Breast Cancer Prevention

Despite significant advances in breast cancer treatment, people continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer at astounding rates – rates that have remained essentially unchanged over the past three decades. Of the approximately $2 billion spent on breast cancer research each year, less than 10 percent is dedicated to prevention research. The opportunity for discovery is immense, and the time for breakthroughs is now – to help prevent the more than 2 million breast cancers that are diagnosed each year.

The California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), aims to advance breast cancer primary prevention by surfacing innovative breast cancer prevention research ideas from researchers and others interested in breast cancer prevention through the Global Challenge to Prevent Breast Cancer, a competition designed to surface game-changing breast cancer prevention research ideas.

This series presents the ten finalists with the most promising ideas for advancing breast cancer prevention.

Browse more programs in Global Challenge to Prevent Breast Cancer.

When Should You Seek Medical Care?

Knowing when to seek medical care can save your life but how can you tell if your complaint is best ignored or worth a trip to the doctor? Googling your symptoms can amplify concerns rather than ameliorate them but often common complaints are not a cause for worry.

This series features leaders in their field who address six common medical complaints, including blood pressure, palpitations, snoring, trouble urinating, skin lesions, and neck lumps.

Learn the signs that should raise concern and when it’s ok to relax, kick back, and focus on everyone else’s problems!

Browse more programs in Common Medical Complaints: When Should I Worry?

Cancer from an Evolutionary Perspective

Humans have a relatively high risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes. But cancer is not unique to humans. Across the tree of life, we can trace cancer vulnerabilities back to the origins of multicellularity. Cancer is observed in almost all multicellular phyla, including lineages leading to plants, fungi, and animals.

However, species vary remarkably in their susceptibility to cancer. And some organisms are much better at killing problem cells. Amy Boddy discusses how this variation is characterized by life history trade-offs, especially longevity. Interestingly, different species have evolved different ways to fight cell mutations that cause cancer. This may lead to a better understanding of cancer susceptibility across human populations.

Amy Boddy is an Assistant Professor in the Integrated Anthropological Sciences Unit and a Research Associate in the Broom Center for Demography at UC Santa Barbara. Boddy completed her PhD in molecular biology and genetics at the Wayne State University – School of Medicine in 2013. Her work uses applications from evolution and ecology to understand human health and disease. She uses a combination of genomics, computational biology and evolutionary theory to understand life history trade-offs between survival and reproduction across different levels of biological organization. One component of her research program examines how environmental cues, such as high extrinsic mortality, may guide resource allocations to cancer defenses and reproduction. Current cancer research topics include comparative oncology, intragenomic conflict, cellular life history trade-offs, and early life adversity and cancer outcomes later in life. In addition to her cancer research, she studies maternal/fetal conflict theory and the consequences of fetal microchimeric cells in maternal health and disease.

Watch Cancer Across the Tree of Life: New Insights into an Ancient Disease

Leading Cancer Experts and Advances in Care

8232Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide and is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease. But the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis is rising every year as medical knowledge increases.

Join the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s team for a series of discussions highlighting the latest advances in cancer research by UCSF’s distinguished physicians and scientists.

Engineering Immune Cells to Recognize and Kill Cancer
Find out how scientists are using immune proteins to mobilize immune cells to fight cancer.

Preventing Cancer: Genetics, Lifestyle, and Environment
Genetic testing, expanded screening, along with behavioral and lifestyle changes, may be the key.

Immunotherapy: Unleashing the Body’s Natural Defense Systems to Fight Cancer
Learn how immunotherapy research is leading to more precise treatments based on individual biology, tumors, and immune system response.

Personalizing Cancer Care and Treatment
Find out how genome-based analysis is providing critical information about the precise cancer type and giving clues about which therapy may be effective.

Patient-Centered Care in the 21st Century
What does patient-centered care look like in practice? How does it differ from the health care that most of us receive? What will it mean for patient health?

Two New Programs on the UC Wellbeing Channel

8232The UC Wellbeing Channel is the place to discover what top medical and scientific experts believe will lead to a mindful, balanced and healthy life. Whether it’s understanding the risks of eating genetically modified foods, as explained by Dave Schubert of the Salk Institute on Biological Studies (and backed up by peer-reviewed journal articles) or, upon getting a cancer diagnosis, embracing a comprehensive treatment plan like those offered by Daniel Vicario, MD, of the San Diego Cancer Research Institute, the UC Wellbeing Channel introduces you to respected academics who integrate traditional healing techniques with the best practices of Western medicine.