The goal of the Biobehavioral Cancer Control Program (BCCP) is to reduce the burden of cancer across all phases of the cancer control continuum, from cancer risk through cancer survivorship, via research centered on behavioral factors and the patient/person experience.
The specific aims of BCCP are to:
- Investigate behavioral factors known to contribute to cancer risk reduction, with a particular focus on biobehavioral mechanisms underlying initiation, maintenance, and cessation of tobacco use
- Develop and test innovative biobehavioral interventions to reduce cancer risk behaviors, with a particular emphasis on tobacco use and cancer prevention behaviors
- Characterize disease and treatment-related symptoms in cancer survivors including the biobehavioral mechanisms underlying those symptoms
- Develop and test personalized management strategies to prevent or reduce cancer and cancer therapy-related symptoms and improve adherence to therapy, quality of life, and functional ability of cancer survivors.
Consistent with these aims and grounded in the behavioral sciences, program investigators conduct preclinical, translational, and clinical research studies (including randomized interventional trials) that largely fall within one (or both) of the two central themes below.
Cancer Risk Reduction
Cancer risk reduction focuses on behavioral factors that contribute to cancer risk reduction, particularly on the behavior with the single greatest impact on cancer burden, tobacco use, and the biobehavioral mechanisms underlying the initiation, maintenance and cessation of tobacco use. Research in this area also focuses on other increasingly recognized cancer risk and prevention behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet) and biobehavioral interventions. A better understanding of biobehavioral factors in cancer risk reduction contributes to more effective interventions to reduce negative health behaviors (e.g., tobacco use) and increase positive health behaviors (e.g., physical activity) and thus reduce the burden of cancer attributable to modifiable behaviors, which is estimated to include up to half of all diagnoses.
Cancer survivorship focuses on characterization of disease and treatment-related symptoms in cancer survivors and the biobehavioral mechanisms underlying those symptoms. Research in this area also focuses on developing and testing personalized interventions to prevent or reduce symptoms and to improve outcomes in cancer survivors including quality of life, functional ability, and adherence to cancer therapy. Better characterization of disease and treatment-related symptoms and identification of effective interventions to manage those symptoms will lead to a reduction of the burden of cancer in cancer survivors.