I don’t often write about regional cancer programs, but this one caught my interest: Nevada Cancer Institute Celebrates National Nutrition Month By Encouraging Patients To Develop Healthy Eating Habits As Part of Treatment. How cool is that… Mixing good nutrition with financial help (if even just a little) for cancer patients. Here is the press release promoting the program:

Las Vegas – March 18, 2010 – March is National Nutrition Month® and Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) is pleased to celebrate it by partnering with Smith’s Food and Drug to provide $25 gift certificates for cancer patients undergoing treatment. NVCI encourages patients to develop nutritional eating habits as part of treatment in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), “about a third of the most common cancers in the US could be prevented” by following AICR’s recommendations that include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

Smith’s Food and Drug has generously donated 75 gift cards to help patients in the process of making healthy food choices as an ongoing part of treatment. Patients who attend NVCI’s free educational seminar on Wednesday, March 24, with Amy Patton, R.D., C.S.O., CNSD will be offered the opportunity to receive a $25 Smith’s gift card. Patton will be presenting on the topic of ‘Nutrition During Treatment’ and is the Institute’s registered dietitian.

“As a dietitian, it is important to encourage a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other plant-based foods such as beans and nuts, as these foods may reduce the risk for cancer,” says Patton. “Instead of taking a fruit or vegetables supplement, try adding some extra diced veggies to a pasta dish or soup and add some extra fruit to your day by grabbing a piece for a snack.”

OK–a couple points. First, I’m not sure why I received this release today–after the fact–so I guess there is room for improvement there. Second, 75 $25 gift cards are not going to rock any patient’s world. But I’m intrigued by the nutritional/financial aid combo for cancer patients. I am going to suggest a much larger version of this to some of my drug company contacts. Worth a try, right?

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

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