This story is part of the Celebrating Health Research storybook compiled by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), where life-changing research in Canada is presented by researchers and patients in their own words. CIHR is looking to reach 150 stories, and we would love to see School of Population and Public Health researchers featured and celebrated.
Why did you go into health research in the first place? What are you and your lab working on? What health problems are you tackling? What new scientific knowledge are you creating? Submit your own story here and spread the word.
Advocating for “hands on” approaches to cancer prevention
Researchers working to make the possibility of preventing cancer a reality
Dr. Carolyn Gotay
University of British Columbia
Cancer is one of the greatest health threats faced by our country today. About one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.
This year, more than 80,000 Canadians will lose their lives to cancer. We know that about half of cancer cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes – that is to say; not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, keeping physically active, eating better, drinking within guidelines (if at all), and getting enough sleep.
Our research at the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention has shown that a variety of strategies can lead to positive changes to reduce cancer risk: “new technologies” incorporating computer-generated, tailored messages; “hands on” approaches such as cooking classes for prostate cancer patients and their spouses; and a personal touch, like an individual sleep coach.
Much of cancer is preventable, and our research works toward making that possibility a reality.
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