Cancer survivors were recognized recently during the first annual Divas and Dons “Breast Cancer Awareness Libra Bash! held at Gene’s Lanes and Lounge 6315 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The event was sponsored by C.H.I.L.L and D.A.M.G. organizations as part of the national recognition of breast cancer survivors. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
MIAMI — Marc Henderson, a 63-year-old African-American airport executive here, isn’t afraid to ask his physician to do a blood test for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), a screening test for prostate cancer.
“I’d rather know early on so that it can be treated, rather than sit around in denial until it’s too late,” he said. “If it’s going to help catch something, I have no problems with it.”
Henderson’s views aren’t unusual. For years, doctors have routinely ordered the PSA on men older than 50, along with tests for cholesterol and blood sugar. Just as the goal of screening mammograms is to prevent deaths from breast cancer, the goal of routine PSA testing is to catch prostate cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and more likely to be cured.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, and routine PSA tests have led to the diagnosis of early prostate cancer in millions of men with no symptoms of the disease. Overall, 16 out of 100 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, and three out of 100 will die of the disease.
Prostate cancer hits black men especially hard. One out of every five black men will be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime, and five out of 100 will die from it. Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer that is more aggressive and more advanced than are men of other ethnicities. They are also more likely to develop the disease at a younger age than other men.
Unfortunately, the PSA isn’t a great test. It’s often abnormal in men who don’t have cancer (and sometimes, it’s normal in men who do have cancer). Widespread testing has led to millions of men without prostate cancer undergoing biopsies, in which a needle is used to take a small piece of the prostate to examine under the microscope. Also, prostate cancer is extremely common, and most early cases don’t spread to other organs. Those that do spread often take many years to progress to the point where they are fatal. Most men with prostate cancer die of other diseases. Because of early detection, many men undergo aggressive treatment for a cancer that, left alone, would not kill them.
Because of these drawbacks, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a prominent panel of doctors and health experts, recommended earlier this year that men not undergo routine screening. After reviewing several large studies of PSA testing, the panel concluded that the risks of testing – specifically, complications of biopsies and of treatment, such as infections, bleeding, urinary and sexual problems – outweigh the benefit of lives saved as a result of the test. The USPSTF reported that routine PSA testing saves one man out of 1,000 – at most – from dying of prostate cancer.
Meanwhile, out of 1,000 men who are screened, 30 to 40 will develop erectile dysfunction or problems controlling their urination, two will have a heart attack or stroke, and one will develop a potentially life-threatening blood clot as a result of treatment for prostate cancer. In all, the USPSTF reported, one out of 3,000 men screened for prostate cancer will die due to complications from surgical treatment.
The studies the USPSTF reviewed didn’t include many black men, and most were done in Europe. Nonetheless, the panel didn’t make a separate recommendation for blacks. Instead, it stated that because so few black men were in the studies, “no firm conclusions can be made about the balance of benefits and harms of PSA-based screening in this population,” and described PSA screening based on race as “problematic … in the absence of data.”
The panel’s report also cited a recent large U.S. study that did include a large number of black men with early prostate cancer and found no difference in survival at 12 years between those who underwent aggressive prostate surgery, versus those who were closely monitored, but didn’t receive prostate cancer treatment. The leading black physicians’ organization, the National Medical Association (NMA), vehemently disagreed with the USPSTF’s recommendation.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Dr. Cedric Bright, a general internist who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a former NMA president. “I’ve seen enough prostate cancer that started early and was more aggressive.” He added that the panel’s conclusions “may be more generalizable to those who are of European background. There are very few African-Americans in the studies.”
In a statement issued in response to the USPSTF recommendation, the NMA describes PSA screening as “the best method to detect early stage, curable prostate cancers.” The NMA supports the American Urologic Association’s screening guidelines, which include beginning PSA screening at age 40, including a doctor’s office rectal exam as part of the screening, assessing a man’s risk based on his age, ethnicity, family history, and aspects of his PSA result, such as how much it has increased over the past year and whether it is high compared to the size of his prostate. It also encourages men to engage in a discussion of risks and benefits with their physicians, and advocates educating people in the community about prostate cancer and making health care easier to obtain.
The NMA statement cites a 2010 autopsy study of more than 1,000 black and white men in Detroit suggesting that prostate cancer grows more rapidly in black men and/or changes from an indolent to an aggressive form sooner in blacks.
Bright believes there’s a need for more research to study PSA screening’s effectiveness among black men. In the meantime, however, he is worried that insurance companies will respond to the USPSTF’s recommendations by deciding not to cover PSA screening. He says he has already begun to see a “backlash” of men deciding not to be screened.
And while Marc Henderson is aware of the USPSTF’s recommendation, he says it doesn’t affect his decision to get the PSA. “Yes, statistics may be good for the population, but everything in life is individual,” he said. “African-American males need to be cognizant of their health.”
Dr. Erin Marcus is a general internal medicine physician and writer based in Miami.
(BlackDoctor.org) — As many as 2.3 million American women have survived breast cancer or are living with breast cancer after surgery or other treatment. Most cancer survivors want to do everything they can to recover from surgery. If you are one of these women, you need to know nutrition and exercise can play a key role in regaining optimum health.
What To Eat To Ease Symptoms
Nausea and vomiting are common after surgery. They are especially common if you’ve also had chemotherapy or radiation. Other symptoms after surgery include a loss of appetite or desire to eat, and “wasting syndrome” called cachexia. This is a wasting away of muscle, organ tissue, and other lean body mass. It’s often accompanied by weight loss and weakness.
Here are some ways to ease symptoms of nausea after breast cancer treatment:
• Eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals.
• Try protein shakes, yogurt, and liquid protein drinks when solid foods cause you to feel sick.
• Try simple soups, such as chicken with vegetables and broth, if nausea is an issue.
What To Eat To Aid Healing
Good nutrition is also associated with a better chance of recovery from cancer. After breast cancer surgery, your body needs more than its usual supply of protein. It needs it to repair cells, fight infection, and heal incisions. Right after surgery, boost your protein intake without worrying about calories. It will aid your healing and help you regain your strength. If you need to lose weight, you can focus on that after your post-op recovery.
Here are some ways to increase your protein intake:
• Add protein powder or dry milk to dishes to boost their protein level.
• Add grated cheese to vegetables, potatoes, rice, and salads to increase protein and calories.
• Add high-protein snacks such as almonds, peanuts, and cheese to your diet.
What To Eat To Prevent Recurrence
• Phytochemicals. “Phyto” means plant — are chemicals found in plant foods. Some phytochemicals have been studied for their potential anti-cancer benefits and their ability to prevent recurrence.
• Soy. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens. These are weak estrogen-like compounds. Soybeans (also called edamame), tofu, soy milk, and miso soup all contain these phytoestrogens. Some researchers think they can help protect against the kind of breast cancer that depends on estrogen for its growth. Experts agree that more research is needed to fully understand the role phytoestrogens might play in preventing breast cancer recurrence. In the meantime, ask your doctor whether eating a moderate amount of soy foods — one to three servings a day — is advised for you. It’s possible it may interfere with hormone therapy or some other treatment. There is a link between estrogen levels and breast cancer growth. But how various hormone therapies, surgery, phytoestrogens from foods, and recurrence of cancer are all related is, as yet, far from understood.
• Antioxidants. Many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other foods contain antioxidants. Examples of specific foods with antioxidants include broccoli, liver, and mangos. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage from “free radicals.” These are atoms or groups of atoms thought to trigger cancer growth. Dietitians advise eating a balanced diet with a variety of fresh foods to provide antioxidants. That’s better than taking high “megadoses” of vitamin C, vitamin E, or other antioxidants.
• Beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gives carrots, apricots, yams, and other orange-colored vegetables and fruits their color. Results of studies examining the relationship between breast cancer and beta-carotene are inconsistent. But there are some studies that suggest that a diet high in beta-carotene-rich foods may reduce the risk of death from breast cancer.
• Lycopene. Lycopene is what puts the red in tomatoes and the pink in pink grapefruit. It might also help prevent recurrence of breast cancer in some women. Studies haven’t shown a consistent benefit, though.
Washington, DC – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the cancer prevention experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) are using the occasion to underscore the clear and convincing role alcohol consumption plays in breast cancer risk.
“The evidence gathered and analyzed in our expert report and its recent update makes one thing very clear,” said AICR spokesperson Alice Bender, MS RD. “When it comes to breast cancer, any level of alcohol consumption raises women’s risk.
The experts note that two other well-established risk factors, obesity and inactivity, increase risk for breast cancer to a greater degree than alcohol consumption. Approximately 1 in 5 cases of breast cancer are attributable to carrying excess body fat, and roughly the same amount to being inactive.
By comparison, roughly 1 in 10 breast cancers could be prevented by not drinking.
For Breast Cancer, No Safe Level
The cancer research organization’s advice on alcohol is clear: “If consumed at all, alcohol consumption should be limited to one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men.” (One drink = 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces. of wine, and 1.5 ounces. of liquor).
That recommendation reflects the evidence that small amounts of alcoholic drinks may offer some protection against heart disease. But for women who find themselves at high risk for breast cancer, the key phrase in AICR’s advice is “If consumed at all,” says Bender.
“If you’re specifically concerned about breast cancer, or other cancers linked to alcohol, the best advice is not to drink alcohol at all. In any form,” she says.
Alcohol is convincingly linked to increased risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectum and liver, as well as that of the breast (both pre- and post-menopause).
But What About Red Wine?
Media reports on studies showing that a substance in red wine called resveratrol (a natural component of red and purple grapes and grape juices) displays anti-cancer activity in the laboratory may have some women reaching for the Cabernet. But while the benefits of resveratrol continue to be researched, the clear evidence that alcohol raises human cancer risk, regardless of whether it’s consumed as wine, beer or liquor, should encourage those women to find other options, Bender said.
Women can get resveratrol from grapes and other berries, for example, which supply plenty of other healthful compounds and nutrients that are also being studied for cancer prevention.
Why Is the Link So Strong?
A woman’s risk for breast cancer increases as alcohol consumption increases. There are several reasons for this.
Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, so alcohol stays in a woman’s bloodstream longer. This increased exposure means more cellular damage of the kind that can trigger cancer.
Women have less water in their bodies than men do, so alcohol is less able to dissolve and remains more concentrated in women.
Alcohol also influences blood levels of estrogen and other hormones in ways that may make breast cancer more likely.
What Can A Woman Do To Lower Her Risk?
Carrying BRCA-1 or other “cancer genes” doesn’t make cancer inevitable. For women who carry these genes or who have a family history of breast cancer, focusing on the small, everyday choices that have been shown to lower risk is even more important, not less.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Move more, in any way, for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Stay a healthy weight throughout life.
- If you give birth to children, breastfeed them.
In time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AICR has launched a new web resource, Learn About Breast Cancer , where you can keep up with the latest AICR research on breast cancer prevention and survival, learn about breast cancer preventability, and find materials for breast cancer survivors, all in an easy-to-read format.
LOS ANGELES –October signals National Breast Cancer Awareness month. While the disease is predominately found in women, it is now proven that breast cancer affects men too, so it is important that both sexes are aware of the signs and take preventative measures to reduce its risk. Simply put, breast cancer is caused by a malignant tumor in the breast. However, race is a factor in breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in 2011 in the United States, which roughly translates to one in eight women. Of that, 26,840 will affect African American women. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among black women. Premenopausal black women are at particular risk of basal like breast cancer, which decrease survival rates. In fact, racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes between black and white women have been attributed to advanced stage at diagnosis, negative hormone receptor status, higher tumor grade, reduced access to health care, and other socioeconomic factors.
For men, over 2,140 new cases were diagnosed in the US in 2011, of which 450 may not survive. Similar to African American women, African American men are at increased risk due to lack of early diagnosis and larger tumors. It was initially thought that men diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely not to survive, but recent studies show that men and women identified with having the disease have equal survival rates. While a significant health threat, breast cancer is on the decline, particularly for middle-aged women. One reason may be the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women over 50, which has been linked to breast cancer. The other is prevention.
“Early detection is key for increasing survival rates in breast cancer,” says Dr. Jay Vadgama, Professor and Director of the NCI/NIH funded Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “We encourage women aged 35-40 to get a mammogram every two years. Women over age 50 should get a mammogram every year. If you have a family history, in particular mother, sibling or child with breast or other cancer, we recommend earlier screening. In addition, women should conduct a monthly self-exam monthly and everyone should get a clinical breast exam every three years after age twenty. “Our research has shown that the average age of African American and Hispanic/Latina women is much younger compared to White/Caucasian women. 52 years of age for African American women, and 48 for Hispanic/Latina women. On average White/Caucasian Women are diagnosed at age 60-62. We have also shown that obesity is a major risk factor for breast cancer in African American women compared to Hispanic/Latina women”, said Dr. Vadgama. “Hence exercise, healthy life style and normal body weight are important preventive factors.”
Normally, signs of breast cancer can include lumps in the breast, redness or scaling of the breast or a discharge from the nipple. The American Cancer Society lists several factors that can contribute to the incidence and risk of breast cancer. Some of these include:
· Gender – women are at greater risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer
· Age – the chance of breast cancer increases as a woman gets older
· Family history – breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease.
· Personal history of breast cancer – a woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast.
· Race – White women are more likely to have breast cancer than other races, but African American women have a higher mortality rate from the disease, as they tend to be attacked by faster growing tumors.
· Dense breast tissue – women who have more gland tissue and less fatty tissue are more prone to the disease. Dense breast tissue can also make it harder for doctors to spot problems on mammograms.
To reduce the risk of breast cancer, the Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions:
· Limit alcohol consumption – the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of breast cancer.
· Control your weight – being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is particularly true if obesity occurs later in life—especially after menopause.
· Get plenty of exercise
· Breast feed – breast feeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
· Avoid using hormone replacement therapies (HRTs.)
Says Dr. David Carlisle, CDU President and CEO “At CDU our mission is to reduce health disparities among underserved populations. We encourage everyone to be aware of their overall health, maintain an active lifestyle with daily exercise; to conduct monthly self-examinations to reduce the risk of breast cancer and most importantly to get mammograms as recommended by their physician.”
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals. The only dually-designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU’s mission is to conduct education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement to train health professionals who promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion, and transform the health of underserved communities For more information, visit http://www.cdrewu.edu/ .
Radio station V100.7, along with the Pink Moscato, will be hosting a Pink Pamper Party Friday, October 5, 2012 from 7pm-9pm at Paje Restaurant and Lounge, 2213 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
The “Pink Pamper Party” kicks off The Sistah Strut walk for breast cancer awareness October 6. Ladies should come out and get pampered with massages, facials and makeovers. There will also be representatives from Avon, Lia Sophia, The Nail Lounge and many more. Of coarse there will be Allure Pink Moscato and plenty of hors d’oeuvres. Not only will there be of other free giveaways, but the ladies will be serenaded with a live performance from R&B group 112’s, Q. Parker.
There will be a $10.00 donation at the door and all proceeds will be donated to Sister’s Network Milwaukee chapter, which helps to continue spreading the word about breast cancer awareness and early detection.
Kohl’s Cares Grant To Local Researcher
Research in effort to improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors
Pewaukee, Wisconsin – The American Cancer Society, Midwest Division, in partnership with Kohl’s Cares has awarded a research grant to Joan Neuner, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to study adverse bony effects of breast cancer therapies. Neuner is using her grant to discover if it is possible that broken bones, or fractures, can be prevented for some breast cancer patients. Currently there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors have recently been recognized to be at higher risk for broken bones than other women. Several advances in breast cancer treatment, including increasing chemotherapy use and most recently the transition from tamoxifen to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) may be increasing the risk. With the study results, Neuner hopes to be able to provide for better counseling and decision-making for breast cancer survivors.
“Breast cancer is such an incredibly common disease,” Neuner said. “All the treatment advances have made the population of survivors so large that it’s now very important we understand what the issues for survivors are going to be.”
“This grant allows me to pursue what I consider very important questions in this comparative effectiveness research, looking at risks and benefits of breast cancer treatments in the wider population than have previously been studied in clinical trials. These kinds of studies can sometimes be hard to get funding for.”
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in the United States and this year more than 4,200 Wisconsin women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society and Kohl’s Cares remain committed to helping women in the fight against breast cancer in southeast Wisconsin. Since 2010, Kohl’s Department Stores has committed a nearly $5 million donation to the American Cancer Society’s Midwest Division, which is being used to support breast cancer research, education and patient-assistance programs in southeast Wisconsin.
Men’s leading causes of death are nothing new: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and suicide.
The good news is that most of these conditions are preventable. To decrease your risks, you need to change the below habits that can endanger your health.
Don’t Be Single
Numerous surveys have shown that married men, especially men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, are healthier and have lower death rates than those who never married or who are divorced or widowed. Never-married men are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, for example. After 50, divorced men’s health deteriorates rapidly compared to married men’s, found a RAND Center for the Study of Aging report.
Why? The social nature of marriage may lower stress levels and depression, which lead to chronic illness. Also, unmarried men generally have poorer health habits, too, such as drinking more, eat poorly, going to the doctor less often less medical care and engaging in more risky behaviors, such as promiscuous sex.
Don’t Go Tech-Crazy
The more time that’s spent looking at wide-screen TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, laptops, and other electronics, the less time that’s spent on more healthful pursuits, like moving your body, communing with nature, and interacting with human beings.
Social isolation raises the risk of depression and dementia, and a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and premature death. A 2012 Australian study of more than 220,000 adults ages 45 and up linked sitting for 11 or more hours a day with a 40 percent increased risk of death over the next three years.
But researchers say that getting up and moving even five minutes per hour is a “feasible goal . . . and offers many health benefits.”
Don’t Eat Poorly
In 2010, 35.5 percent of men were obese, up from 27.5 percent in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor nutrition is linked with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer — leading causes of death in men over 40. Younger midlife men often over-rely on red meat, junk food, and fast food to fuel a busy lifestyle, which leads to excess weight, high cholesterol, hypertension, and other risk factors. Older men living alone and alcoholics are vulnerable to malnutrition, because they tend not to prepare healthy food for themselves.
Cancer Researchers Says Doctor Shares Q&A for Cancer Patients Seeking Experimental Treatments
The basic problem researchers seek to overcome in finding a cure for cancer is the body’s general inability to fight the disease. Immune systems can do very little to penetrate the robust molecular shield found in tumors.
But those shields may no longer be so impenetrable, thanks to a new experimental drug called BMS-936558, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Studies show it produces significant shrinkage when used in fighting specific forms of lung, skin and kidney cancers.
“Clinical trials with new drugs like BMS-936558 offer hope for patients battling advanced cancers and those that are difficult to treat,” says physician Stephen Garrett Marcus, a senior biotechnology research executive, and author of a comprehensive new reference book, Complications of Cancer (www.complicationsofcancer.com).
“While experimental treatments are not the best option for everyone with cancer, they can be a very good one for people for whom current treatments offer poor outcomes. And, in the greater scheme of things, trial participants are making an important contribution to others with the disease. While they may not be cured, their involvement can significantly move research forward.”
Marcus shares tips for patients and family members interested in investigating, and perhaps enrolling in, a clinical trial.
• How can a person with cancer rapidly identify promising clinical trials? The National Institute of Health’s website (www.clinicaltrials.gov) maintains the most comprehensive registry of cancer clinical trials. The site includes information regarding significant clinical trials in progress. Each listing features the name of the clinical trial, the purpose of the study, the criteria that make a person eligible to participate, the study locations and contact information.
• How does a person enroll in an experimental program? When a good fit in a program is identified, a physician’s referral will help expedite an evaluation. If necessary, self-referral can be accomplished by calling the medical center directly and making an appointment to see the physician running clinical trials. Details for making an appointment can be found on the NIH’s website.
• What preparations can be made prior to being seen at the medical center? A complete package of information that gives a clear story of a person’s medical illness can be very useful and should be brought to the clinic at the time of the first appointment. The center at which a person is evaluated for experimental treatment may give a person a checklist of what to bring to the appointment. This may include a letter from the person’s physician; surgical, pathology and radiology reports; and other test results. Having all relevant information organized for the first visit streamlines the process for a comprehensive evaluation, and decisions regarding the best treatment option can be made more quickly.
• How does a person make a decision about whether or not to enter a clinical trial? This decision is made with a thorough understanding of standard treatments and experimental options. Information about these standard and experimental treatments can be provided by the physicians and other caregivers; details are also included in Complications of Cancer.
• Who pays for the experimental medication? The experimental treatment itself should generally be free. Almost all true experimental treatment programs will pay for the experimental medication. Legitimate research almost never asks for money from subjects. Be very wary of treatments advertising high-cost, “cash only” payments; experimental treatment for a very high price is usually not associated with legitimate research.
About Stephen Garrett Marcus, M.D.
Stephen Garrett Marcus, M.D. received his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed a medical oncology fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco. As a senior research executive in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry since 1985, he played a lead role in developing Betaseron as the first effective treatment of multiple sclerosis, as well as several new cancer treatments. Marcus is the president and CEO of a biotechnology company developing new treatments for cancer and its life-threatening complications. He is the author of “Complications of Cancer” (www.complicationsofcancer.com), a book written for everyone about serious complications of common cancers and “When Life is in Jeopardy”, a book providing comprehensive information about common life-threatening illnesses, injuries and complications.
Spot Filmed at Historic Fenway Park As Part of Longstanding Collaboration Between Major League Baseball, Its 30 Clubs and Stand Up To Cancer
Steve Carell, Colin Hanks and Ken Jeong are featured in a new Stand Up To Cancer campaign, titled “Baseball Believes,” filmed at Boston’s Fenway Park that celebrates amazing plays from Major League Baseball’s Postseason history. The six spots, which include the actual broadcasts of the historic plays, connect believing in miracles on the playing field with a shared vision of ending cancer. The spots will begin airing in early September in stadiums, on MLB Network, FOX and ESPN, and will continue through the 2013 baseball season.
Major League Baseball is a founding donor of Stand Up To Cancer and, together with its 30 Clubs, has committed more than $30 million to the initiative to date.
Carell, Hanks and Jeong took to the field at Fenway Park to re-create signature moments in baseball history that led fans across the nation to believe that anything was possible. After the three actors highlight the importance of these moments in baseball history, the spot ends with a call to action, encouraging fans to join Major League Baseball in its belief that we can end cancer forever.
The four baseball moments are:
New York Yankees All-Star Derek Jeter makes the famous backhand toss to Jorge Posada in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series to tag out Jeremy Giambi at the plate.
Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk waves his 12th inning home run to “stay fair” to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park.
New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays makes his over-the-shoulder basket catch to rob Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians of extra bases in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. The catch has been heralded as one of the greatest in baseball history.
Los Angeles Dodgers star Kirk Gibson, hobbled by a pulled hamstring and a swollen knee, delivers a pinch-hit, walk-off home run off dominant Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and limps around the bases. The legendary play is often referenced as a prime example of the miracles of Postseason baseball.
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig commented, “This campaign is a part of Major League Baseball’s unwavering efforts to support and help empower Stand Up To Cancer in its noble work fighting all forms of cancer through the spirit of collaboration. We are proud that the most memorable and improbable moments in Postseason history can be used as a way to inspire people to believe that anything is possible, including an end to cancer.”
“Under the steadfast leadership and dedication of Commissioner Bud Selig and all 30 teams, MLB’s financial support of SU2C has been vitally important to the success of our mission. Equally important is what MLB has done to help build our grassroots movement by encouraging baseball fans everywhere to support our researchers, who work tirelessly to develop new therapies for patients to save lives now,” said SU2C Co-Founder Rusty Robertson.
“Everyone at MLB has helped enormously with our efforts to convey this key message: each and every one of us has a role to play in ending cancer, and we are profoundly grateful for that,” added SU2C Co-Founder Sue Schwartz.
“As the husband of a cancer survivor, I know how important it is to believe that we can beat this disease,” said Jeong. “I’m proud to be a part of Stand Up To Cancer and Major League Baseball’s effort to build more support for the scientists on the front lines of the fight.”
The spot was shot at Fenway Park during its 100th year anniversary and will build on the previous spots created at Major League ballparks, including the 2010 SU2C PSA, which featured actor Jake Gyllenhaal at Dodger Stadium and debuted during the 2010 All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Since the SU2C launch in 2008, Major League Baseball has continued to promote the initiative year-round, including a featured spotlight during the World Series and other MLB Jewel events. Notably, in 2011, MLB and SU2C introduced in-stadium SU2C “I Stand Up For” placards, a powerful symbol of fans, Club leadership, managers and players uniting in the fight against cancer.
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) — a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)3 charitable organization — raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. In the fall of 2007, a group of women whose lives have all been affected by cancer in profound ways began working together to marshal the resources of the media and entertainment industries in the fight against this disease.
Members of the SU2C Executive Leadership Council (ELC) include Cancer Advocate and Television Journalist Katie Couric; Sherry Lansing, Chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pamela Oas Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions and Executive Producer of Stand Up To Cancer’s In-House Production Team, and Nonprofit Executive Ellen Ziffren. All of the ELC members are co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late Laura Ziskin, executive producer of both the Sept. 5, 2008 and Sept. 10, 2010 broadcasts, was also a member of the ELC. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D, R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.
Founding donor Major League Baseball has provided both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer grassroots movement by encouraging fans all over the country to get involved.