The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a $2.6 million grant to the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). The award, which is part of a larger collaborative grant, supports CPIC’s study of body size and cancer risk within the California Teachers Study, one of the largest longitudinal studies of women’s health.

Formerly known as the Northern California Cancer Center, CPIC tracks patterns of cancer throughout the entire population and identifies those at risk for developing cancer. Its research scientists are leaders in investigating the causes of cancer in large populations to advance the development of prevention-focused interventions. CPIC’s innovative cancer prevention research and cancer education and community partnership programs, together with the Stanford Cancer Center, deliver a comprehensive arsenal for defeating cancer.

The California Teachers Study has been following more than 133,000 female teachers in California since 1995 to learn what factors put women at risk for cancer and examine other health and wellness-related issues.

Based on the increasing rates of obesity during the past two decades, CPIC scientists will use the study’s data and data from the California Cancer Registry to determine how lifelong and changing patterns of body fat and obesity are associated with breast, endometrial and colon cancers. They will also investigate whether or not other known cancer risk factors or genetic variations interact with obesity to further increase risk of breast and other cancers.

“Our focus on changeable behaviors, along with understanding who may benefit most from changing certain behaviors, will help identify things that women could do to reduce their likelihood of getting these cancers,” said CPIC’s Dr. Pamela Horn-Ross, Co-Principal Investigator of the California Teachers Study.

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The funding awarded to CPIC is part of a larger $13 million grant awarded to all four university medical schools and institutions that collaborate in the statewide study. The funds will support studies of modifiable factors including physical activity, obesity, and aspirin use.

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