Cancer Prevention & Diet

More studies are showing that there is a link between healthy diet, healthy lifestyle and cancer prevention. People may be able to lower their risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer, through lifestyle changes. A diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables may cut cancer risk, according to these studies. Healthy Waltham’s recent column in the Waltham News Tribune discussed how diet, lifestyle and cancer risk are connected, and how Healthy Waltham is helping to increase awareness in the community. Please click the links below to read the full article in either English or Spanish.

For English, click here.

Healthy Waltham: Help prevent cancer with proper diet, active lifestyle

Many people think that getting cancer either runs in your family, comes from bad habits, or is just plain bad luck. Whatever the cause, one in three people will develop cancer sometime during their lifetime. New studies tell us that two in five cancer cases are preventable by lifestyle changes. However, these lifestyle changes are not just about quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol. It is now clear that eating a healthy diet, keeping active and maintaining a healthy body weight are also key factors in preventing some cancers

A 2008 study showed that by not smoking, keeping an active healthy lifestyle, moderating alcohol and eating a vegetable-based diet, people could expect to live an average of 14 years longer and were less likely to die from cancer. In 2013, the American Cancer Society stated that one-third of all cancer deaths can be attributed directly to obesity issues.

In light of these findings, Healthy Waltham, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Program (MCCPCP), is taking action. Healthy Waltham received a grant from MCCPCP in July 2013 to educate the Waltham community about the link between healthy living, healthy eating and cancer prevention. According to Judy Fallows, executive director of Healthy Waltham, “The information is out there, but people may not realize that healthy eating and active living, which most now realize is important for the prevention of heart disease and diabetes, can also help to prevent cancer, especially colorectal cancer. We need to put this message out to the Waltham community. The fact is, cancer also can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.”

Mount Auburn Hospital and the Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center are partnering with Healthy Waltham in this effort as well. So far, Healthy Waltham has held three community presentations at the Salvation Army, Waltham Interagency Council and Waltham Rotary Club. We also co-sponsored a community walk last fall to raise awareness of the link between healthy living and cancer prevention. Through this community outreach, Healthy Waltham continues to look for ways to promote healthy lifestyles within the Waltham community, and to identify some of the barriers that residents face.

One person who is excited about increased information on the link between healthy living and cancer is Martha S., a 48-year-old mother of two daughters and a colorectal cancer survivor. Martha thought that she was just a victim of bad luck when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2011. “I didn’t smoke, drink or have any really bad habits, except maybe for overeating sometimes,” she stated. “And I thought I was too young to get colorectal cancer. I hadn’t had a colonoscopy because I thought it was too early.” Martha had struggled with her weight all of her life and was 50 pounds overweight at the time of her diagnosis. “I thought that I was just one of the unlucky ones, but now I realize that my overeating may have helped cause my cancer.” Since her diagnosis and treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, Martha’s cancer has gone into remission. However, Martha has not been complacent with her recovery and has taken things into her own hands. She now walks five time a week, eats a largely vegetable-based diet and has lost close to 30 pounds.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Now is the perfect time for the Waltham community to be thinking about prevention, and the importance of seeing your doctor and getting your colonoscopy as directed. In some cases, getting a colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer from developing. Unlike many forms of cancer, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable, and it is important to get the message out! Healthy Waltham is in the process of planning more community outreach events and is collaborating with other Waltham nonprofit agencies, such as the Waltham Senior Center and the Waltham Family School to spread the message. Upcoming events include:

  • Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.: The Waltham Senior Center is partnering with Healthy Waltham for a cancer prevention presentation and healthy cooking workshop.
  • March 2014: Healthy Waltham will have a colorectal cancer prevention display at the Waltham Public Library. Please come and check it out!
  • February and March of 2014: Healthy Waltham’s work with cancer prevention will be featured on Sally Collura’s WCAC-TV show “Around Town.” Be sure to catch it!

If you are interested in participating in these events or know of a group that would benefit from Healthy Waltham’s cancer prevention presentation, please email info@Healthy-Waltham.org or call Healthy Waltham directly at 781-891-4700. For more resources, go to http://www.healthy-waltham.org/resources/cancer-prevention/.

Kaveri Roy is a practicing hospice RN and per diem emergency room RN in the greater Boston area. She is currently completing her doctorate with UMass-Amherst in nursing leadership and public health. She is a graduate intern working with Healthy Waltham. Healthy Waltham is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the Waltham community. For more information, see www.healthy-waltham.org. .

Para español, presione aquí.

Healthy Waltham: La relación entre dieta saludable, vida activa y cáncer

Muchas personas piensan que tener cáncer se debe a que hay antecedentes en la familia, deriva de los malos hábitos o es sencillamente producto de la mala suerte. Cualquiera que sea la causa, una de cada tres personas tiene cáncer en algún momento de su vida. Los nuevos estudios nos indican que dos de cada cinco casos de cáncer pueden prevenirse mediante cambios en el estilo de vida. Sin embargo, tales cambios no implican tan sólo dejar de fumar y reducir el consumo de alcohol. Ahora queda claro que comer una dieta saludable, hacer ejercicio y mantener un peso corporal saludable también son factores clave para prevenir ciertos tipos de cáncer. Un estudio realizado en 2008 demostró que sin fumar y manteniendo un estilo de vida saludable y activo, moderando el consumo de alcohol y comiendo una dieta a base de verduras, las personas podían esperar vivir, en promedio, 14 años más y tenían menos probabilidades de morir a causa de un cáncer. En 2013, la Sociedad estadounidense del cáncer (American Cancer Society) afirmó que un tercio de todas las muertes causadas por el cáncer puede atribuirse directamente a problemas de obesidad.

A la luz de estos hallazgos, Healthy Waltham, junto con el Programa integral de prevención y control del cáncer de Massachusetts (Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Program [MCCPCP]), están tomando medidas al respecto. Healthy Waltham recibió un subsidio de MCCPCP en julio de 2013 para educar a la comunidad de Waltham acerca de la relación entre una vida saludable, una dieta saludable y la prevención del cáncer. Según Judy Fallows, la directora ejecutiva de Healthy Waltham, “la información existe, pero es posible que la gente no sea consciente de que comer de manera saludable y tener una vida activa, algo que la mayoría ahora sabe que es importante para la prevención de las enfermedades cardíacas y la diabetes, también puede ayudar a prevenir el cáncer, especialmente el cáncer de colon. Tenemos que transmitir este mensaje a la comunidad de Waltham. El hecho es que el cáncer también puede prevenirse con un estilo de vida saludable”.

Mount Auburn Hospital y Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center también se han asociado a Healthy Waltham para impulsar este proyecto. Hasta el momento, Healthy Waltham ha llevado a cabo tres presentaciones comunitarias en el Ejército de salvación (Salvation Army), en el Consejo interagencias de Waltham (Waltham Interagency Council) y en el Club rotario de Waltham (Rotary Club de Waltham). Además, copatrocinamos una caminata comunitaria el pasado otoño para fomentar la concientización acerca de la relación entre la vida saludable y la prevención del cáncer. A través de este proyecto de extensión comunitaria, Healthy Waltham sigue buscando la manera de promover estilos de vida saludable en la comunidad de Waltham y de identificar algunos de los obstáculos que la población enfrenta.

Entre de las personas entusiasmadas con el aumento de información sobre la relación entre una vida saludable y el cáncer es Martha S., una mujer de 48 años y madre de dos niñas que sobrevivió al cáncer de colon. Martha pensaba que era simplemente una víctima de la mala suerte cuando le diagnosticaron cáncer de colon en 2011. “No fumaba, no bebía alcohol ni tenía ningún hábito realmente malo, salvo comer en exceso algunas veces,” manifestó. “Y pensaba que era demasiado joven para tener cáncer de colon. No me había hecho una colonoscopia porque creía que era demasiado pronto”. Martha había luchado con su peso toda la vida y tenía 50 libras de sobrepeso en el momento del diagnóstico. “Pensaba que era tan sólo una de las personas desafortunadas, pero ahora me doy cuenta de que comer en exceso pudo haber contribuido a causar mi cáncer”. Desde su diagnóstico y tratamiento con cirugía y quimioterapia, el cáncer que padecía Martha entró en remisión. No obstante, no se quedó satisfecha con la recuperación y ha tomado cartas en el asunto. Ahora camina cinco veces por semana, come una dieta principalmente a base de verduras y ha bajado cerca de 30 libras.

Marzo es el mes de la Concientización sobre el cáncer de colon. Ahora es el momento perfecto para que la comunidad de Waltham piense en la prevención y la importancia de consultar al médico y hacerse una colonoscopia si está indicada. En algunos casos, hacerse una colonoscopia puede evitar el desarrollo del cáncer de colon. A diferencia de muchos otros tipos de cáncer, el de colon puede prevenirse, tratarse y combatirse y es importante transmitir este mensaje. Healthy Waltham está planeando más eventos de extensión comunitaria y está colaborando con otras organizaciones sin fines de lucro de Waltham, como el Centro para Ancianos de Waltham (Waltham Senior Center) y la Escuela para la Familia de Waltham (Waltham Family School), para difundir el mensaje. Los próximos eventos incluyen:

  • 26 de febrero de 2014 a la 1 p.m.: Waltham Senior Center se ha asociado con Healthy Waltham para ofrecer una presentación sobre la prevención del cáncer y un taller de cocina saludable.
  • Marzo de 2014: Healthy Waltham hará una exhibición sobre la prevención del cáncer de colon en la Biblioteca pública de Waltham. ¡Venga a verla!
  • Febrero y marzo de 2014: El trabajo que realiza Healthy Waltham para la prevención del cáncer se presentará en el programa “Around Town” de Sally Collura que se transmite en el canal WCAC-TV. ¡Asegúrese de verlo!

Si usted está interesado en participar en estos eventos o sabe de un grupo que se beneficiaría con la presentación de Healthy Waltham sobre la prevención del cáncer, comuníquese vía correo electrónico a info@Healthy-Waltham.org o llame directamente a Healthy Waltham al 781-891-4700. Para ver más recursos, visite el sitio http://www.healthy-waltham.org/resources/cancer-prevention/

Kaveri Roy ejerce como enfermera titulada para cuidados paliativos y enfermera de la sala de emergencias que trabaja en el área metropolitana de Boston. Actualmente está finalizando su doctorado en dirección de enfermería y salud pública en la Universidad de Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts), en Amherst y realiza sus prácticas profesionales en Healthy Waltham. Healthy Waltham es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a mejorar la calidad de vida de la comunidad de Waltham. Para obtener más información, visite el sitio www.healthy-waltham.org.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that colorectal cancer is considered to be “Preventable, Treatable, Beatable“? And that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, active lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy weight can help to prevent colorectal cancer? You can further reduce your colorectal cancer risk by following the screening recommendations of your doctor. Having a colonoscopy when your doctor recommends it, whether or not you have any symptoms, can actually catch and remove precancerous polyps when they are very small, thus helping to prevent this disease!

This year, Healthy Waltham is working with Mount Auburn Hospital, Joseph M Smith Community Health Center and the MA Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Program to increase awareness of the fact that cancer, like other chronic diseases, is increasingly linked to lifestyle factors. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Massachusetts, surpassing heart disease and stroke. Every year over 36,000 Massachusetts residents are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 13,000 die from cancer.

One in three cancers may be attributed to the combined effect of insufficient physical activity and elevated weight status, and one in five are due to elevated weight status only. For more resources on cancer prevention, and on colorectal cancer prevention and screening in particular, please see our Cancer Resources Page here.

Throughout the month of March, Healthy Waltham will continue to raise awareness about colorectal cancer prevention by posting tips on TwitterFacebook and our website. We will have an article in the Waltham News Tribune and will be featured on Sally Collura’s “About Town” show on the Waltham Cable Access Channel WCAC-TV. We will also have a display at the Waltham Public Library, 735 Main St., for the month of March. Be sure to stop by and check it out!

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce cancer risk. Photo taken at the Waltham Farmers' Market in fall 2013.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce cancer risk. Photo taken at the Waltham Farmers’ Market in fall 2013.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

One of our favorites! Warm yourself up this winter with this curried butternut squash soup. Did you know that the most popular butternut squash grown today was developed right here in Waltham?

  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 large potateos
  • 2 apples
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 3-4 parsnips
  • olive oil, butter
  • 2 T. curry paste (or 4-5 t. curry powder, to taste)
  • 1 cup cider
  • 3 c. stock (vegetable or chicken – or even water)

Sautée onions and garlic in a little oil or butter.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until soft, about 45 minutes or more, then puree either in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender in the pot.  Reheat and season with salt and pepper.  Serves 12.

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Our Tenth Anniversary Year!

It’s our tenth anniversary year, and our first ever Annual Appeal is underway! Please consider helping Healthy Waltham with a gift today. An anonymous donor will match all gifts made by December 31, 2013, up to $2,500, so your gift will go even further. As a 501c(3), all gifts to Healthy Waltham are tax deductible. We are a small organization and every gift is important to ensure we can continue our work in the Waltham community. Thank you for your support! To give, please click on the Donate Now button or if you prefer, mail a check to 510 Moody St., Waltham, MA  02452.imgsvr-2.ashx

School Gardens Ready for Winter

As the winter months approach, it’s time to put the gardens to bed. The gardens will slumber to awaken in the spring, ready to grow again. On a recent beautiful fall day, Judy joined teacher Renee Lockwood of the Northeast Elementary School and her class to prepare their garden for winter. First up: taming the raspberry patch and setting a path to make gathering the raspberries easier. Kids pulled weeds and raked leaves to clear some space. Then, over at the newest section of the garden, the last few crops were gathered: husk cherries, broccoli, arugula and herbs. Tender perennials could be covered to winter over; weeds and dead plants were added to the compost pile. Enjoy these photos of fall gardening. For more gardening information, see our gardening resources here.

School gardens are great places to learn.

School gardens are great places to learn.

Working in the garden.

Working in the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A path takes shape through the raspberry patch.

A path takes shape through the raspberry patch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late season broccoli.

Late season broccoli.