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The Cancer Prevention and Control Program

  • Row of people working out on cardio equipment

Physical Activity

There is much support for the idea that physical activity and health are directly related. We aim to both uncover the complex relationship between physical activity and lowered cancer risk and promote healthy living through physical activity programs implemented in our communities around South Carolina.

Ongoing and Completed Studies

Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Healthy Brain Initiative Network Collaborating Center)

Study Period: 9/30/149/29/19

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death among US adults, although a recent report suggests that Alzheimer’s-related deaths are vastly underreported and the death rate may be more comparable to that of cardiovascular disease and cancer. With the increasing age of our population, death rates from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) will continue to rise. In response to this, national and international organizations have identified dementia, including ADRD, as a public health priority. USC was selected to serve in the role of Collaborating Center in the CDC Prevention Research Centers’ (PRC) Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN). The SC-HBRN has three specific aims: (1) establish a research agenda concerning cognitive health and healthy aging, (2) advance research in the areas of cognitive health and healthy aging, and (3) support fellowship training of doctoral candidates. We share the funder’s goal of advancing the public health and aging agenda by making a major contribution to CDC’s Healthy Brain Research and working with other HBRN Centers and public health partners to increase their capacity to implement actions in The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018. The work of the SC-HBRN is aligned with the Healthy People 2020 topic area, “Dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease,” The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, and The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018.

Principal Investigator: Heather Brandt and James Hébert

Funding Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 5/1/143/31/18

This dissemination and implementation research is based on our previous efficacious intervention trial that which focused on diet, physical activity and stress reduction in collaboration with the African-American (AA) faith community to reduce inflammation (the HEALS intervention). Extraordinary success in engaging the AA faith and greater AA community through community-based participatory research now allows us to disseminate and implement this intervention. We will ensure that this research contributes to achieving our overall goal of reducing health disparities among AAs through the following specific aims: (1) disseminate and implement the successful HEALS intervention in the AA faith community; (2) evaluate and monitor the dissemination process for adoption, recruitment, retention and fidelity to the HEALS intervention; (3) conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of intervention dissemination and implementation to reduce health disparities in parameters associated with inflammation; and (4) enhance the capacity of the target community to sustain the delivery of the evidence-based intervention and engage in future research to address health disparities through cultivation of a network of active church and community educators and leadership development activities.

Principal Investigator: James Hébert; Co-Investigator and Community Outreach Core Leader: Heather Brandt; Co-Investigator and Research Core Leader: Swann Adams; Co-Investigator and Training Core Co-Leader: Cheryl A Armstead; Co-Investigator and Pilot Project Leader: Daniela B Friedman

Funding Source: National Cancer Institute

Study Period: 7/106/15

The overall goal is to continue to address cancer disparities through research, education, and training. The focus of the SCCDCN-II is on addressing cancer disparities among African Americans in South Carolina through partnerships with community-based organizations, specifically the State Baptist Young Woman’s Auxiliary of the Woman’s Baptist Education and Missionary Convention.

Co-Principal Investigator: James Hébert; Co-Investigator: Cheryl A Armstead

Funding Source: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 8/1/083/31/15

The overall goal of this project is to reduce colon cancer-related health disparities, by conducting (specific aims): 1) a faith-based community-designed, screening to identify individuals having colon polyps; 2) a case-control study designed collaboratively by the faith-based community and USC scientists to identify factors associated with the presence of polyps; and 3) a study to test the effectiveness of a community-designed, family-based dietary and physical activity intervention aimed at modifying levels of inflammatory markers associated with colon cancer risk.


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