Tag Archives: American Cancer Society

Your health and animal rights – always in fashion!

But first …

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Rise in colorectal cancer in young people should be a wake-up call

By Heather Moore

The new American Cancer Society report showing that there’s been a sharp increase in colorectal cancer in people in their 20s and 30s might just be the kick in the pants that young people need to eat more vegan foods and less red and processed meats, which are linked to colon and rectal cancers.

According to the report, which compared different generations at similar ages, people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950 when they were the same age. Experts aren’t sure why the rates have been rising, but they are confident that people can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by eating lots of fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

In October 2015, the World Health Organization announced that bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, is probably also carcinogenic.

Soon afterward, scientists from Oxford University reported that eating one steak a week increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by more than two-fifths and that people who eat meat twice a week have an 18 percent higher risk than do vegetarians.

This wasn’t exactly new news — a number of previous studies had shown that eating meat could raise one’s risk of colorectal cancer — but it caused an uproar anyway. Some people defiantly insisted that they weren’t going to change their unhealthy eating habits no matter what — a peculiar reaction considering that colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms.

Changing your diet can be daunting — I know. But in the end, it comes down to this: Would you rather undergo surgery, chemotherapy and other costly medical treatments or eat tasty vegan foods? Many physicians believe that colorectal cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow healthy living recommendations. According to Kim Robien, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University, “It is absolutely recommended to decrease — if not completely eliminate — processed meat intake to prevent cancer.”

Study after study has shown that ditching meat is an effective way to ward off colorectal cancer. A 2015 Loma Linda University study involving more than 77,000 men and women, for example, suggests that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by at least 22 percent.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine asked 20 African-Americans in Pittsburgh and 20 rural South Africans to “switch diets” for two weeks. At the end of the swap, they performed colonoscopies on all of the study participants. Those who had eaten the traditional African-style diet, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and cornmeal — and very little meat — had less inflammation in the colon and more of a particular fatty acid that may protect against colon cancer, while those who had eaten the typical American diet, high in meat and cheese, showed changes in gut bacteria that are consistent with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Just this month, a study in the journal Cancer Science revealed that Japanese men who eat lots of meat in general, and specifically red meat, are 36 percent and 44 percent more likely, respectively, to develop colorectal cancer than those who don’t eat much — or any — meat.

No matter what your age, race or nationality, you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer—not to mention heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems—by eating plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

And since March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, it’s the perfect time to ditch unhealthy animal-based foods and start eating delicious vegan meals instead.

Holiday helpers – always in style! … From the American Cancer Society

road-to-recovery

Road To Recovery Program Offers Free Rides For Cancer Patients and Flexible, Rewarding Volunteer Opportunity For Drivers

American Cancer Society Seeks Volunteer Drivers In Massachusetts This Holiday Season

Volunteering for a cause you believe in should be a rewarding experience for you, your family and your community, not another chore added to your already packed to-do list.

The American Cancer Society in Massachusetts this holiday season is asking residents all over the state to consider lending their time to the Road To Recovery program, which provides free rides to anyone going to cancer treatment appointments.

The flexibility of the commitment and easy online scheduling of rides accommodates drivers from all backgrounds, but the satisfaction of connecting cancer patients with life-saving treatments is the real benefit, many say.

“Road To Recovery gives drivers like me a chance to help patients get to vital appointments,” said Roger Medeiros, of Braintree, who began volunteering with Road To Recovery nearly 10 years ago, soon after he lost his wife to cancer. “I’m retired, so I don’t care about the time or distance, and it really helps me feel useful. Everyone is so appreciative of the rides.”

Volunteer drivers with Road To Recovery donate their time and use of their vehicles and sometimes provide encouragement and support.

Passengers may not own a car, can’t afford the extra gasoline or may be unable or too ill to drive.

They might not have access to public transportation or have no family members or friends who are able to postpone work or other activities to drive them.

In Massachusetts last year the Road To Recovery program provided 6,209 rides to 384 patients, but hundreds more ride requests went unmet because of a lack of volunteer drivers.

“I spoke with a man once who was paying for taxis from his home in Wareham to his treatments in Brockton,” said Medeiros, who also volunteers at the American Cancer Society’s Framingham office. “One woman I drove had previously taken public transportation from Fall River into Boston for her appointments; getting there was OK, but coming home was difficult because she was exhausted.”

It is estimated approximately 37,000 Bay State residents will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year, and getting to their scheduled treatment will be their greatest concern.

To volunteer, you must have a valid driver’s license, a safe and reliable vehicle and proof of automobile insurance. Drivers must be 18 years of age or older and have a good driving history. They arrange their own schedules and can commit as many or as few hours as their schedule allows. The American Cancer Society provides free training to drivers and conducts criminal background and driving record checks.

To learn more about becoming a Road To Recovery volunteer visit www.Cancer.org/volunteer.