Ohio Study: Not Enough Research for Some Cancer Types
November 7, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some aspects of cancer survivorship are losing out in the fight against cancer. Research focused on survivorship has grown in the past three decades, but it is disproportionate, according to a study from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Study co-author Electra Paskett, an Ohio State associate director for population sciences, points out that 22 percent of the survivor population is made up of breast cancer survivors, while 40 percent of current research focuses on breast cancer survivors. She notes the same correlation cannot be made for prostate cancer.
"Prostate cancer survivors make up 20 percent of the total survivorship population, but only 5 percent of the current research projects are specifically focused on prostate cancer survivors."
Researchers found that colorectal, gynecologic and hematological cancers are also under-represented in cancer survivorship studies.
Paskett urges more emphasis on prevention, early detection and post-treatment effects for cancer survivors. The number of survivors has increased, she adds, to about 12 million nationwide.
Looking at previous survivorship research is a crucial part of moving forward and effectively improving the quality of life for cancer survivors, Paskett says.
"This article can identify to researchers where there are holes and where they can come up with innovative projects that would have significance because the area is understudied."
She says current cancer survivorship studies at Ohio State are focused on chemoprevention, diet, exercise, stress reduction and yoga, and preventing limb swelling, as well as children's survivorship issues.
The study findings were published in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and are online at http://cebp.aacrjournals.org.