Dr. Graham Colditz, a public health expert and epidemiologist who has dedicated his distinguished 35+ years career to the causes and prevention of chronic diseases and cancer was the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program’s 4th lecture speaker, on Friday, November 3, 2017. Attendees of Dr. Colditz’s talks included medical professionals as well as patients and supporters of the program.
Dr. Colditz shared that there has been a long history of accepting prevention related to cancer and other chronic illnesses, but that there is a need to speed up implementing prevention practices! He explored the question, “Why are we not preventing more cancer now?” and cited reasons as including:
- Skepticism that cancer can be prevented
- Short term focus of cancer research
- Interventions deployed too late in life
Studies have shown medical interventions, such as screening for colorectal cancer, (HPV) vaccinations for cervical cancer and mammograms have resulted in positive impacts. He also shared the importance of behavioral, social and policy interventions that impact cancer prevention, including:
- Cessation of tobacco use
- Recommended screenings and vaccinations
- Increasing physical activity
- Avoiding adult weight gain
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Eating healthy diet
- Reducing sun exposure
In his morning talk, Implementing prevention to reduce incidence and improve outcomes in AYA survivors, Dr. Colditz emphasized that incorporating prevention strategies is important for everyone, and most certainly for cancer survivors!
Thank you, Dr. Colditz and all who attended!