The complexity of cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses studies of cancer etiology, prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship. The School of Public Health Division of Epidemiology & Community Health is uniquely positioned to study the full range of cancer research questions. Faculty members bring an array of methods expertise including traditional epidemiology, decision modeling, and molecular biology. We collaborate with researchers across the School of Public Health and the University of Minnesota including Environmental Health, Nutrition, Health Policy and Management, and Pediatrics.

Preparations of datasets and data analysis support for studies of environmental exposures in the iowas women’s health study cohort
DeAnn Lazovich

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in postmenopausal women, and detailed epidemiological investigations are needed to identify etiologic factors, including potentially modifiable risk factors. In 1986, the Iowa Women’s Health Study (IWHS) recruited a population-based cohort of 41,837 postmenopausal Iowa women, ages 55 to 69 years, to determine whether diet, body fat distribution, and other risk factors were related to cancer incidence. The wealth of data derived from the cohort is enabling investigators to conduct analyses in four broad areas to test hypotheses on:

  • Potential risk factors for uncommon cancers not yet studied in this cohort;
  • Unexamined potential risk factors for incident common cancers;
  • Risk factors for incident cancers examined in a limited fashion previously; and
  • Potential contributors to better survival from breast, colorectal, ovarian, or uterine cancer.

Restore: Improving sexual outcomes of gay and bisexual men (GBM) after prostate cancer (PCa) treatment
Simon Rosser

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in gay and bisexual men (GBM), yet it has been severely under-researched. Because there have been no treatment studies of GBM with PCa, we do not know how well treatments work in this population. Moreover, because gay sex differs from vaginal sex, physiologically; the results from 614 studies focused on heterosexual men likely do not generalize to GBM with PCa. This study tests the effects of a multi-component online treatment program tailored for GBM survivors on their sexual and urinary outcomes. If successful, the study will demonstrate a new standard of rehabilitation care for this population.

Racism, residential segregation and breast cancer survival disparities among black, hispanic and non-hispanic white women
Theresa Osypuk

The goals of the proposed research, sponsored by an NIH (NCI) R01 grant, led by Dr. Kirsten Beyer at Milwaukee College of Wisconsin, are to

  • Construct novel area-based measures of segregation and racial discrimination;
  • Test how segregation and discrimination is associated with survival after breast cancer diagnoses and its racial/ethnic disparities; and
  • Test what mediates these associations both quantitatively and qualitatively.
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