The Cancer Project Update
Dorothy Hamill Ad Expresses Support for The Cancer Project
After Olympic champion figure skater Dorothy Hamill was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she read The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods that Help You Fight Back. She was so impressed by The Cancer Project’s work that she decided to star in a print advertisement highlighting the importance of good nutrition to cancer prevention and survival.
“Your body is an instrument of expression—and mine still has a lot to say,” Hamill says in the Cancer Project ad, which is being distributed to newspapers and magazines. Hamill continues to pursue an active life of mentoring young skaters, motivational speaking, writing, television appearances, and charity work.
Baseball Fans Get Frank Warning
Fans driving to Major League Baseball’s 2009 All-Star game in St. Louis this summer got a stark message: Hot dogs raise the risk of cancer.
A 48-foot-wide digital billboard posted outside Busch Stadium featured an image of hot dogs jammed into a cigarette pack with the message “Warning: Hot Dogs Can Strike You Out—For Good.” The billboard is part of The Cancer Project’s campaign to persuade MLB commissioner Bud Selig to put a warning label on hot dogs served at baseball stadiums because processed meats have been linked to colorectal cancer.
Ballparks are expected to sell 21 million hot dogs this season, according to the Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That’s a lot of frankfurters, especially considering that an American Institute for Cancer Research report shows that just one 50-gram serving of processed meat—the equivalent of one hot dog—consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. About 50,000 Americans die of colorectal cancer every year.
Because most people remain unaware of the risk, The Cancer Project filed a class-action consumer fraud lawsuit on behalf of three New Jersey residents. They are suing Nathan’s Famous, Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer, Sara Lee, ConAgra Foods, and Marathon Enterprises for failing to warn consumers that hot dogs increase the danger of getting colorectal cancer.
The suit asks all five companies to place warning labels on hot dogs sold in New Jersey. The labels would read, “Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer.”
Limbaugh Helps Spread Cancer Project Message
Hundreds of TV and print news outlets covered the billboard and lawsuit. But perhaps the most striking coverage came from radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
On July 1, Limbaugh took to the airwaves to object to The Cancer Project’s billboard. Thanks to his broadcast, the health message reached an audience that may well benefit from it.