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Safeway raises $10.3 million for annual Prostate Cancer Awareness campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced that its stores raised $10.3 million during the company’s annual Prostate Cancer Awareness campaign.

For the 13th consecutive year, Safeway’s entire chain of more than 1,600 stores dedicated a month to raising money and increasing awareness for the fight against prostate cancer, which currently affects more than two million American men and remains the second-leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States. 

"We’d like to express our gratitude to our customers who have, year after year, shown commitment to this important cause by contributing and helping to save lives, one dollar at a time," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation.

To date, Safeway’s customers have donated nearly $86.8 million to the cause.

To identify the most promising and groundbreaking prostate cancer research projects for funding, Safeway and The Safeway Foundation have partnered with a range of cancer research organizations, such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer and the University of California at San Francisco. The donations have funded more than 1,600 research projects.

Over the past three years, six new prostate cancer drugs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and dozens of new drugs are currently in trials due to Safeway’s support, the grocer stated. Safeway’s support has also led to a treatment that may decrease cancer deaths by 20% per year by deploying new combinations of surgery and medications early in the course of the disease. 

A new advancement in early detection that was funded by Safeway and Safeway Foundation is a simple test to detect a unique piece of DNA found only in prostate cancer cells. The test gives doctors the potential to catch prostate cancer many years earlier. When used with a standard Prostate-Specific Antigen test and a checkup, doctors can not only accurately determine if a patient has prostate cancer, but can also predict how aggressive the cancer might be, and potentially avoid biopsies and such radical treatments as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

 

 

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Celgene drug approved for metastatic pancreatic cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Celgene for treating patients with pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension, albumin-bound) for patients with late-stage forms of the disease. The drug is a chemotherapy treatment already approved for treating breast and lung cancers.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, with 45,220 patients expected to be diagnosed with it and 38,460 expected to die this year. Surgery is the only way to permanently remove or cure pancreatic cancer, but it’s usually too late by the time the cancer is diagnosed.

 

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Sam’s Club donates $1.25 million to expand YMCA health, wellness initiatives; retailer offers diabetes screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club has donated more than $1 million to the YMCA to expand a program designed to address health issues among residents of underserved neighborhoods, as well as a diabetes-prevention program, the club retailer said Friday, also announcing that it would offer diabetes screenings at its pharmacies next week.

The retailer announced a $1.25 million grant to the YMCA through the Sam’s Club Giving Program to fund programs that will expand healthy living opportunities in underserved communities as part of the group’s Healthier Community Initiatives.

"The YMCA is a renowned champion for preventive health solutions, are we are thrilled the Sam’s Club Giving Program could expand the Y’s commitment to diabetes awareness throughout the country," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "Sam’s Club also recognizes the importance of preventive care, providing more than 5 million free health screenings to the communities we serve through monthly screening events and interactive Solohealth stations available in our clubs."

The YMCA will use the money to expand the Healthier Communities Initiative to five additional communities to address health disparities among African-American and Latino individuals and families. The program currently serves more than 250 neighborhoods nationwide and has helped more than 46 million people.

The grant will also support six new YMCAs in launching the Diabetes Prevention Program. The program has helped participants at more than 600 locations around the country lose an average of 4.9% of body weight. The program, which Sam’s Club is collaborating with the non-profit group on, is designed to help people adopt healthy eating and exercise habits and has served about 12,000 people around the country.

The screenings will focus on A1c and blood glucose tests for diabetes, as well as blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings, worth a total of $200. The tests will take place at the chain’s 571 pharmacies on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, while 79 million have pre-diabetes. Participants can pick up a postcard from the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to evaluate their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

 

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