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Cancer Prevention and Control

Cancer rates in the US - CDC map for 2015
In 2015, the latest year for which incidence data are available, 1,633,390 new cases of cancer were reported, and 595,919 people died of cancer in the United States. For every 100,000 people, 438 new cancer cases were reported and 159 died of cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. One of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer. — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Accounting for one of every four deaths in the United States, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2015, some 1,633,390 new cases of cancer were reported, and 595,919 people died of cancer in the United States. For every 100,000 people, 438 new cancer cases were reported and 159 died of cancer. As early as 1926, YSPH’s founder, C.E.-A. Winslow, foresaw the shift in public health priorities toward chronic diseases as a result of success in controlling infectious diseases and the revolution of antibiotics. Today, research in cancer and other chronic diseases encompasses faculty from diverse areas striving to explain:

  • Causation/etiology
  • Prevention
  • Screening/early detection
  • Survival and survivorship

Each cancer type has its own mechanisms and characteristics, necessitating a diverse collection of technologies and approaches for the study of cancer prevention and control, including:

  • Genomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Social and Behavioral effects
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Biostatistical methodology and study design
  • Cancer outcomes research

The Yale School of Public Health maintains biospecimens and data from thousands of individuals in more than a dozen studies, collaborative involvement with numerous international cancer research partners, and some of the leading experts in clinical trial design and data management, and genomic and metabolic centers.

Practice- and community-based research and initiatives

  • Paralleling cellular and molecular cancer research, interventional research such as the LEAN (Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition) study headed up by Melinda Irwin’s team, investigates the role of exercise and nutrition in the prevention of the recurrence of breast and other cancers. Findings from LEAN will have implications for clinical settings to improve cancer care methods/practices and, ultimately, survivorship.

  • Additionally, the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center and the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) are utilizing a community-based participatory research framework, engaging and partnering directly with local residents affected by health disparities, to address health in New Haven and beyond, with an aim of reducing chronic disease risk, including cancer.

  • Research in humanitarian settings includes chronic conditions including cancer.

Reducing Cancer Burden Through Collaborative Research

From key partnerships with the Yale Cancer Center to novel research efforts across New Haven and Connecticut, as well as globally, Yale scientists have already made significant steps toward preventing and treating a wide range of cancers.

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