Health Buzz: MD Anderson Announces "Moon Shot" Push for Fighting Cancer

You too can become more patient; how to sneak in a salad

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Inspired by JFK's Push to Land on the Moon, Cancer Center Boosts Efforts to Find Cures

Today, the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston announced it would take one giant leap in fighting cancer. Launching in February 2013, its program will aim to reduce cancer deaths from eight specific types of cancer, find cures, and boost prevention efforts over the next 10 years. The project is estimated to cost about $3 billion dollars over the next decade, and the center already has tens of millions to jumpstart efforts. The dramatic effort is inspired by John F. Kennedy's push for space exploration in the 1960s, specifically when the former president insisted America land on the moon and do other challenging tasks "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." "When Kennedy stood up there on September 1962, he didn't say that we're going to study how to get to the moon," Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson, told ABC News. "He said we are going to the moon. Then the nation rallied to make sure we went to the moon." While cancer death rates have been falling since the 1990s, the disease is still a major threat. In the United States, the Associated Press reports, estimates are that more than 500,000 people will die from cancer this year.

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  • You! Too! Can Become More Patient

    Patience, they say, is a virtue. An elusive one, at that. In a world that caters to our every want and need and whim—and now—why wouldn't we turn red-faced and huffy when we're forced to wait a minute or two or 10? Why slow down when racing around does us just fine?

    Turns out there are plenty of reasons. Patience, or the ability to tolerate waiting, delay, or frustration—without becoming agitated—boosts both our mental and physical health. When we lose it, our bodies release stress hormones, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, that extra stress could also contribute to lower-back pain, tension headaches, menstrual problems, and even infertility. Plus, when we're impatient, "we tend to be more tired, more easily overwhelmed, and quicker to anger or be frustrated," says psychologist Jennifer Hartstein, who's based in New York. "If we can be more patient, we'll be healthier. We'll also stay calmer and more focused in our lives, which allows us to participate more fully in each experience we have. We enjoy life better when we're patient."

    In addition to making us happier and healthier, patience encourages better decision making and problem solving. We can assess situations more thoroughly and weigh the pros and cons. It also helps us develop understanding, empathy, and compassion, which strengthens our relationships with others. "People can read impatience on our faces, and they react and become anxious," says clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg, who's based in Mill Valley, Calif. "It doesn't bring out the best in them. And that goes for work relationships, intimate relationships—all of them. [Read more: You! Too! Can Become More Patient]

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    • How to Sneak in a Salad

      We're all big salad eaters in my home … except for one of my sons, writes U.S. News blogger Bonnie Taub-Dix. He would turn his nose up at any colorful creation I tossed together—until I realized the right tactic. I knew that he adored mangoes, so I considered his preference to craft the bridge between his plate and the salad bowl. I prepared a separate dish for him: a few chopped lettuce leaves topped with a whole, diced mango. While the rest of the family ate salad, he had his own special appetizer. This practice was repeated on other nights, except the lettuce-to-mango ratio increased regularly. Other ingredients were gradually added, and today, my 6-foot, 4-inch young man is making his own fruit and veggie medleys.

      It's not just kids that shun salads. Adults often opt for less nutrient-rich, calorie-laden appetizers and miss out on these satisfying dishes. Whether served as a side or a main, here are some helpful hints to get you psyched for salads: