-chairman of the Foundation’s Scientific Review Panel and professor emeritus at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Fellowships:

  • Although African American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer compared to white women, their mortality rate is higher. Some African American women are diagnosed with tumors that are more aggressive and more difficult to treat. The Foundation is supporting Laura Fejerman, Ph.D., at the University of California, San Francisco, under the guidance of Elad Ziv, M.D., to improve the understanding of tumor variability among African American breast cancer patients.
  • By turning off one gene, HMGA1, researchers have found that human uterine cancercells seem to grow like normal cells. This finding and others suggest this gene is a promising target for preventive uterine cancer drugs. Scientists have identified agents, such as COX2-inhibitors and green tea extracts, that may block some HMGA1 pathways. The Foundation is funding Joelle Hillion, Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins University, to work under the guidance of Linda Resar, M.D., on a project investigating these novel agents to prevent uterine cancer via the HMGA1 pathway.

Grants:

  • Only a fraction of long-term smokers developing lung cancer; so the ability to focus screening efforts in a high-risk subgroup could have great potential. The Foundation is funding Olga Gorlova, Ph.D., of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in her efforts to estimate the benefit of lung cancer screening among high-risk individuals and to identify an optimal screening strategy for larger populations based on individual risk profiles.
  • Less than five percent of all cases of colon cancer can be attributed to known genetic mutations. Identifying and monitoring other genes involved in colon cancer may pave the way for early detection. The Foundation supports Courtney Gray-McGuire, Ph.D., at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in her efforts to locate a colon cancer susceptibility gene on chromosome nine.
  • There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that regularly including folate in the diet can reduce colorectal cancer risk. Folate is a key player in keeping DNA healthy, so it is likely that studying folate-dependent pathways will help identify new ways to prevent colorectal cancer. The Foundation is funding Zhenhua Liu, Ph.D., at Tufts University in Bedford, Mass., to examine folate-specific genetic pathways and early tumor growth and development.
  • People in underdeveloped countries, with a high risk of exposure to specific intestinal toxins from bacteria, seem to be protected from colorectal cancer. These toxins are known to potently activate guanylyl cyclase C, a protein inhibiting to intestinal tumor formation in mice. The Foundation is supporting Giovanni Pitari, M.D., Ph.D., at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, in his work to study the role of guanylyl cyclase C as a molecular target to prevent colorectal cancer.
  • Worldwide, as many as 500,000 people are diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, a common liver cancer, each year. The low five-year survival rate of 11 percent, as reported by the American Cancer Society in 2008, is likely because the cancer is identified in advanced stages, too late for effective treatment. The Foundation is funding Habtom Ressom, Ph.D., of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to identify biomarkers for the early detection of liver cancer.
  • The vast majority of adults who smoke picked up their first cigarettes during their teenage years. By the time they turned 18, they were regular smokers with a growing risk of lung cancer. By understanding factors that keep adolescents from beginning to smoke and progressing to regular smoking habits, more effective and practical smoking prevention programs can be developed. The Foundation is funding Daniel Rodriguez, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, to examine the effect of “antismoking parent practices” on adolescent smoking.
  • Oral cancer often goes unrecognized until its late stage where surgery can be less successful and more disfiguring. Most patients with oral cancer first had oral lesions which then became cancerous. But not all lesions are a sign of cancer: only 18 percent ever become cancerous. Differentiating between these types of lesions at an early stage could be key to saving lives. The Foundation is funding Xiaofeng Zhou, Ph.D., at the University of Illinois – Chicago, to identify the biomarker differences between the oral lesions that become cancerous and those that do not.

“I am delighted that our organization has chosen to support the research of these highly qualified scientists. Our hope is that our grants and fellowships will open the doors to additional innovative studies and to deeper understanding of cancer prevention and early detection,” says Carolyn Aldigé, president and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Since 1985, the Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to more than 300 early-career scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. The Foundation’s vigorous grants and fellowships selection process is similar to the process used at the National Institutes of Health.

Research proposals are reviewed by members of the distinguished Scientific Review Panel, drawn from institutions such as the National Cancer Institute, Georgetown University, Lombardi Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, Johns Hopkins Cancer Center and the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation Board of Directors approves funding twice a year for grants and fellowships to promising scientists who are doing remarkable work in fighting cancer.  Selected grants and fellowships will receive $40,000 a year for two years.

For the current year, the deadlines for submitting proposals are February 28, 2008 and September 14, 2008. Visit www.preventcancer.org for details.

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Editor’s Note:
To view a videotaped interview with Dr. Bernard Levin, co-director of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Scientific Review Panel, about the importance of funding researchers in the area of cancer prevention, or to learn more about our research funding process and program, visit www.preventcancer.org.

About Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation (formerly the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation) was started in 1985 when Founder and President Carolyn Aldigé first understood the power of prevention to defeat cancer – and recognized that too few of the country’s resources were used to promote cancer prevention research or education. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence.

Since its inception the Foundation has provided more than $97 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research and education programs. The Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to more than 300 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.

Video and Guide Promote Teen Breast Health Breast Cancer Strikes African American Community

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 21, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brandon Pinney
703-837-3688
brandon.pinney@preventcancer.org


Breast Cancer Strikes African American Community

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Advocating for one’s health is something that the Prevent Cancer Foundation (formerly the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation) and Howard University Cancer Center have encouraged for seven years through a collaborative effort in Washington, D.C., known as Project Early Awareness. Based on this experience, both organizations are proud to release “Breast Health Education for Young Women,” a facilitator’s guide and educational video that are designed to promote lifelong good breast-health habits for young women, particularly women of color. These materials are designed for nation-wide use in urban school and community group settings.

“We know these materials can increase awareness and knowledge about breast cancer among young urban women and teach them valuable skills that they can put into practice. Furthermore, they can take life-saving information home to their mothers, aunts and grandmothers to encourage them to get screened for breast cancer,” said Carolyn Aldigé, Prevent Cancer Foundation president and founder.

Nationally, the breast cancer mortality rate for African American women is 34.4 per 100,000, according to 2007 estimates. In comparison, the rate is 25.4 per 100,000 for white women. Recent statistics show that African American women are much less likely to survive five years, primarily due to later detection of the disease which leads to a more advanced stage upon diagnosis.

One Face of Breast Cancer
Cheryl Holmes described herself as “happy and accomplished,” before breast cancer entered her life. Diagnosed at age 35 with Stage 1 breast cancer, Cheryl is a supporter of Project Early Awareness and suggests that self awareness and technology go together in detecting cancer, be it a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI. “I discovered my lump,” she said, explaining that the discovery has encouraged her to live a more purposeful life, spend more time with friends and family and pursue her life’s goals.

During three dozen radiation treatments, she faced many questions and misconceptions.  Cheryl decided to be very open with everyone and encouraged others to examine their breasts for lumps and stay aware of their bodies. “I want women of all ages to know that if they detect a lump, they should be courageous and tell their medical professional that they’d like careful examination.”

Early Education is Key: Video and Facilitator’s Guide
The “Breast Health Education for Young Women” video and facilitator’s guide are designed for use with high school girls and may be integrated into school curricula or used by youth group and community center health educators.

Video
The 14-minute educational video includes facts about breast cancer, a demonstration of a breast self-exam, an overview of mammography, treatment options and survivor stories. The video is available in DVD and VHS formats and may be ordered for the cost of shipping and handling at www.preventcancer.org.

Facilitator’s Guide
Health educators, teachers and group leaders can use the facilitator’s guide to provide skills-based breast health education with groups. The guide contains instructions for facilitating interactive activities, including a discussion of the video, a demonstration and practice of breast self-exams using breast models, a critical thinking exercise, role play, and more.  Information on how the activities may be used to meet national or international educational content standards is also contained in the guide. Among the resources provided are a glossary, frequently asked questions, and sample tests, letters, and forms that will be helpful in implementing a breast health education program. The guide can be downloaded or may be ordered for the cost of shipping and handling at www.preventcancer.org.

The video and guide were developed for national distribution and are based on “Project Early Awareness: A Breast Health Education Program for High School Girls.” Established in 2001 at Howard University in partnership with the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the program was created to help reduce breast health disparities in Washington, D.C., which has the highest state-level breast cancer mortality rates in the country. Since its inception, the program has reached over 2,700 female high school students in the District of Columbia.

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Editor’s Notes:
• For more information on Project Early Awareness, or to interview Carolyn Aldigé or Cheryl Holmes, please contact Brandon Pinney at 703-837-3688 orbrandon.pinney@preventcancer.org.
• Copies of the video or images of the video are available upon request.

The mission of the Prevent Cancer Foundation is cancer prevention and early detection through research, education and community outreach to all populations, including children and the underserved.
www.preventcancer.org

The mission of the Howard University Cancer Center is to reduce the burden of cancer and to eliminate cancer-related health disparities among African-Americans and other underserved populations through education, research and state-of-the-art treatment.
http://cancer.howard.edu

Prevent Cancer Foundation Teams Up With Revolution Health to Deliver Cancer Prevention Message to Larger Online Audience Prevent Cancer: Start YOUR Revolution!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 13, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Susanne Hartman
703-837-3692
susanne.hartman@preventcancer.org

Prevent Cancer: Start YOUR Revolution!

ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 13, 2008 — The Prevent Cancer Foundation has become a nonprofit partner with RevolutionHealth.com to create a larger avenue for the delivery of vital cancer prevention information. RevolutionHealth.com is the cornerstone of Revolution Health Network, one of the most trafficked health destinations on the Internet. The Prevent Cancer Foundation — the only organization dedicated to the prevention of cancer since 1985 — now has a permanent space on RevolutionHealth.com which includes information about the organization and its mission as well as recent news about ongoing efforts to prevent cancer through research, education and community outreach. The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s partnership with Revolution Health provides a combination of vital health information, tools, communities and services in one online location.

“We share a common goal with Revolution Health to empower others to take control of their health and wellness so they can lead better, healthier lives,” explains Jan Bresch Mahrer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “This is a win-win for both of us as it broadens the online route for anyone looking for information about preventing cancer.”

“We share with our nonprofit partners a passion for bringing to consumers trusted information about medical conditions and emotional support to those dealing with them,” said Dominick Kennerson, M.H.S.A., Director of Nonprofit Partnerships for Revolution Health. “We are helping to accomplish this by delivering valuable information about relevant nonprofit organizations, including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, on RevolutionHealth.com.”

Recent research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that Americans are indeed looking online for health information:

  • Approximately 80 percent of American internet users, or some 113 million adults, have searched for information on at least one of 17 health topics.
  • Certain groups of internet users are the most likely to have sought health information online: women, internet users younger than 65, college graduates, those with more online experience, and those with broadband access at home.
  • Almost half of health seekers say their quest for information was undertaken on behalf of someone else, not themselves.
  • Roughly three-fourths of health seekers say they felt reassured that they could make appropriate health care decisions after their last search.
  • A majority of health seekers said they felt confident to raise new questions with their doctor, relieved or comforted by the information they found online, or eager to share their new knowledge with others.

Beyond information, Revolution Health also provides interactive tools to calculate your health informationtrack health statistics over time and assess your overall risk for major diseases including cancer. Also, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is teaming up with Revolution Health to create a group dedicated to preventing cancer — where you can set and track the progress of common goals, interact with our experts in the field, and connect with others who want to prevent cancer — ultimately providing an outlet to share experiences, suggest solutions, and inspire each other.

Mahrer adds, “RevolutionHealth.com is providing us with a new and robust forum to share our information, resources, expertise and essentially ‘our voice’ to a very large online audience, many of whom who are craving the latest information on how to live cancer free.”

The Prevent Cancer Foundation is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to the prevention of cancer. There are currently eight known cancers that can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. They are: breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers.

About Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation (formerly the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation) was started in 1985 when Founder and President Carolyn Aldigé first understood the power of prevention to defeat cancer — and recognized that too few of the country’s resources were used to promote cancer prevention research or education. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence.

Since its inception the Foundation has provided more than $97 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research and education programs. The Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to more than 300 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.

About Revolution Health
Revolution Health Group LLC was created by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case to create products and services that empower people by putting them at the center of the health system. The flagship of the company is RevolutionHealth.com, which was recently named the Best Overall Internet Health Site by the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. The free consumer health and medical web site marries expert content and online tools with the power of social networking. RevolutionHealth.com is part of Revolution Health Network which also includes CarePages.com, SparkPeople.com, drugstore.com and HealthTalk.com. Revolution Health also offers premium services that enable companies to provide health content and customized online tools to their employees, including customized portals, employee wellness incentives and telephonic services.

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