Mrs. Yehudit Yovel Recanati agreed to serve as Chairperson of the "Door Knock" Fundraising Campaign to be held on 26 October 2014, the Israel Cancer Association's 54th annual fundraising campaign, made possible solely by generous public donations, receiving no government funding whatsoever.
Mrs. Yehudit Yovel Recanati, Founder and Chairperson of Gandir Investments Group, is an entrepreneur and social activist: she is the founder and Chairperson of NATAL (Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War), a member of the "Yecholim, Notnim" philanthropy initiative, a member of the Executive Board of Shitufim and Chairperson of the 2014-2015 "Door Knock" Fundraising Campaign.
The Israel Cancer Association's (ICA) Annual Fundraising Campaign is the organization's most important source of revenue. Thousands of school children and members of youth movements, in close collaboration with the education system and ICA volunteers, active in 70 branches dispersed throughout the country, participate in this noteworthy campaign.
Mrs. Yehudit Yovel Recanati relates: "I'm excited to be this year's Chairperson of the fundraising campaign. The Israel Cancer Association has been a part of my life since my childhood in Tel Aviv. The Israel Cancer Association is part of my life.
My mother Mati, may her memory be for a blessing, was active as Deputy of ICA the late Suzy Eban, Founding Chairperson the ICA, and helped build up and leverage the ICA as a spearhead organization that promotes cancer awareness and research, as well as welfare activity for cancer patients and their families.
My mother also made tremendous efforts to set up a Hospice for terminally ill patients at Tel Hashomer Hospital - and unfortunately, she did not have the privilege of being present at the opening ceremony. My mother succumbed to colorectal cancer at the untimely age of 59.
Since then we have continued to accompany and support the ICA and its commendable activity; my brother, Leon, has been serving as Vice Chairman of the organization for many years.
About 3 years ago, this dreaded disease hit our family once again. My husband Rolly (Dr. Israel Yovel), developed leukemia, recovered - and died a year later from complications associated with the disease.
Regrettably, thousands of individuals like me, have been affected by cancer, and there is scarcely a household in Israel that has not been caught in the clutches of this disease".
Yehudit Yovel Recanati called upon the Israeli public as a whole, and specifically on the corporate community, to open their hearts, and open-handedly donate to the "Door Knock" Fundraising Campaign - for a better and healthier future.
Click here to donate.
Key Statistics presented at the Press Conference 20 October 2014
New finding: Israel ranked 6th in the world in cancer survivorship among 85 countries.
New statistics on cancer incidence and mortality according to districts in Israel for 2001-2011, presented by Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Deputy Director of the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health:
It should be noted that these data should not be regarded as a causal explanation; this subject must be further explored and factors that should be taken into account, among others, are place of residence of cancer patients throughout the years, their occupational exposure to carcinogens, smoking rates, obesity levels, etc.
In the Haifa and Hadera districts spanning from 2001-2011, in the Tel Aviv district spanning the period 2001-2005, and in the Acre and Ashkelon districts spanning the years 2006-2011, overall invasive cancer incidence observed in men was significantly higher than anticipated, according to the Standardized Incidence Ratio (SIR).
In the Haifa and Acre districts spanning the period 2001-2011, and in the Yizrael and Tel Aviv districts spanning the years 2006-2011, the total invasive cancer incidence among women was significantly higher than anticipated.
In the Jerusalem and Sharon districts spanning the years 2001-2011, and in the Ramle district spanning the period 2006-2011, overall invasive cancer morbidity observed in men was significantly lower than anticipated.
In the Jerusalem district spanning the years 2001-2011, in the Beer-Sheva district spanning the period 2001-2005, and in the Ramle district spanning the years 2006-2011, overall invasive cancer morbidity observed in women was significantly lower than anticipated.
In the Hadera, Beer Sheva, Safed, Haifa and Tel Aviv districts, spanning the years 2006-2010, mortality rates were significantly higher than the national average.
In the Jerusalem, Petach Tikva, Rehovot and Sharon districts and in the Judea and Samaria districts, spanning the years 2006-2010, mortality rates were significantly lower than the national average.
Prof. Eliezer Robinson - Israel Cancer Association Chairman: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) warns against new danger - obesity worsens chances of a cure. Based on a position paper published by ASCO in October 2014.
A new research study, led by Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, Head of the Epidemiology Unit, Gertner Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, estimates the healthcare needs of breast cancer survivors in Israel.
Regarding smoking and engaging in physical activity, prior to disease diagnosis, the group of women who developed cancer, smoked more often and took part in less physical activity, compared to the control group. Ten years after diagnosis, both research groups (the patients and the control group) maintained a similar lifestyle, meaning survivors' have significantly boosted their health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
According to the Israel Cancer Association's request, in the wake of many calls and questions regarding hair straightening at hair salons, the Ministry of Health has prepared a clarification and warning for the public, against the use of hair-straightening masks, containing carcinogenic chemicals, and mainly formaldehyde.
Statistics in Detail:
Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Deputy Director of the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health, presents new statistics on cancer incidence and mortality by districts, spanning the years 2001-2011.
In the current overview, we will compare cancer morbidity and mortality rates by districts, to which varying levels of environmental pollution have been attributed, assuming there is a correlation between pollution and morbidity observed in the specific region.
These data are descriptive and not causal, consequently, we cannot unequivocally attribute morbidity disparities to environmental differences. With this aim in mind, we would require more information about occupational exposure to carcinogens, as well as the individual's health-related behaviors, namely: smoking, engaging in physical activity, undergoing early detection screening tests, and personal, genetic and familial history risk factors.
The reason for the focus on the Jewish population is that, for the most part, Arab patients are few in number, and consequently are not entered in the calculation of the stratified index by districts. The small number of patients causes instability in estimates.
Overall Invasive Cancer Mortality Statistics:
In the Hadera district (by 7%), in Beer Sheva (by 6%), in Safed (by 5%), in Haifa (by 4%), and in Tel Aviv (by 2%), significantly higher mortality rates were observed compared to the national average.
In the Jerusalem, Petach Tikva, Rehovot and Sharon districts (by 5% in each district) and in the Judea and Samaria districts (by 15%), significantly lower mortality rates were observed compared to the national average.
Additional detailed statistics and reference to invasive colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma morbidity may be found in the complete report - attached.
Prof. Eliezer Robinson - Israel Cancer Association Chairman Reports New Research Studies
Are we making progress in the fight against cancer?
A report recently published in 2014 presents the worldwide fight against cancer as observed in various countries with different healthcare systems, while underscoring the considerable disparities between developing and developed countries.
One of the ways to measure success rates in the treatment of cancer and eradication of the disease is by measuring the survival rates, using a statistic called MIR = Mortality-to-Incidence Ratio or M/I, which represents the ratio between the mortality rates and the morbidity rates. In these rates - the lower the statistic, the higher the survival rates.
In the table that specifies the survival statistics of cancer patients in 85 countries around the world, based on an international data pool, Israel ranks 6th in the world, with MIR=0.40, behind Australia (0.38), Luxembourg (0.38), the United States (0.39), New Zealand and Ireland, followed by the rest of the countries, such as Finland, Germany, Norway, Great Britain, Austria and others.
The report was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, June 2014 issue, featuring American researchers hailing from prominent universities: Yale, Virginia, and NYU.
Cancer survival rates are lower among obese cancer patients
In October 2014, The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published a position paper delineating the correlation between obesity and cancer, and also emphasizing the impact of obesity on the chances of coping with and recovering from cancer.
The World Health Organization defines obesity as a Body Max Index (BMI) of over 30.
Researchers from several leading medical centers in the United States, assembled to draw up this position paper, constituting a warning against the proven relationship between obesity and the risk of cancer, however they emphasize and clarify that obesity also worsens prognosis among obese cancer patients. Researchers indicate that oncology treatments are less effective in patients who were obese when diagnosed, as obesity impairs the flow of anticancer drugs in the body.
Additionally, researchers indicate that among obese patients, there is a higher risk of developing related diseases due slower healing of surgical wounds, formation of post-operative infections, lymphedema and other related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Similarly, the writers of this position paper emphasize that patients who are obese when diagnosed are at increased risk of developing another cancer in addition to the original tumor.
The following statistics relate to the above position paper:
Data collected from 82 research studies encompassing 200,000 breast cancer patients, showed a 75% increase in mortality risk among pre-menopausal women and a 34% increase in mortality risk among post-menopausal women, among patients who were overweight when diagnosed, compared to patients who had a normal body weight at diagnosis.
Men who are overweight were at a higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer and of being diagnosed with advanced cancer.
There are research studies indicating a correlation between a BMI exceeding 35 among those diagnosed with colorectal cancer and a higher risk of recurrence of the disease and even mortality.
Additional statistics indicate a link between overweight and a worsened prognosis in other malignancies as well.
The studies show that it is important to advise patients who are overweight when they are diagnosed, and recommend that they lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This is an important time, in which the medical staff is in close contact with the patient diagnosed, and may also include recommendations for weight loss as part of the treatment program.
This position paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in the October 2014 issue.
Evaluating the Health Needs of Breast Cancer Survivors in Israel
Professor Siegal Sadetzki, Head of the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.
The research study examined to what degree health services in Israel meet the special needs of women who survived breast cancer.
This research study conducted a comparison, adjusted for age and place of residence, between breast cancer survivors (total 250 women) and women who did not develop the disease (total 250 women) with regard to the implementation of health promoting behaviors, health status, the extent to which they used health services, and their satisfaction with these services.
The research findings show that, concerning smoking and engaging in physical activity, a year prior to the diagnosis, 29% of patients defined themselves as smokers, as opposed to 22% of the control group, and 19% of the patients reported having engaged in intense physical activity, compared to 25% in the control group.
10 years subsequent to diagnosis, both research groups (patients and control group) maintained a similar lifestyle, meaning, an impressive improvement in quality of life of breast cancer survivors was observed as a result of their adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
Click here for the research study and additional results.
Ministry of Health warning against the use of hair straightening chemicals, in view of many calls to the Israel Cancer Association, regarding the safety of the use of various hair straightening agents at hair salons:
This issue was brought before the Advisory Committee on Environmental Carcinogens of the Israel Cancer Association, headed by Dr. Eli Stern, in the presence of Ms. Rinat Bachar, Cosmetics Licensing Department Manager at the Ministry of Health. The recommendation served to inform the female population and hair salons of this issue.
An additional meeting was held, attended by Ms. Bachar, representatives of the Israel Cancer Association, and the Chairman of the Israel Hairdressers' Association, Mr. Michel Mercier (document of the Israel Hairdressers' Association on this subject attached).
As per the request of the ICA, the detailed warning prepared by the Ministry of Health for the general population and hair stylists may be found below, regarding the risk involved in adding formaldehyde to hair straightening agents, seeing as this is a chemical listed as a known human carcinogen. Moreover, in the hair straightening process, when this chemical is heated, it releases vapors that increase the risk (Ministry of Health warning attached).
The general population is requested to carefully examine treatments offered at hair salons, and to ascertain that the agents used in these treatments are certified products, without any external chemicals, which are not part of the original product. Similarly, hair stylists are requested to refrain from using formaldehyde, which endangers their health and that of their clients and to make sure that the chemical preparations they use are certified by the Ministry of Health and that they have not been mixed with other chemicals.
Click here to read the warning of the Ministry of Health against the use of chemical hair straightening masks (in Hebrew).
Click here to read the position paper issued by the Israel Hairdressers' Association (in Hebrew).
The Israel Cancer Association Information Center Presents New Studies
How do Calcium, Vitamin D, and Dairy Products Impact Mortality Among Colorectal Cancer Survivors?
Many research studies have suggested that a diet rich in calcium, Vitamin D and dairy products may lower the risk of colorectal cancer morbidity. However, the impact of these factors on survivorship has been unclear up until now.
Researchers from the University of Emory in Atlanta, U.S., sought to evaluate the associations of calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intakes before and after colorectal cancer diagnosis with all-cause and colorectal cancer-specific mortality.
The researchers were assisted by a previous study that began in 1992, which investigated the impact of lifestyle on cancer morbidity, encompassing information about 184,000 healthy participants. 2,284 of these participants who developed invasive, non-metastatic colorectal cancer were evaluated in the present study. The investigators examined the calcium, Vitamin D and dairy product intakes of these participants, before and after colorectal cancer diagnosis.
Questionnaires that were distributed to the participants monitored them over a 17-year period and collected data on varying cancer risk factors and total dairy product, calcium supplement and Vitamin D intakes. The consumption of these components was divided into 4 intake levels. Additional nutrition questionnaires were completed subsequent to diagnosis.
Based on the research findings, the following statistics emerge:
High overall calcium consumption among patients, subsequent to diagnosis, reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 28%, and reduced colorectal cancer-specific mortality by 41%, as opposed to low calcium consumption.
High consumption of dairy products, subsequent to diagnosis, also reduced all-cause mortality by 28%, as opposed to low consumption of these products.
High consumption of Vitamin D did not indicate any reduction in mortality risk.
Calcium, Vitamin D and dairy product consumption subsequent to diagnosis, did not have any impact on all-cause mortality.
In short, high overall calcium consumption and high intake of dairy products subsequent to invasive, non-metastatic colorectal cancer diagnosis, was associated with a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality, and colorectal cancer-specific mortality.
The researchers indicate that this is the first-ever study to report a link between dairy product consumption and survival of colorectal patients who consumed these products.
The report was published in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
High Alcohol Consumption Associated with an Increased Risk of Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV) in Men.
Researchers from several cancer research centers in Florida, U.S., undertook to examine the association of alcohol consumption with the prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Infect (HPV) in American men. This sexually transmitted virus is a risk factor for genital diseases and several cancers, including cervical and uterine cancer, several types of head and neck cancers, penile cancer and anal cancer.
Diverse studies have shown in the past that high or moderate alcohol consumption may adversely affect the immune system and increase the risk of chronic and infectious disease, including cancer.
1,309 American men participated in this study. Their average age was 29. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding their current and past health status, smoking habits, their sexual past and number of sexual partners, as well as alcohol consumption. 4 levels of alcohol consumption were established, the lowest being an amount less than 0.10 gm of alcohol intake per day, and a high intake - was defined as 9.91 gm or more per day.
All participants were tested for human papillomavirus carriership: 514 men were found to be carriers of one of the species of the virus, and 795 were detected as non-carriers.
The research results show that the prevalence of the human papillomavirus increased with a greater alcohol intake: following the statistical weighting of the statistics relating to age, smoking habits and number of sexual partners, the researchers concluded that high alcohol intake, as opposed to low intake, increases the risk of contracting the strains that create cancer by 35%, and increases the risk of contracting any one of the other HPV strains by 13%.
Among the men who had a high alcohol intake, 286 men were carriers of the papilloma virus, whereas only 169 men were detected as carriers of the papilloma virus among those who reported low alcohol intake.
In short, the researchers indicate that the research results show that high alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of contracting the papilloma virus in men, and this study reinforces the health organizations' guideline recommending more moderate intake of alcohol, which is known to be a human carcinogen.
To date, to reduce the risk of cancer, it is recommended to reduce alcohol intake to one serving per day for women, and up to 2 servings per day for men. This report recommends that men also limit their drinking to less than one serving a day, in order to reduce the risk of developing the Human Papilloma Virus.
This report was published in the October 2014 issue of The Sexually Transmitted Infections Journal.
Is it possible to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood among survivors of childhood cancer?
Studies show that 70% of adults who had cancer as children are at an increased risk of contracting one chronic disease at least during their lifetime, and this is why the health status of these survivors is the focus of numerous studies.
One of the most common diseases among these survivors is the Metabolic Syndrome or "Syndrome X", which is a collection of metabolic risk factors associated with insulin resistance, and which increase the risk to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessel diseases). The treatment with chemotherapy drugs such as Anthracyclines and chest radiation are known as risk factors for developing this syndrome.
In the general population it was discovered that an unhealthy diet, particularly, one that is rich in fats and simple sugars, is associated with the development of Metabolic Syndrome.
Therefore, investigators of the researcher center of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, U.S., sought to investigate the association between lifestyle, encompassing nutrition and physical activity of survivors who had cancer as children, with the development of Metabolic Syndrome in this population.
The team studied 1598 childhood cancer survivors, aged 18 and older, who were cancer-free for at least 10 years. The subjects underwent comprehensive tests, which encompassed data about the weight, triglycerides in the blood, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The subjects filled out questionnaires about the nutritional habits and physical exercise, when the researchers are assisted by guidelines of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) which were published in 2007 and summed up in 7 healthy lifestyle guidelines. The subjects who abided by most of the guidelines (4 to 7 of them) appearing in the guidebook, were recorded as those who followed the guidelines.
Based on the research findings, it emerges that women who did not abide by the WCRF/AICR guidelines, had a 2.4-fold higher risk of contracting Metabolic Syndrome and men had a 2.2-fold higher risk of contracting the disease, compared to subjects who followed WCRF/AICR guidelines.
The researchers conclude that maintaining a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome among survivors who received treatments for the cancer they had as children, and recommend investigating whether the implementation of the intervention program among this population has the potential to reduce Metabolic Syndrome morbidity.
This report was published in the September 2014 issue of The Cancer Journal.
The Association between Higher Red Meat Intake in Early Adulthood and Risk of Breast Cancer.
In a large-scale study conducted in the United States - "Nurses' Health Study II" - which began in 1989, monitoring 116,000 young nurses between the ages of 24-43, data was collected about the eating habits through detailed dietary questionnaires. In a 12-year follow up, a link was identified between red meat intake in early adulthood and the risk of developing breast cancer at a later age, however no statistically significant association was found.
Currently, researchers from different centers around the world, including the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States, analyzed statistics of a more prolonged follow up of the "Nurses' Health Study II", to evaluate the link between total processed and non-processed red meat intake, in early adulthood, and the risk of developing breast cancer. Similarly, this study examined the impact of the consumption of other high protein foods, such as fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and vegetables, on breast cancer morbidity.
The standard size of a portion of meat is 70-85 gm and in this research study, the consumption of 120 gm of red meat a week is considered low consumption and the consumption of over 950 gm per week is considered very high consumption.
It is important to note that prominent global organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, recommend moderate consumption of red meat that does not exceed 500-600 gm per week.
During 20 years of follow up, 2,830 cases of invasive breast cancer were documented among the nurses who participated in the study.
Once the data was compiled, the following statistics emerged:
Women who consumed a higher amount of red meat in early adulthood had a 22% higher risk of developing breast cancer, as opposed to women who consumed a small amount of red meat.
Each additional serving of red meat per day increased the risk by 13%.
Increased poultry intake is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Substituting one serving of red meat per day for one serving of poultry reduced the risk of breast cancer by 17% in all ages, and by 24% in postmenopausal women.
Substituting one serving of red meat per day for one legume-based protein reduced the risk by 15% among all women, and by 19% among premenopausal women.
Substituting one serving of red meat per day for one serving of combined legumes, nuts, poultry and fish, reduced the risk of breast cancer by 14% in all age groups.
The investigators conclude that increased consumption of red meat in early adulthood, may increase the risk of breast cancer and substituting one serving of red meat per day, for one serving of poultry sources of protein, or for one serving of combined legumes, nuts, poultry and fish, may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
This report was published in the June 2014 issue of The British Medical Journal of Cancer (BMJ).
Does prolonged television viewing and time spent sedentary increase cancer risk?
A sedentary lifestyle (spent sitting down a long time and physical inactivity) has been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases. In a new study, researchers of the University of Regensburg in Germany examined the link between television viewing and additional sedentary behaviors on the one hand, and the risk of developing various cancers on the other hand.
The investigators analyzed pooled data from 43 studies involving 67,000 participants. The subjects' activity was divided into three types of sedentary activity: television viewing, occupational sitting (at work) and total sitting time.
The sedentary activity was divided into 2 levels: a high and low level of sedentary time, and the average values compared to these levels, which were observed in various research studies:
In terms of television viewing, sitting for about 7 hours hour or more a day, is considered a high level, and sitting less than 1 hour a day is considered a low level of sedentary activity.
In terms of occupational sitting time, sitting for about 6 hours or more a day is considered a high level, and sitting fewer than 2 hours a day is considered a low level of sedentary activity.
In terms of occupational sitting time, sitting for about 6 hours or more is considered a high level, and sitting fewer than 2 hours a day is considered a low level of sedentary activity.
In terms of total sitting time, sitting for about 7 hours or more a day is considered a high level and sitting fewer than 3 hours a day is considered a low level of sedentary activity.
Based on these data, it appears that the group with the high sedentary level had a high risk of colorectal cancer compared to those with a low sedentary level: those who watched TV for a prolonged period of time, were at a 54% higher risk than those who sat at work for a prolonged period of time, and those whose total sitting time was particularly long, were at a 24% higher risk compared to the group with a lower level of sedentary behavior.
A higher risk of uterine cancer was also observed among: those who watched TV for a particularly long time, were at a 66% higher risk of developing this disease and those whose total sitting time was particularly long, were at a 32% higher risk compared to those with a low level of sedentary behavior.
Additionally, it emerged that those who had a particularly long total sitting time were at a 21% higher risk of lung cancer, compared to subjects in the same group with a low level of sedentary behavior.
In this study, no direct correlation was found between these levels of sedentary behavior, and the risk of other cancers, however in several other studies, it emerged that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of breast cancer.
The researchers also discovered every extra 2 hours spent sitting time per day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 8%, uterine cancer by 10%, and lung cancer by a marginal 6% (statistically speaking). No similar association was found between additional sedentary hours and other cancers.
In this report the researchers conclude that prolonged television viewing, which often also involves high salt and sugar consumption ("snacking"), and a lifestyle that include other sedentary behaviors, mainly increase the risk of colorectal, uterine, and lung cancer.
This report was published in the June 2014 issue of The Journal of National Cancer Institute.