“I was diagnosed with stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011 and was very blessed to have survived it in 2012. I’m grateful for organizations like Stand Up To Cancer whose mission is to raise funds to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research. Their goal is to get new therapies to patients quickly, and save lives now. I’m living proof that more and more new treatments are out there, that they do work, and they are saving lives. SU2C has incredible dream teams of doctors and researchers who are so passionately dedicated to discovering new medical advances and less toxic ways of treating cancer. I’m really excited to have them share with you all some cancer prevention tips, as well as more information about the powerful work they are doing. Together, we can make the difference so that anyone who is diagnosed with cancer can become a cancer survivor.” — Xo, Britt
Half of all cancer deaths can be prevented by getting educated and making lifestyle changes to lead a healthier life. By taking a stand for your own health, you are helping to protect yourself and decrease the number of preventable cancer deaths worldwide.
Here are some prevention suggestions!
1. Be proactive
When you know your family history, you can plan ahead. Many cancers like breast, colorectal and ovarian can be hereditary. Talk to your family and ask your doctor about genetic counseling! Relatives are the best link to your past, and doctors are a great resource for a healthy future.
2. Eat your greens
Vegetables are kind of like anti-cancer super heroes. Just like your mama told you, green veggies contain nutrients and antioxidants that may help prevent those villainous cancer cells from forming.
3. Tell your friends to quit… and help them do it
Lung cancer is no joke, and cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths annually in the US (including deaths from secondhand smoke). Quitting smoking is hard. The next time you see a friend light up, let them know how much you care by sharing this fact, and offer to help however you can.
4. Get Moving!
Your couch potato syndrome could be hurting you more than you think. Obesity, nutrition and physical inactivity as well as alcohol consumption are estimated to account for 20 percent of all cancer cases, and obesity is particularly associated with several major cancers including colorectal, breast (postmenopausal), endometrial, kidney, pancreas and esophageal. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.
5. Be sunscreen savvy
You know the smell makes you think of summer, so why not indulge year-round? Unprotected sun exposure can cause melanoma – the #1 cancer in men and women ages 25 to 29. Protect your head with hats and your skin with an SPF of 15 or more. Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving the house, and to reapply every 2 hours or when you come out of the water. And don’t even think about hitting up that tanning salon. The UVA radiation from tanning beds is three times as harmful as natural sunlight. Just ask yourself – is it worth it?
6. Help spread the word
Donations are key to funding vital cancer research and education, but not everyone has the cash flow, you know? You can help by spreading the word to your friends and family. Whether you share this page or share your story, it brings us all one step closer to finding a cure.
7. Touch yourself
Ladies and gentlemen, know your body, and monitor it often for bumps, lumps, or changes. Monthly self-exams of breasts, testicles, and skin are a healthy habit to get into, and are perfect when paired with your annual check up. Early detection is key: Doctors believe that catching breast cancer early on could save thousands of lives each year. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34
8. Get educated
Every minute, we lose someone we love to cancer. Knowledge is power, but ignorance is definitely not bliss. Figure out the small lifestyle changes you can make every day to build up your armor against cancer. Subscribe to scientific and advocacy newsletters (like the SU2C newsletter), talk to cancer survivors, and be your own advocate.
We are always happy to take your money and invest it in promising cancer research. Got the big bucks? Use your plastic to donate now at SU2C.org. Or if your budget is a little tight right now, you can text STAND to 40202 to automatically give $10 to Stand Up To Cancer (don’t forget to confirm). Everybody’s doing it.
About Stand Up To Cancer by Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D.
Dr. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, chairman of the Stand Up To Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee, and the 1993 winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) was founded on May 28, 2008. The brainchild of nine Type A women from the entertainment and media worlds, it started with little more than the promise of an hour of free airtime from three major networks and a fierce determination to do something new in the fight against cancer. Nine years later, it’s become a multifaceted, fundraising, research-sponsoring juggernaut that is making a real difference in patients’ lives.
SU2C is a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the powerful collective charity for the television and film businesses. The co-founders had been profoundly affected by cancer — the disease took the lives of two of them in the years since the launch.
The group consulted with a small “kitchen cabinet” of scientists, who devised the basic construct, including: team research, done by investigators at different institutions and in different disciplines; grants with dollar amounts sizable enough to make an impact; and a mandate that the research must benefit patients within the three-year term of the grants — considered “light speed” in this field.
With guidance from the prestigious American Association for Cancer Research, which had been selected as SU2C’s scientific partner, the co-founders recruited a bunch of us veteran cancer researchers as an advisory committee. They reached out to supporters at all levels — philanthropists, companies or organizations who could give $10 million to individuals who could donate $10 — and raised a lot of money. Then we got to work. To date, we’ve launched 20 “Dream Teams” of investigators, as well as six Translational Research Teams, and awarded 46 grants to individual early-career researchers.
Read more about the incredible work that Stand Up to Cancer is doing here.
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel