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September 2017

"As the Board discussion proceeded, we were struck by the relevance of social and physical environment factors in our state and communities that impact the health status of our catchment area residents".
                                                                         -Robert Gerlach, Board Chair

Pink Ribbon  

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in New Hampshire and is the second leading cause of female cancer deaths in the state. ( NH State Health Improvement Plan) Since breast cancer can be detected early, it is essential for women to talk with their providers about appropriate screening. 

NH CCC works collaboratively with partners to share resources and implement strategies that address breast and other cancers in New Hampshire. State health data revealed that adults who work in restaurants and the food service industry are less likely to get preventive cancer screening tests such as a mammogram or Pap test. 

Our Equity Task Force partners created and mailed a poster (available in English and Spanish), about breast and cervical cancer screenings, to 1,500 food service establishments in NH, in an effort to increase awareness of FREE services available to employees. 

The NH Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides free screening to eligible women.
Nationally Recognized Breast Care at CMC, NH Magazine, October 2017
Comparing cancer drug effectiveness from cells to mice to man, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 9/6/17
Improving Cancer Control in Rural Communities , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 8/1/17
Upcoming Events

April 4, 2018 
Save the Date!
NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration
13th Annual Meeting 
Concord, NH

September 29, 2017
8:00 am - 4:30 pm,
Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Lebanon, NH

September 30, 2017
Get your Rear in Gear 5K, 9:00am, Gould Hill Farm, Concord, NH

October 29, 2017 
The United in Wellness Cancer Walk and Trick of Treat Trot 5K, to support cancer treatment programs at Exeter Hospital's Center for Cancer Care Exeter, NH, 9am

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This newly updated toolkit from GW Cancer Center's can help you establish a social media strategy, effectively communicate with your audience and raise awareness around this important issue.
The 15th edition of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network How Do You Measure Up? Progress report illustrates where states stand on issues that play a critical role in reducing cancer incidence and death.
A number of representatives from the NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration attended the 2017 CDC National Cancer Conference on August 14 through 16, 2017, in Atlanta. A wide variety of local, state, territorial, federal, academic, national, and community-based cancer prevention and control programs were represented, creating an excellent opportunity to meet partners from around the country.
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A Message from the Board Chair
Bob Gerlach
Robert Gerlach, Chair, NH CCC Board of Directors
On an annual basis three national organizations, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, arrange for local delegations to brief their Congressional representatives on the "state" of cancer research discovery. 

With the pending finalization of a work plan that is aligned with the expected renewal of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Comprehensive Cancer Control Program award to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, the August Board meeting included a discussion of potential new Board action steps toward achieving our goals. 

We are considering actions that can make a significant difference and are feasible with our limited resources available to us as volunteers. 

Our work plan and Board reflect the breadth of efforts to control cancer in New Hampshire, ranging from cancer prevention, through promotion of healthy behaviors, to provision of supportive care services, and to cancer survivors.  

Even at a given point on the continuum of health services, the diversity of cancer considerations takes individual service providers in different directions, whether it is tobacco avoidance or sun safety among youth, lung or colon cancer screening in at-risk asymptomatic individuals, pain relief, or access to clinical trials in late-stage disease.

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GW Cancer Center Features NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration Success Story
New Hampshire Legislative Effort to Prohibit Tanning for Teens Under 18

In 2013, New Hampshire ranked sixth in the nation for rates of new melanoma diagnoses . Early exposure to UV rays from indoor tanning devices (easily accessible and popular with teens) can increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. 

After unsuccessful attempts to ban indoor tanning among minors, the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration focused on engaging partners to increase awareness about the use and dangers of indoor tanning by teens under the age of 18. Partner activities ultimately led to the passage of a state law that prohibits indoor tanning for minors. Read more about their efforts on and get more success stories and tips for implementing your own policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

"Cognitive biases and decision making: The importance of understanding how patients process information" 
Issue Brief Released
We are pleased to share a new emerging issue brief, "Cognitive biases and decision making: The importance of understanding how patients process information", that was developed in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and shared with attendees at our annual meeting on April 5. 
While cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, reductions in smoking and improvements in early detection and treatment have resulted in a 25% drop in cancer death rates from 1991 to 2014. Despite these advancements, cancer remains one of the most feared medical diagnoses. At the time of initial diagnosis, patients often describe feeling shocked and overwhelmed. While processing this emotional experience, patients are also asked to digest complicated and stress inducing information about their future. Because good patient-provider communication is associated with improved emotional and physical health, it is important for care providers to understand how a patient processes information during these encounters.This understanding is essential for achieving more effective shared decision making.
Serving up Health: Equity Task Force Project to Understand Disparities in Cigarette Smoking in NH

Tobacco use is widely understood to be a key risk factor for cancer-contributing to about 30% of cancer cases. Unfortunately, tobacco use disproportionately affects several groups of people, including people of low socioeconomic status and people working in certain occupations. For example, the smoking rate among foodservice and accommodations workers in New Hampshire is 36%-- double the adult smoking rate.(1)


Given this disparity, the Equity Task Force set-out to understand what could be done to reduce the smoking rate among foodservice workers in New Hampshire. 


The Task Force developed a survey for foodservice owners and managers. The survey focused on how employee cigarette smoking impacts the business, what foodservice businesses could do, what foodservice businesses are actually doing, and what resources are needed to reduce smoking among employees. 


Along with some educational materials, the survey was mailed to small-to-medium sized foodservice businesses. Thirty-one foodservice owners and managers returned completed surveys.



Public Policy Education Committee Update
The Public Policy Education Committee (PPEC) resumes meeting this fall. At the time of this publication, the meeting date has not been set. If you are interested in becoming involved in or learning more about advocacy, please contact Terry Johnson at or either of the PPEC co-chairs: Nancy Kane at or Mike Rollo at
Nine Local Communities Go Tobacco Free in Recreation Areas
Richardson Park, Swanzey
Nine communities in the Monadnock Region have created tobacco-free policies for their recreation areas; these towns include Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Swanzey, Nelson, Rindge, Troy, Walpole and Winchester.
The policies are a direct result of the effort of the Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities (CCTFC), which is partnering with local communities to create tobacco-free environments in areas children frequent, i.e. parks, ball fields and beaches. The goal is to work with towns to create tobacco-free policies and provide signage for recreational areas. 
Communities that have adopted these policies agree that tobacco use in recreational areas is detrimental to the health of everyone using the outdoor spaces. Youth and children exposed to smoking and tobacco use are more likely to use tobacco products when they get older. Research shows prohibiting smoking in public places decreases the chances that kids will use tobacco products and supports adults in smoking less or stopping altogether.    

American Cancer Society Leading the Fight
For a World without Cancer
By Melissa McAllister

Around this time of year, pink starts to pop up everywhere as a universal symbol of breast cancer awareness for the month of October. But as we know, cancer awareness and research is not limited to one month out of the year. 

The American Cancer Society has funded ground breaking research toward reaching the goal of a world without cancer.

They have helped more than 20,000 investigators make important advances in prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for those with cancer. Some of these advancements include: 
  • Uncovering a key way to help tumors stop growing 
  • Confirming the link between smoking and lung cancer  
  • Proving that obesity increases risk of premature death and establishing the link between breast, colorectal, and other types of cancer.
Participate in the "Get Your Rear in Gear" Walk/Run to Support Colorectal Cancer Screening in NH
Register  for this Sept 30 event now

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (U.S.) in the combined male-female population. The Get Your Rear in Gear Trail 5K and Memory Walk is an event whose proceeds help to raise funds for CRC awareness efforts throughout the state. 

Each one of us has been affected by CRC in one way or another and this event is able to bring the residents of this great state together to honor those who may no longer be with us or those who have been afflicted with this disease.  
Participants can run the challenging trail route, or take a more relaxed, scenic 1.5 mile walk through the apple orchards and pumpkin patches at one of New England's best apple orchards, Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook, NH.     
This event is part of a national race series coordinated by the Colon Cancer Coalition, and is presented in NH by the NH Public Health Association, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and 107.7 The Pulse.  More than 200 participants have taken part in each of the first three events, and $50,000 has been raised by donations and sponsorships.  All proceeds from the race go towards offsetting the costs of screening for NH residents (e.g. transportation, prep, etc.). Previous grants supported by these funds have been awarded to local community health centers which have purchased 600+ FIT screening tests.  
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The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration is a dedicated partnership of individuals and organizations committed to reducing the burden of cancer in the state through the implementation of the NH Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan.

The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration is an initiative of the Foundation for Healthy Communities, a non-profit New Hampshire organization focused on improving health and health care through innovative partnerships.

For more information about NH CCC, go to our website or email .

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