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Neo
30th March 2011, 12:38 PM
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Blythe Danner transformed the loss into action. She began working with the Oral Cancer Foundation, raising funds and awareness for the disease, whose numbers are steadily increasing.

It was recently linked to the HPV virus and is on the rise in men and young people, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers say the HPV virus, which is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women, triggers as many cancers of the upper throat in men as tobacco and alcohol.

In this exclusive Lifescript interview, the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow shares her thoughts on her daughterís macrobiotic diet, cancer and more.

Why are young people at risk for oral cancer?
This is one of the few cancers at an epidemic scale among younger people. Itís shocking.

[Researchers] attribute that to the HPV-16 virus. Itís found in cervical and oral cancer. And with kids today embarking on the sexual journey at earlier ages, a lot of [the increased risk] is attributed to oral sex.

How are you helping to educate young people about oral cancer?
We try to get the message out through Planned Parenthood, as well as the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Weíre encouraging boys and girls to get inoculated for the HPV virus when theyíre prepubescent.

After your husband passed from cancer, your daughter, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, made waves for following a macrobiotic diet, which focuses on natural, minimally processed foods and is often meat and dairy-free. Some even believe a macrobiotic diet may also prevent cancer. Did you change your eating habits too?
My daughter was very much into macrobiotics after Bruce died. I started down that path and held on to quite a bit of it.

Iím not on a strict ďmacroĒ diet Ė I eat some meat Ė but Iím very conscious of eating well.

[Gwyneth]ís a great cook and a great mother, and sheís been really helpful in teaching me about all that.

What treats do you allow yourself?
Itís important to eliminate sugars, but itís very difficult to not have some in our lives. Iím mad for dark chocolate, which I hope is as good for you as they say.

Last year, your daughter wrote on her website that she had an early form of osteoporosis, called osteopenia. As the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, were you concerned? Howís she doing now?
What she had was a vitamin-D deficiency. But sheís done everything she needs to do to correct that, and as far as I know, she has.

How do you stay healthy and youthful-looking?
I have to thank my parents for some of this, because Mom was 96 and always a beauty, and my dad was youthful too.

Iím not saying Iím a beauty Ė I just mean that they were in very good shape. I attribute a lot to that.

Then you do what one has to do in this businessÖ all the help you can get here or there to keep your skin healthy. Great facials and things like that.

What do you do for exercise?
The last couple of years Iíve worked at odd, different locations, and itís hard to get into a routine. I try to do long walks and some workouts.

Youíve been in a lot of niche and made-for-TV films. Do you consider yourself a B-list actress?
Iím happy as long as Iím working. When you get to my age, youíre very grateful Ė especially if youíre not an A-list actor Ė for opportunities to act.

These kinds of roles give you a chance to dig in and find some complexities. Itís not just one color Ė itís a spectrum. I [also] do a lot of things where there isnít as much dimension. So Iím always grateful for smaller roles that have some texture.