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Cancer Prevention and Control

Members of the Cancer Prevention and Control Network stand with the Systems, Policy and Practice Field Innovation Award at the CDC National Cancer Conference in August 2012.

Principal Investigator
Vicki Taylor, MD, MPH

Co-Investigator
Peggy Hannon, PhD

Project Manager
Thuy Vu, MPH

Most people have been affected by cancer, whether it’s a family-member, a friend, or personally. The prevalence of cancer makes its prevention and control increasingly important, which is why the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network is dedicated to improving the use of successful intervention strategies.

“We have an arsenal of cancer prevention and control approaches that we don’t use to their full potential,” explains Peggy Hannon, a researcher with the Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) at the University of Washington and the chair of the Network’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program workgroup. Another HPRC researcher, Shin-Ping Tu, chairs the national Federally Qualified Health Centers workgroup.

The mission of the Cancer Prevention and Control Network, funded by two federal agencies, the CDC and the National Cancer Institute, is to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention and control strategies in communities. To this end, the researchers seek to understand the dissemination and implementation process associated with successful prevention and control approaches. The Network works with academia, public health, and community partners. In August the Network won the Systems, Policy and Practice Field Innovation Award at the CDC National Cancer Conference.

“We know that colorectal cancer screening offers the double advantage of detecting cancer early and preventing cancer through removing precancerous polyps, but colorectal cancer screening rates are low,” explains Hannon. “There are several evidence-based intervention strategies that increase screening rates and have the potential to save lives. Dissemination and implementation research helps us understand how to adapt these intervention strategies to different populations and implement them in various settings.”

The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network is comprised of ten research centers and one coordinating center. Each center conducts community-based participatory cancer research. The center housed at HPRC is also known as the Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest, led by Vicky Taylor, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a faculty member in the UW Department of Health Services.

The Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest focuses on cancer screening, as well as physical activity and other lifestyle behaviors. It also emphasizes collaboration with American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, and Hispanic communities to reduce the burden of cancer and identify predictable processes that will achieve better health and lower cancer incidence in underserved populations.

“We need this type of research to successfully increase colorectal cancer screening rates population-wide, and realize the promise of the discovery research that taught us that colorectal cancer screening is effective,” says Hannon.

In addition to chairing the Colorectal Cancer Control Program workgroup, earlier this year Hannon was named co-principal investigator of the Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest in recognition of her leadership within the Alliance and her contributions to the national efforts of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. The Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest convenes quarterly meetings with community and research partners to provide partner updates, exchange ideas, facilitate scientific discussions, and identify opportunities to leverage partners’ strengths.

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