Table of Contents:

  1. Tips for Sun-Safe Running
  2. Prevention Research Update
  3. 5th Annual BIGGSteps
  4. Needham Bank Grand Prix
  5. Foods that Fight Cancer
  6. Know Your Family History

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.

Prevention 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:

5th annual BIGGsteps 

We are excited to announce that the 5th 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. 

This series is comprised of FOUR Needham 5K road races: 

A total of $1,700 is divided among the top male and female runners as follows:

  • First Place: $500 (M&F)
  • Second Place: $250 (M&F)
  • Third Place: $100 (M&F)

To view the current leaders in the Grand Prix, visit the Grand Prix Leaderboard!  

In addition, all runners who complete all four races are given a custom prize. The 2016 prize is a large canvas gym bag with a Grand Prix imprint.

know your family history

Knowing your family history is tremendously important in preventing cancer. If a person's mother, father, sibling or child had pancreatic cancer, then that person's risk for developing the disease increases 2-3 times. Also, the risk of pancreatic cancer increases if there is a history of familial breast, colon, or ovarian cancer, familial melanoma, or hereditary pancreatitis.

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:


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: