This Issue

Cancer and health disparities

Increasing access key to closing the gap

Tips to close the gap

Q & A

Fiction
Fact
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death
in women.
Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all cancers combined.
Surgery can cause
cancer to spread.
Exposing the tumor to air does not cause cancer to spread. Often surgery reveals a more extensive cancer, which may cause people to think that surgery worsened the disease.
Cancer is contagious. It is not possible to “catch” cancer from someone. However, through unsafe sex, you can become infected with certain viruses, such as hepatitis C and HPV, which can lead to liver and cervical cancers, respectively.
Living a healthy lifestyle
can prevent cancer.
Although exercise, not smoking, a healthy weight and a healthy eating plan can reduce the risk of cancer, they cannot provide an absolute protection against the disease. Other factors, such as genetics and environment may come into play.

Myths busted

A disturbing difference

A life saving timetable

Risk factors

Take the
first step


A disturbing difference



How much is too much?


honeyThe body requires glucose to provide energy to do its job. We can get that sugar naturally from fruits, vegetables, milk and whole grains, which are full of nutrients. Added sugars, on the other hand, are sugars and syrups added to foods during preparation or at the table. These added sugars bring with them sweetness and calories, but lack nutrition. The American Heart Association recommends a daily limit of added sugars according to the information below.


Women’s daily limit
6 teaspoons = 100 Calories = 25 grams

Men’s daily limit
9 teaspoons = 150 Calories = 37.5 grams

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer
Awareness Week is May 8 – 14.


Photo by Vannessa Carrington/Mass. Eye and Ear

Get screened for head and neck
cancer. It’s free, quick and painless.

Boston Medical Center
Moakley Building Lobby
830 Harrison Avenue
Date: April 2
Time: 8 a.m. - noon
617-638-8260

Tufts Medical Center
860 Washington Street
Date: May 12
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
617-636-1664
Mass Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Date: May 13
Time: TBA
617-573-3340
Dedham Family Dental
Dr. Helaine Smith
30 Milton Street, Dedham
Date: May 11
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
781-326-4600

Mass General Hospital
Voice Center

One Bowdoin Square,
11th Floor
Date: May 13
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
617-726-0218
Remember to call ahead to confirm
time and date
of screenings.

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Risk Factors

A risk factor is a characteristic that is likely to increase your chance of a particular disease. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease. Likewise, not having one is not a guarantee against it. Some risk factors for cancer are beyond a person’s control, while others can be influenced by behavior and lifestyle.

Factors you can control

• Smoking and tobacco use
• Inactivity and weight
• Unhealthy diet
• Alcohol consumption

Factors beyond your control

• Age
• Race
• Personal or family history of cancer
• Genetics/inherited mutations


Take the first step


Image from the National Cancer Institute


Mammograms for breast cancer

Date Organization Location
10/6 Neponset Health Center 398 Neponset Avenue, Dorchester
10/11 Whittier Street Health Center 1125 Tremont Street, Roxbury
10/13 Geiger Gibson Community Health Center 250 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester
10/18 Bowdoin Street Health Center 230 Bowdoin Street, Dorchester
10/19 Martha Eliot Health Center 75 Bickford Street, Jamaica Plain
10/21 Fenway Health 1340 Boylston Street, Boston
10/25 Bowdoin Street Health Center 230 Bowdoin Street, Dorchester
10/27 Mattapan Community Health Center 1425 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan

Mammograms provided through Dana-Farber’s Mammography Van.
Call 617-632-1974 to schedule an appointment.


PSAs for prostate cancer

Date Organization Location Time
10/15 People’s Baptist Church 830 Tremont Street
Boston
1 – 4 p.m.
10/22 Union United Methodist Church 485 Columbus Avenue Boston 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

PSAs provided through Dana-Farber’s Blum Van.
Call 617-632-6694 for additional information.