Cancer Research Communications: Tools for Breast Cancer Battle

According to the World Health Organisation, breast cancer is the leading cancer in women. While the exact cause is unclear, experts believe that genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors contribute. Effective cancer research communications can help address the complex risks and provide clear information to patients.

At a Keystone Science Lecture on February 3 at NIEHS, Kami Silk, Ph.D., director of the University of Delaware Department of Communication, talked about her attempts to overcome these obstacles. She hopes to boost prevention efforts by developing tools that physicians and other professionals may use to explain the relationship between the environment and breast cancer.

Theory guides outreach

Communication scientists like Silk play an important role in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Programme (BCERP). NIEHS and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsor BCERP researchers, who adopt an interdisciplinary approach to discover how the environment may impact sickness. Sharing research with girls, women, parents, health advocates, physicians, and others is an important part of that effort.

According to Silk, communication scientists get instruction in social and behavioural sciences, research procedures, and theory. Their knowledge and skills enable them to disseminate research to individuals who need health information throughout social systems.

Successful translation involves more than information sheets and brochures. According to NCI, communication theory may help drive outreach efforts by determining the most successful ways to interact with certain populations. Silk, for example, shares her experience with her collaborators and uses ideas from her field to guide her instructional endeavours.

“Kami has enlightened fellow researchers and advocates alike in the rigour of communication science,” said Abee Boyles, Ph.D., the NIEHS project leader for BCERP. “She motivates others to develop and evaluate compelling messages that encourage behavioural changes to aid in the prevention of breast cancer.”

Genuine Communication

According to Silk, one well-known approach of persuading people to adopt healthy habits, such as increasing their activity, is to use credible authorities, such as physicians.

She said that paediatric healthcare experts, for example, might help parents and carers understand how to prevent or restrict their exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This may reduce girls’ lifetime risks of developing breast cancer.

Teaching Healthcare Providers

Silk’s team developed a continuing medical education (CME) course to help healthcare practitioners better understand how environmental factors may increase the likelihood of developing the condition. A compilation of three CME training films for paediatricians and others may teach them about how breast cancer is linked to the environment and lifestyle. Why EDCs may have an influence on teenage breast development.

Communication methods for providing patients with access to such information.

BCERP’s website offers a free course titled “The Role of Lifestyle and Environment in Breast Cancer Risk,” which has been professionally accredited.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top