As government financing of basic research has fallen off precipitously, philanthropists have stepped in, setting priorities and drawing both gratitude and trepidation from scientists. To read the full article in The New York Times, please click here.
Everyday Ways to Prevent Cancer
By Leslie Vandever
February is National and World Cancer Month—observations meant to increase public awareness of cancer, cancer prevention, and cancer research. And Tuesday, Feb. 4 is National Cancer Prevention Day.
Even today, with the incredible scientific and medical advances that have taken place over the last hundred years, cancer remains one of the most frightening—and deadly—diseases we face. Fortunately, we’ve gotten much better at treating and even curing some types of cancer, some of the time. Unfortunately, a definitive cure for all cancers remains beyond our reach.
What is cancer?
Simply, “cancer” is the word for a group of diseases in which the cells—the body’s basic unit of life—develop abnormally and do not die when they should because of a mutation in their DNA. Instead, out of control, these “malignant” cells divide and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph system.
Sometimes mutated cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor. It’s considered “benign” if it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, can be removed, and doesn’t come back.
There are more than 100 different types of cancer. In many cases, what starts, or triggers, cells to mutate abnormally and spread is unknown. But scientists have been able to pinpoint some possible triggers for some forms of malignant cancer—and by avoiding or controlling those triggers, you can reduce your odds of contracting the disease.
What steps can you take toward cancer prevention?
- Don’t use tobacco. If you do, stop. Smoking has been linked to cancers of the lung, bladder and kidneys. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas.
- Eat healthy. Choose a diet rich in plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes and whole grains. Limit fat, particularly fat from animal sources. Avoid sugar. Foods that are higher in fat and sugar (and calories) contribute to obesity, which can cause cancer.
- Avoid becoming overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight for your age, height and build might help to prevent cancer. Obesity has been linked to cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps to maintain overall health, helps to control your weight and might protect against breast and colon cancer.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Many types of skin cancer are linked to the harmful ultraviolet rays in the sun. Use sunscreen liberally and wear tightly woven, loose-fitting clothes in bright or dark colors to protect exposed skin. Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. And avoid tanning beds and sunlamps—they’re just as damaging as natural sunlight.
- Cancer screening. Mammograms, PAP smears, breast and skin exams, and colorectal screening can catch precancerous conditions early. By finding abnormal cells and treating or removing them, some cancers can be prevented. They include cervical cancer, breast cancer and some skin cancers.
- Chemoprevention. The vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV) and the hepatitis B vaccine can prevent certain types of cancer. There are also medications can treat some pre-cancerous conditions and keep them from developing into a malignant form.
Other steps you can take include limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, and avoiding risky behavior. HPV and HIV infections, which can make you more susceptible to liver, cervical and other cancers, can be prevented by never sharing needles and practicing safe sex: limiting the number of sexual partners you have, and using condoms. Finally, visit your doctor at least once a year for preventive screening and an overall health checkup.
For more information about cancer and other health issues, click here.
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. Under the pen-name “Wren,” she also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog (www.rheumablog.wordpress.com). In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.
- What is Cancer? (2013, Feb. 8) National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from http://www.cancer.gov/
- Cancer. (2012, September 3) PubMed Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved on Jan. 26, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002267/
- Cancer Prevention and Control. (2013, May 7) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/
- Cancer Prevention: 7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk. (2012, December 12) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/cancer-prevention/art-20044816?pg=1
In honor of National Cancer Prevention Day, please consider making a donation to the T.J. Martell Foundation by clicking here. The Foundation funds cutting-edge research that will lead to clinical trials and drug discoveries that will help save lives!
We would like to thank Edwards Photography Studios for supporting our organization in the month of January. You can help with a simple “CLICK.” Go to their Facebook page, and click “LIKE.” For each new like in the month of January, they will donate $2 to our foundation. Please SHARE our Facebook posts and invite your friends to do the same!
Does your company have a fan page on Facebook? We’d love for you to get involved with a campaign like this which raises money for life-saving research AND gains exposure for your business, a win-win for everyone involved! Ready to make us your charity of the month? Please email Kate Fitzpatrick, our social media manager, firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Young professionals, do you feel like it’s out of your budget to attend charity events? Are you looking for a fun way to support our foundation without breaking the bank? Our new friend Danielle gathered her friends for Sunday brunch at her apartment in Manhattan, charged a small entry fee to cover costs and donated the proceeds, over $150, to our research programs. Thank you, Danielle, for your creativity and generosity! Want to host a gathering like this but not sure where to start? Contact us for support and we’ll help you along the way, supplying ideas, brochures and whatever else you may need!
Attendees of the 14th Annual Nashville Best Cellars Dinner hosted by the T.J. Martell Foundation celebrated a night of exclusive wine and food pairings Monday night, April 29th that benefitted life-saving cancer research at the Frances Williams Preston Labs at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The event has raised significant funds over the past 14 years pairing “Best Sellers” (popular chart-topping artists) with “Best Cellars” (some of the top wine collectors in the United States) who shared rare wines from their collections with guests at their tables.
Since the inaugural dinner was created by Nashville wine enthusiast and music executive Billy Ray Hearn in 1999, the Best Cellars Dinner has raised more than $1.65 million to support the foundation’s mission of funding ground-breaking leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.
Guests enjoyed a gourmet four-course dinner created by Bob Waggoner, Executive Chef of Watermark and Sean Brock, Executive Chef of McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston and Husk in Nashville while featuring the world-class wines from the private collectors. The Tom Black After Party featured performances by Warner Music Nashville Recording Artists Charlie Worsham and Brett Eldredge.
This week I had the pleasure of attending the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Celebration of Wine Dinner in Los Angeles at Mr. C in Beverly Hills.
The evening was festive and brought together wonderful people associated in various areas of business: music, film, banking, travel, medical and real estate development. Everyone had a special bond – they were lovers of food and wine and most importantly, they were there to help raise funds for the T. J. Martell Foundation’s pediatric cancer research programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
During the evening, I realized that the Foundation provides unique experiences from fun-filled events to having the opportunity to purchase celebrity or travel experiences in our auctions and to me, one of the most rewarding is meeting interesting people – some who actually become life-long friends.
Throughout the year, the T.J. Martell Foundation hosts numerous events around the country. I encourage you to buy a ticket and attend one or more of our events and get to know our Foundation. It can be rewarding in many ways and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
We are proud to have the support of some of the most esteemed leaders of the music industry! Congratulations to several of our National Board members, who have been recognized with the distinct honor of inclusion on Billboard’s 2013 Power 100:
We’re so excited that #GivingTuesday is finally here! In case you haven’t heard, today is a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. We hope you’ll celebrate with us by making a tax-deductible donation to our life-saving research programs.
We know you have a lot of charities to choose from, and we are honored that you’ve chosen to support us. So we’re taking this opportunity to THANK YOU! Tell us on Twitter or Facebook why you support our Foundation and you’ll be entered to win a Gibson Epiphone guitar! And don’t forget to help us spread the word by reTweeting & Sharing these updates with your friends.
By supporting our foundation, you are helping us help children like Karli, an inspirational young girl who survived osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, at age 12. After being treated at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, one of the our funded research centers, she is now healthy and thriving. THANK YOU!
#GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving on November 27. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, the giving community is coming together for #GivingTuesday and we are very excited to be taking part.
#GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. We hope you’ll join us on this special day to make a tax-deductible donation to our life-saving research programs.
We’ll be posting more details as we get closer to November 27th so please stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Please help us spread the word by reTweeting & Sharing these updates with your friends!
We welcome and appreciate donations 365 days a year – please visit our website or call your regional office to donate today!