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Study: Extreme weight gains could severely affect health of breast cancer survivors

BY Michael Johnsen

OAKLAND, Calif. — Breast cancer survivors who experience large weight gain have an increased risk of death after diagnosis, according to research released Tuesday by scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

Breast cancer survivors who experienced severe weight gain (10% or more over their pre-diagnosis weight) were 14% more likely to experience a cancer recurrence, compared with women whose weight remained stable (within 5% of pre-diagnosis weight) following diagnosis.

"Most women are not gaining a large amount of weight following breast cancer diagnosis," stated lead researcher Bette Caan, a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. "However, our analysis showed an association with poorer outcomes overall for those who do."

Caan explained that moderate weight gain did not affect breast cancer outcomes. "Women tend to worry about gaining weight after a breast cancer diagnosis," she said. "But it’s actually only the larger weight gains that increase the risk of poor outcomes."

Researchers also found that women who have large weight gains after diagnosis tend to be within normal weight ranges to begin with. In addition, the post-diagnosis effect of the weight gain tends to be greater for women who were originally thinner, they explained.

Women who were leaner to begin with at diagnosis (body mass index less than 25) and who later gained 10% or more, had a 25% higher risk of cancer death and also had a higher risk of recurrence, compared with women whose weight remained stable (within 5% of pre-diagnosis weight) following diagnosis.

Extreme weight gain occurred in 16% of women overall. Slightly more than 19% of women with a BMI less than 25 fell into the large weight gain category, but only 11.1% of women with a BMI greater than 30 fell into that category.

The study results are being presented at the American Association of Cancer Research 102nd meeting, which is being held this week in Orlando, Fla.

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Winn-Dixie’s charitable arm donates more than $1 million to charities

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Winn-Dixie Foundation, the charitable arm of retailer Winn-Dixie, on Tuesday announced its donations of nearly $1.3 million to 81 charities throughout its operating areas in the Southeast.

“The Winn-Dixie Foundation realizes the importance of giving back to the communities, especially in times of need,” stated Mary Kellmanson, president of Winn-Dixie Foundation. “For more than 68 years, the Winn-Dixie Foundation has donated funds to worthy not-for-profit organizations, empowering them to share our goal of helping to improve the lives of families in each neighborhood we serve.”

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CVS Caremark earns spot on reputable companies list

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Tuesday that it has been named as one of the most reputable companies in the United States in the 2011 Most Reputable Companies list published by Forbes magazine in partnership with the Reputation Institute.

Of the 150 companies included in the survey, CVS Caremark ranked 30th.

Survey respondents rated companies on financial performance, products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship and leadership.

"This recognition is a testament to the hard work that CVS Caremark colleagues do every day on behalf of our clients, customers and plan members in providing them with innovative solutions in pharmacy and health care," stated CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo. "We are committed to building on the work we have done to date to do even more to support the goals of our patients, our clients and the communities we serve."

The Reputation Institute’s Global RepTrak Pulse is the largest study of corporate reputations in the world, identifying what drives reputation and covering more than 2,500 companies from 41 countries annually. The Reputation Institute provides specific reputation insight from more than 15 different stakeholder groups and 24 industries.

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