Research for a Cure Archives - NFCR

Research for a Cure

8 Proactive Cancer-Preventing Pointers

Over 14 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer this past year, according to the World Health Organization. And the numbers are expected to increase by 70% over the next 20 years. [1] With cancer continuing to affect the lives of so many people, it’s important to understand what steps we can take to prevent or reduce cancer risk.

Quick stats:

  • Research has shown that at least 1/3 of all cancer cases are preventable. [2]
  • Last year, over 1.6 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer – that means more than 500,000 cases could have been avoided. [3]
  • Scientists are actively studying different ways to help prevent cancer, including changes in diet and lifestyle, chemoprevention (medicines that treat precancerous conditions or keep cancer from starting) and much more. Read about related work by NFCR-funded scientists Dr. Helmut Sies and Dr. Michael Sporn.

1. Stop smoking

no more smokingA single cigarette contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 70 cancer-causing chemicals. [4]  Research has linked smoking with 14 different types of cancer including lung, colon, pancreatic, liver, esophageal, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, stomach, cervical and rectal caners, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

Quitting reduces your risk even if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies or free support systems that can help you quit. Also, avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible – it can be just as damaging as personally smoking.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of many serious health conditions, including cancers.

To control weight gain, eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life can lower your risk of breast, uterine, prostate, lung, colon, kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, gallbladder and thyroid cancers. [5]

 3. Know your family history

family history formApproximately 5 to 10% of all cancers are considered hereditary, which means you may be at greater risk for some cancers if you have a personal or family history of cancer or certain diseases. [6] Genetic counseling and testing may be recommended for people with a strong family history of cancer. Click here for more information on genetic testing.

4. Practice safe sunning

Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones are at risk as well. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin on cloudy, overcast or winter days when there is no sunshine. It’s good to use sunscreen every day – even durisafe sunningng the winter months.

Also avoid indoor tanning salons. Research has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Even one indoor tanning session can increase users’ risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell carcinoma by 29%. [7]

 5. Limit your alcohol intake

Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it’s also not risk-free. Excessive alcohol use can cause liver damage, heart problems and increases your risk of breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx and liver cancers. [8]

To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer: On average, men should not consume more than two drinks per day and women should not consume more than three drinks per week.

 6. Limit red and processed meats

Research shows that people who eat more red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meats (like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and salami) have a higher risk of developing colorectal and prostate cancers. [9] Although there is not scientific consensus, the observed increased risk may be explained by high iron and fat content in red meat and/or the salt and nitrates in processed meat.

Need some red meat alternatives? Try some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes tonight like Rainbow Salsa (with grilled fish or chicken) and Pumpkin Soup (with a Garlic, Kale and Sesame Topping).

7. Get moving every day

get moving every dayStudies conclusively show that exercise helps relieve stress, weight gain and reduces cancer- related risks. It can even help cancer survivors live longer! So get out there and dance, run, bike or walk. Exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes every day has many benefits.

8. Schedule your screenings

Regular cancer screenings help with early detection and prevention. Screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical and uterine cancer, body checks for skin cancer and more. Talk to your doctor to see what screenings are appropriate for you given your family history, age and lifestyle choices. For more information on cancer screenings, please refer to our Cancer Detection Guidelines.


Preventative Cancer Research

The best way to reduce the number of patients dying from cancer is to prevent the disease from developing in the first place. That’s why NFCR-sponsored researchers have been investigating links between nutrition and cancer as well as drug development to prevent cancer for decades. 

dr siesScientist Dr. Helmut Sies¸ whose work was funded by NFCR, discovered the antioxidant lycopene, a micronutrient found in tomatoes and other foods. Lycopene has strong skin cancer prevention effects. Today, his research is focused on selenium, a trace metal found in certain foods that is essential for good health. There is evidence that selenium improves human health and helps prevent cancer – specifically colon cancer – and Dr. Sies has been researching the molecular basis for this.

*Prevention tip: Read how to add selenium to your diet

 


dr spornDr. Michael Sporn, whose work was supported by NFCR, is known as the “Father of Chemoprevention” because his research led to the development of several synthetic triterpenoid compounds, which are a new class of chemical agents with potent preventative effects against several types of cancer, including breast, lung and pancreatic cancers. For individuals with a family history or are otherwise at high risk of developing these diseases, the promising results of Dr. Sporn’s research offers hope that their chances of developing cancer may be dramatically reduced by the use of chemoprevention.

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7 Cancer-Fighting New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of each new year, almost half of adults in North America resolve to better themselves in some way. From spending more time with family and friends to saving money to losing weight, New Year’s Resolutions are often made with the best of intentions but can be challenging to keep. In fact, studies show that more than 20% of resolutions are broken after the first week, 40% are broken after one month and 60% after six months.[1] YIKES!

In honor of 2017, we’ve put together seven cancer-fighting resolutions that are worth fighting to keep. If you can’t commit to all seven, simply pick one or two and stick with them. Your body will thank you.

1. Give your body the nutrients it needs.  

What you eat – and don’t eat – has a powerful effect on your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your body with certain foods is key. A few simple changes to your diet can make a big difference in how you look and feel – and can also help lower your risk of cancer.

Add superfoods to your diet.
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that contain large doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
* Add dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli and kale to your salads and omelets.
* Snack on a handful of raw almonds or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of a bag of chips.
* Also, check out some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes using superfoods.

Replace one processed item a day with real food.
* Grab an apple or an orange instead of cookies.
* Substitute cucumbers and baby carrots for crackers. Dip them hummus for a tasty treat.
* Replace soda with a glass of water or sparkling water. Water helps your body get rid of toxins that put you at risk for diseases like cancer.

2. Schedule your screenings.

Regular cancer screenings help with early detection and prevention of cancer. Screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical and uterine cancer, body checks for skin cancer and more. Talk to your doctor to see what screenings are appropriate for you given your family history, age and lifestyle choices. For more information on cancer screenings, see NFCR’s Cancer Detection Guidelines.

3. Use sunscreen every day (even during the winter months).  

Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones are at risk as well. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin on cloudy, overcast or winter days where there is no sunshine. Sunscreen also helps prevent premature aging.

4. Get moving every day.  

Studies conclusively show that exercise helps relieve stress, weight gain and reduces cancer-related risks. It can even help cancer survivors live longer. So, get out there and dance, run, bike or walk. Exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes every day has so many benefits.

5. Reduce your alcohol intake.

Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it’s also not risk-free. Excessive use can cause liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer: On average, men should not consume more than 2 drinks per day and women should not consume more than 3 drinks per week.

6. Quit smoking. 

Smoking harms nearly every organ and organ system in the body. It can also cause 14 different types of cancer. If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung can be up to 25 times higher than someone who never smoked. Quitting reduces your risk, even if you’ve smoked for years.


7. Travel the world with Fly to Find a Cure.


Fly to Find A Cure
 is an NFCR program aimed at raising funds to accelerate vital cancer research projects with travel incentives. For every dollar donated, you earn airline mileage from your choice of popular airlines programs: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®, American Airlines AAdvantage®, United MileagePlus® or Delta SkyMiles®. A major portion of your gift is also tax deductible. So make a resolution to travel to a new city or exotic location this year and fight cancer at the same time. To learn more, visit http://nfcr.org/miles.

From all of us at NFCR, we wish you a happy, healthy, safe 2017!

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT NEW YEAR’S

* The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years.

* Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

* It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year, depending on who he/she was.

* December 31, 1907 marks the very first ball lowering in Times Square.

Source: MSN

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/200912/miscellaneous-facts-about-new-year-s-resolutions

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NFCR-Funded Scientist Selected as ‘Giant of Cancer Care’

Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, Director of the NFCR Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies at TGen, has been selected as a 2016 Giants of Cancer Care® by OncLive.  Dr. Von Hoff, Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at TGen, is a world-renowned physician scientist in cancer research. NFCR has been funding Dr. Von Hoff’s research for over thirty years—in fact, provided Dr. Von Hoff with his very first peer-reviewed grant—and has been supporting his pioneering research ever since.

von-hoff-and-wang

On behalf of NFCR, Chief Science Officer Michael Wang congratulates Dr. Daniel Von Hoff in person on November 11, 2016

“NFCR congratulates Dr. Von Hoff on this honor; he is truly a ‘Giant of Cancer Care,’” said Franklin Salisbury, Jr., NFCR CEO. “We have supported Dr. Von Hoff’s research efforts since 1985 and know he is an extraordinary man and gifted physician scientist whose research represents the future of medicine in which information gleaned from clinical cares can be used to guide research on new treatment development that target deadly tumors, giving new hope to cancer patients worldwide.”

This is Research for a Cure and Dr. Von Hoff is especially appreciative of NFCR. He has said: “[Early in my career,] my NIH grants kept getting turned down; I did not have any way to generate preliminary information and someone from NFCR walked into my office and said that after careful review I had been selected as a young investigator they wanted to support. I would like to say thank you to all of those who have given because it got me started in quite an adventure to try to make a difference for patients.”

Dr. Von Hoff has devoted his career to translational medicine – the movement of new therapies from the research institution to patient care.  In addition to this recent selection, he was honored with the Scripps Genomic Medicine Award in 2011, named one of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 50 Oncology Luminaries in 2014 and among the first class selected in 2013 by the American Association for Cancer Research for its Fellows of the AACR Academy.

von-hoffDr. Von Hoff and his colleagues have conducted early clinical investigations of many new cancer agents, including: gemcitabine, docetaxel, paclitaxel, topotecan, irinotecan, fludarabine, mitoxantrone, dexrazoxane, nab-paclitaxel, vismodegib, and others. These treatments are helping many patients with breast, ovarian, prostate, colon, leukemia, advanced basal cell and pancreatic cancers today.

Reflecting on his 30 year journey with NFCR, Dr. Von Hoff said, “Cancer researchers often receive funding from a number of sources, including the federal government, but the most important money we receive for cancer research comes from the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Without NFCR’s support, some of my research would never have gotten off the ground.”

NFCR is proud to have provided $4.67 million for Dr. Dan Von Hoff’s research that directly and indirectly resulted in many clinically high-impact new therapies which have saved hundreds and thousands of people’s lives.

About the Giants of Cancer Care Award
Now in its fourth year, the Giants of Cancer Care recognition program honors those who have devoted their time, talent and resources to improving care for patients and families who are affected by cancer. Their discoveries have propelled the field forward and established the building blocks for future advances. Recipients demonstrate the qualities of unlimited selflessness, compassion for their patients, and a desire to understand and develop life-changing treatments.  In 2016, a Selection Committee of 80+ eminent oncologists will chose 10 honorees from 10 different tumor types and specialty categories.
(Source: http://giants.onclive.com/)


About NFCR’s Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies

At the NFCR Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies at TGen, Co-Directors Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and Dr. Laurence Hurley are pioneering new approaches to attack the so-called “undruggable” targets present in many tumors.

The Center is also embarking on an entirely new approach to developing drugs that block newly-recognized genetic structures called “super enhancers.” This approach may lead to great improvements in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, colorectal cancer and other cancers.

About National Foundation for Cancer Research

NFCR was founded in 1973 to support cancer research and public education relating to the prevention, early diagnosis, better treatments and ultimately, a cure for cancer.  NFCR promotes and facilitates collaboration among scientists to accelerate the pace of discovery from bench to bedside.  NFCR is committed to Research for a Cure – cures for all types of cancers.

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