get ready for the 6TH ANNUAL BIGGSTEPS!

We are excited to announce that the 6th Annual BIGGSteps Toward Cancer Prevention 5K, Fun Run and Kids Dash will be held on Sunday November 18th, 2018 at Broadmeadow Elementary School in Needham.

The event appeals to both elite and casual runners and included family-friendly features such as a bounce house, games, and music provided by PressPlay Entertainment. Proceeds from the BIGGSteps event are donated to local organizations providing cancer treatment and care including Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center and Surgical Pavilion, Needham and Camp Kesem MIT, a free summer camp for children touched by a parent’s cancer.

"We are thankful for the Sean D. Biggs Memorial Foundation’s help in carrying on our mission to deliver high-quality cancer care in a community setting,” said Robb Friedman, MD, Medical Director for the BID Cancer.

"The Kesem experience provides children a community of children who understand them," commented Kesem CEO, Jane Saccaro. "Our partnership with the Sean D. Biggs Memorial Foundation is critical to our ability to support more and more children touched by a parent's cancer - including right here in the Boston area."


Needham Bank has generously supported the Needham Bank Grand Prix, a series of four 5K road races. The series encourages runners and walkers to experience the different neighborhoods of Needham, while promoting health and exercise throughout the year.

Additionally, the series supports various local charities and services throughout Needham.  The top three men and women runners who complete at least three of the four races are eligible for cash prizes based on the average of their top three times for each race in the series. 



#1: They are similar but not the same. SPF, the better recognized of the two, stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures the effectiveness of sunscreen. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It is a newer standard that measures the effectiveness of sun-blocking fabrics

#2 SPF measures the time it takes for skin to redden when exposed to the sun. Theoretically, an SPF of 15 allows skin to be exposed 15 times longer before burning 

#3 It is best to re-apply sunscreen every two hours to maintain effectiveness regardless of SPF rating

#4 SPF only measures the effect of the sun’s UV-B rays. Sunscreens labeled ‘broad spectrum’ also block harmful UV-A rays

#5 UPF measures the amount of sunlight that fabric blocks. Fabric with a UPF rating of 50 allows 1/50th of the sun’s radiation to penetrate the fabric. That is, it blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful rays

#6 Standard t-shirt fabric may have a UPF as low as 5 to 7. UPF-rated fabrics have tighter knitting than  non-rated fabrics; the tighter the knitting, the higher the UPF rating

#7 UPF-rated fabrics block both
UV-A and UV-B rays with equal effectiveness 



What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of oral health? Cavities, most likely, or white teeth. While most of us are familiar with what it takes to avoid fillings and preserve an attractive smile, we don’t often think about the more serious side of oral health.

While oral and oropharyngeal cancers account for less than 3% of all cancers diagnosed in the US, these cancers  can become particularly dangerous once they metastasize. Some of the risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal (back of tongue, throat, and tonsils) cancer are the same as other cancers: tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables. One risk factor not often discussed is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a significant and growing cause of oropharyngeal cancers. According to the Center for Disease Control, HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, and lasting protection against the HPV infections that most commonly cause cancer.

The good news is that through awareness and proper screening, these types of cancers can be caught and treated early, and early detection of oral cancer can nearly double your chance of survival (83% early detection vs. 36% once the cancer metastasizes). 

How can you increase the likelihood of catching any warning signs early? Ask your dentist for an evaluation as a routine part of your visit. In about 5 minutes, your dentist should be able to examine your head and neck for signs of cancer or pre-cancer.  

In addition to the standard exam, there are also screening devices like the VELScope, a tool which uses special light to inspect the mouth and tongue in order to detect abnormalities in soft palate tissue.  It is a quick, non-invasive procedure that can increase pre-cancer and cancer detection rates. If your dentist doesn’t already use this technology, consider asking them whether they have or are planning on getting one - invest in your health and other’s!

As with all health matters, awareness and prevention is the best approach. 


tips for Sun-safe running

An outdoor run on a pleasant sunny day is one of the simplest pleasures life has to offer. Healthy running includes taking precautions to make sure each run is sun-safe, whether you are an avid or infrequent runner.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Runners are particularly at risk due to prolonged exposure to the sun.

Many dermatologists stress that avoiding sunburn is not the same as avoiding skin damage. A tan is a sign that your skin has been injured. As this damage builds, you speed up the aging of your skin and increase your risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The good news is that many things runners do to prepare for a comfortable run, such as properly hydrating and wearing a hat and sunglasses, are also components of sun-safe running.

Basic elements of a runner’s sun protection kit include a hat, UV protection sunglasses, broad spectrum sunscreen with minimum 30 SPF, and lip balm with 15 SPF.  Monitor the fluctuation in UV levels through information sources like The Weather Channel and recognize that running near water, sand and snow can intensify sun exposure.

Tips to reduce the risk of sun exposure:


· avoid running between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.


· apply 15 minutes before you go outside

· use ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen with minimum of 30 SPF

· SPF factor measures protection from UVB rays

· ‘broad spectrum’ products also help block harmful UVA rays

· use water resistant sunscreens

· reapply every two hours

· for maximum protection use sunscreen with micro or nano particles of zinc oxide

· use lip balm with a minimum SPF of 15


· wear a hat and long-sleeves

· typical fabrics have an SPF of
5 to 7, if light shines through when held up, apply sunscreen under clothing

· wear clothing that is tightly woven and darker in color so less UV radiation reaches your skin

· look for tech fabrics with a ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) or SPF rating; add SunGuard to your laundry to wash in UV protection

· consider ‘cooling sleeves’—tech fabrics with cooling properties and sun protection factor


· wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.



I’m Stacy Kennedy MPH, RD, CSO, LDN and I am a registered dietitian, personal trainer and runner! As you work toward your running goals, I encourage you to train smarter, not harder. Training can be hard work, but with the right nutrition and fitness schedule it becomes empowering and enjoyable. Boosting your nutrition can in turn boost your confidence and allow you to perform at your best! Below you will find my top 6 tips to help nourish you and propel you through your training!

Hydration is key for performance—mentally and       physically. Inadequate fluids impair performance and increase risk of injury. After 60 minutes continuous exercise, opt for an electrolyte rich beverage like coconut water or Drink Maple.

Plant-based diets are high in the nutrients you need for energy production and replenishment. Keep this in mind for all meals pre and post workouts!

Protein boosts energy, improves insulin & blood sugar levels & is necessary for proper immune function and muscle building. Be sure to get a good source of protein within 30 minutes post-run. Try plain greek yogurt with nuts/seeds, nut butters + fruit, energy bar, like Health Warrior Chia bar, smoked salmon slices or egg with avocado.

Healthy (unsaturated) fats from foods like fish, nuts, and seeds, like chia, flax & hemp, help fight off inflammation. Add a little to each meal, but avoid large amounts of fat pre-workout, as they are digested more slowly and may make you feel sluggish.

Limit added sugars, and instead go for natural sugars such as those from fruit. Simple carbs are best for during your long runs! Think banana, orange slices, salted dates, sports chews or gels, like Honey Stinger or Skratch Labs.

Carbs are our quickest, easiest source of energy that the
human body can readily digest and absorb. Before training sessions and day-to-day, complex carbs or whole grains paired with protein are best for their slower released energy. Try pairing a slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter, or
banana, apple, or sweet potato slices with almond butter.



Enjoy these for breakfast, snack or an after dinner treat.


1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup gluten free oats
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp Goji berries
1 Tbsp Hemp Hearts
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1. Line baking sheet with
parchment paper

2. Chop nuts

3. Let almond butter come to room temperature if stored in

4. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well

5. Spread onto parchment paper using plastic wrap in hands to help spread out mixture

6. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap

7. Refrigerate at least 1 hour

8. Cut into shapes

Yield: about 5 bars






foods that fight cancer

From the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR):

No single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But strong evidence does
show that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans helps lower risk for many cancers.

Foods can fight cancer both directly and indirectly

In laboratory studies, many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects. Yet evidence suggests it is the synergy of compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection.

AICR research finds that excess body fat increases the risk of 11 cancers. Vegetables and fruits are relatively low in calories. Whole grains and beans are rich in fiber, which also can help with weight management. That is one reason AICR recommends filling at least 2/3 of your plate with plant foods.

Research on foods that fight cancer – and that may also aid cancer survival – is ongoing and active.

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard all have some fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, along with saponins and flavonoids.


According to the second expert report from AICR, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx.

Researchers believe that carotenoids seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants – that is, scouring potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm. Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.

The 2011 AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Report on Colorectal Cancer found that foods containing dietary fiber reduce one's chances of developing colorectal cancer.

For more info:



know your family history

Knowing your family history is tremendously important in preventing cancer. While you can't change the past, find out if your family has a history of certain cancers or conditions that are risk factors for cancer - it may clarify the importance of making changes that could reduce your risk of cancer.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network identifies the connections between pancreatic cancer and risk factors such as family history and diet.

For more information:



research Update


Coffee no longer considered cancer-causing but hot liquids may be.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released good news for coffee drinkers in 2016: the dark elixir was previously categorized as "possibly carcinogenic to
humans" but scientific studies conducted in the 25 years since the WHO last rated coffee no longer support that categorization.

In fact, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that coffee consumption may actually reduce the risk of cancers that attack the liver and uterus.

However, this welcome news for coffee drinkers comes with a warning to anyone who enjoys hot beverages--let them cool before drinking. Consuming liquids above 149 degrees Fahrenheit has been classified as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" given the association between consumption of very hot liquids and esophageal cancer.

In 1991, IARC classified coffee as possibly causing cancer because of studies that linked coffee drinking to bladder cancer. Since then, however, new and better studies have become available. IARC now says it is no longer possible to determine whether drinking coffee causes bladder cancer. In addition, IARC’s review of the studies has led it to conclude that coffee is unlikely to cause breast cancer, prostate cancer, or pancreatic cancer. 

Many studies have been done to determine whether coffee can lower cancer risk because coffee beans contain antioxidants, which are thought to have a protective effect against cancer. But the overall results are not clear, and in many of the studies that showed a lowered risk, the benefit was found in people who drank 4 to 6 cups of coffee a day. 

For more info: