High Plains Division Volunteer Leadership Update - May 2010

Healthy Living Newsletter

This month's Healthy Living newsletter includes:
    • Is It Skin Cancer? What To Look For
    • Benefits of a Workout Buddy
    • Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

    English: http://www.acsworkplacesolutions.com/wpsPDFs/HealthyLiving/HL_May-2010.pdf

    Spanish: http://www.acsworkplacesolutions.com/wpsPDFs/HealthyLiving/HL_May-2010_Sp.pdf

    Announcing Choose You
    Mark your calendar, fridge, iPhone, Outlook, Google, or whatever else keeps you on track – for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 4, when the American Cancer Society will officially announce the start of an exciting new movement! We can’t give away too many details yet, but we want to make sure you’re in the know about the launch of this brand-new program. Be among the first to find out the big news by: 

    * Reading the Choose You blog – event updates from our Choose You bloggers will be posted here, starting Tuesday morning.
    * Following us on Twitter at @acschooseyou – event and program updates will be posted throughout the day.
    * Visiting this site, ChooseYou.com, which will become the official Web site for our new movement as of 9:30 a.m. on May 4.
    * Tuning in to ABC’s Good Morning America tomorrow morning between 8 – 9 a.m., when a special guest will reveal all the details about this new program.

    Don’t forget – the movement launches tomorrow! In the meantime, add this blog to your RSS feed or Google Reader, and check back here tomorrow to learn more.Choose You is the American Cancer Society’s exciting new program that focuses on healthy lifestyle behaviors that can help reduce cancer risk. The program officially launches on Wednesday, May 4.

    So get ready to be inspired to make smarter choices and live healthier starting May 4. In the meantime, add the Choose You blog to your RSS feed or Google Reader, or check back regularly to learn a little more!

    Volunteer is Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 Years of Outstanding Service

    Staff in the Eastern Missouri Region are not just proud but awed by the years of volunteer work Carla Derrick has provided to the American Cancer Society. Carla started volunteering in 1960, and in perfect time for her 50-year anniversary with the Society, she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Carla was a part of the former Missouri Board of Directors and started Relay For Life in her county; she continues to be involved with Relay and has become a Reach to Recovery volunteer. Brenda Carlin, development staff partner to Carla, first announced the award in February at their Relay For Life kick-off in front of about 30 Relayers. It made the front page of the local paper. On April 1, Eastern Missouri Regional Vice President Craig Boring (pictured) presented the actual award to Carla, and he and Brenda took her to lunch to celebrate.

    Meet High Plains Researcher Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, Washington University, St. Louis, Department of Surgery and Siteman Cancer Center

    1. Why is your research important?

    Breast cancer is the leading incident cancer among women and second only to lung cancer as a cause of death due to cancer. Given an ever increasing set of options available to women to prevent breast cancer, more informed understanding of breast cancer risk is necessary to make choices among prevention options.

    My research focuses on understanding where lifestyle intervention can reduce the risk of breast cancer. More specifically, understanding an adolescent’s diet to modify risk; matching a women’s risk for breast cancer with the appropriate prevention messaging; and studying weight loss after breast cancer with its link to quality of life and cancer reoccurrence. We’re moving from just identifying the causes of breast cancer to actually having interventions in place to reduce burdens within the United States and around the world in all women.

    2. What does it mean to you to be funded by the American Cancer Society?

    American Cancer Society funding enables me to move my research forward for prevention and early detection. It also inspires me to give back through the American Cancer Society by participating on national committees, supporting cancer prevention activities, and joining local efforts.

    3. Do you have anything you would like to share that makes your reason for doing cancer research personal?

    At the time I was choosing a career path, smoking was being linked to lung cancer. Causes of cancer were being identified, but clinicians were not taking prevention seriously. I hope to make a difference in preventing cancer. 

    FDA Approves Provenge, Prostate Cancer Vaccine

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Provenge, a novel new approach to treating prostate cancer that uses vaccine-like responses to attack prostate cancer cells. Below are comments from Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer. 

    • Provenge is an immunotherapy that involves taking white cells from a man who has metastatic prostate cancer that has not responded to hormone-based therapy and essentially training them to attack certain antigens on prostate cancer cells. These white cells are then injected back into the patient from whom they were taken. It is very much a tailored therapy requiring several steps: the cells have to be filtered from the patient's blood using pheresis; they are shipped to a lab, treated, then shipped back to a clinic for re-infusion back into the patient.
    • Provenge gained some attention several years ago because two studies showed that the immunotherapy failed to prolong "progression free survival" (the length of time during and after treatment that a patient's disease does not get worse), the goal of those studies. But when researchers looked at those studies to measure something the studies were not designed to measure, overall survival, they found a benefit. The problem was, since the trials were not designed to detect an overall survival, it was difficult to interpret if the results were valid. The studies also were not originally designed to be combined, complicating the issue even further.
    • The FDA did not approve the therapy at that time and said it would wait for the results of a large trial specifically designed to look at overall survival. The FDA also noted that if they had approved the approach based on the earlier data there would always be the question of its benefit, as approval would mean it would make doing a larger trial virtually impossible.
    • That larger trial was started, and now shows a 4.5 month increase in overall survival in men getting the real drug vs those who got a placebo, a significant improvement.
    • Even more significant is that this is a new way of treating prostate cancer. The approach is likely to be useful in other diseases with modest changes in the lab processing.
    • We can now look forward to additional studies of this approach in breast cancer and melanoma, and eventually in other diseases. Many experts feel the real impact of this immunotherapy approach may be more significant for cancer overall than for prostate cancer alone.
    • One vexing question remains about why Provenge would increase survival without improving progression-free survival, two factors that until now have always gone together. But even those who do not know why this could be have come around to agree this approach works and will soon be using it on patients who fit the criteria.

    For more information, see "How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?" on www.cancer.org.

    American Cancer Society Media Awards Ready to Honor Journalists For Life-Saving Work

    The American Cancer Society, High Plains Division, is now searching for the year’s most inspirational media coverage of the fight against cancer. Each year, the High Plains Media Awards program officially recognizes journalists for excellent work in covering cancer-related stories. Journalists are encouraged to submit news and feature stories from broadcast, newspaper, magazine, and online outlets by July 9, 2010, for the Media Awards contest.

    “Media coverage plays a significant role in public beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors related to health. Their stories have informed us, touched us, and urged us to take action,” said Jackie Bayly-Bryant, vice president of communications. “We would like to recognize and reward the journalists’ role in educating the community about cancer and helping us spread these life-saving messages throughout our local communities.”

    Judges, representing various media outlets and public relations agencies, will be recruited to carefully rate the entries for accuracy, originality, and effectiveness.

    The winners will be recognized this year during a virtual ceremony hosted by the Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas – Austin Campus later this fall.

    For more details on how to enter the 2010 High Plains Media Awards contest, visitcancer.org/highplainsmediaawards. 

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    Relay Season is Here
    Relay is in full swing in the High Plains Division. To find the events near you, go to relayforlife.org.

Posted via email from Relay For Life High Plains Division Blog