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Cancer Prevention and Control

Program Overview

Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the United States. It is currently estimated that one of every two American men and one of every three American women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. In Connecticut, approximately 20,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Age is an important risk factor for many common cancers, so as our population ages we can expect the burden of cancer to increase and further tax our health care system.

It has been recognized for many years that cancer risk is determined by the interaction of lifestyle factors and genetics. Identifying lifestyle factors such as tobacco use and excess body weight that contribute to cancer and intervening appropriately has been proven to significantly impact on the cancer burden. Genetic factors such as BRCA mutations can help identify individuals at high risk of cancer and facilitate development of preventive strategies.

However, for many cancers, the causes remain unclear. The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program strives to conduct cutting-edge research to identify the causes of human cancers, and then use behavioral and other approaches to translate these findings into public health interventions to reduce cancer incidence, cancer morbidity, and mortality.

Genetic factors such as BRCA mutations can help identify individuals at high risk of cancer and facilitate development of preventive strategies. However, for many cancers, the causes remain unclear.

Our goal is to lower cancer rates throughout Connecticut, and for cancer survivors, to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients and their families. This has been greatly facilitated by key partnerships throughout the state that have been maintained for nearly three decades. Connecticut is thus a “population laboratory” for cancer prevention and control research, where discovery, implementation, and evaluation are occurring simultaneously.

Connecticut is thus a “population laboratory” for cancer prevention and control research, where discovery, implementation, and evaluation are occurring simultaneously.

Highlighted Research Articles

The Growing Use Of E-Cigarettes Among Youth - Yale’s TCORS is focused on the role played by flavors such as menthol, cherry, and chocolate that are added to the tobacco in e-cigarettes.

Millions of Lives Saved by Surgeon Generals Report on smoking: But the fight isn't over - The 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was a landmark document that brought together scientific leaders to review thousands of studies that demonstrated the dangers of smoking.

The Weight of Disease - Tobacco will soon be displaced as the main cause of cancer deaths in the United States. At the moment, one in every three U.S. adults is obese, and another third are overweight.

Tomosynthesis: The Future of Breast Cancer Screening - Digital breast tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography, provides a 3-D image of the breast, allowing radiologists to view the breast in detailed 1mm slices, instead of as a large single image.

The HPV Vaccine: Good News that Could be Better - The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination would prevent nine different types of HPV, which are responsible for 90 percent of cervical cancers.

Using "Big Data" to Scrutinize New Cancer Therapies - COPPER (Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research) Center researchers apply scientific skepticism to new medical treatments and technologies being used on patients.