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Cancer Prevention & Control Program

University of Colorado Cancer Center

The goal of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program is to develop and implement ways to reduce cancer risk and enhance outcomes for cancer survivors across Colorado. 

The Cancer Prevention and Control Program is comprised of 32 Full and Associate members from all 5 academic consortium institutions, 7 schools and centers, and 18 academic departments within the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and University of Colorado Boulder. 

Scientific Goals:

  • Develop and evaluate novel approaches to primary prevention and screening. 

  • Disseminate prevention interventions in a population-based setting.

  • Improve health services delivery for cancer patients and outcomes for cancer suvivors.
    (longevity, comorbidity, quality of life, and mortality)


Focus Groups:

  1. Population Sciences Research

  2. Behavioral Research in Primary and Secondary Prevention

  3. Chemoprevention Research

  4. Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship Research


Cancer Prevention and Control research has led to advancements in primary and clinical preventive services, statewide policies, and improved cancer survivorship. Cancer Prevention and Control investigators studied promising agents in pre-clinical studies, identified breast cancer risk factors in Hispanic women, developed and operated the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program, made advancements in the understanding of obesity and breast cancer, and affected cancer prevention and control policy across the state.

Fall 2018 Accomplishments:

​Smoking Cessation
Dr. Zhou is conducting a pilot study funded by ACS IRG to determine factors that get in the way of people trying to quit smoking in our local community—North Aurora, Colorado. The research project identifies and locates the different types of environmental cues to cigarette smoking through guided tours accompanied by smokers living in low-income communities in Aurora, CO. It also assesses smokers’ psychological and behavioral reactions to the different types of environmental triggers. This research provides us a better understanding of the types and prevalence of environmental triggers of smoking in low-income communities, helps reduce the disparity in tobacco use, and can inform tobacco regulation. Based on findings from this pilot work, Dr. Zhou will use virtual reality (VR) as the tool to measure smokers’ reactions to smoking cues and develop an innovative mobile-based intervention integrating EMA and GIS methods to facilitate tobacco cessation.

​​​Physical Activity
Heather Leach, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, recently received a grant from the American Cancer Society to study how to increase physical activity and quality of life in patients recovering from colorectal cancer. The $718,000 grant will run for five years.
Leach, who has a background in clinical exercise physiology, and behavioral science, with a Ph.D. in kinesiology, will be studying ways to encourage physical activity in colorectal cancer survivors.
​​“This grant serves multiple functions for Dr. Leach,” said Barry Braun, department head in Health and Exercise Science. “It is a very strong message from the cancer research community that she is a rising star and her research is a good investment. It has a theory-based, scientific question asking ‘what are the factors that drive behavior change?’ And, it has a direct connection to human health that we value highly in the department and college – with very tangible real-world relevance to the lives of actual cancer survivors.”
For further information click here​.


Cancer Prevention and Control Seminar Series

The Cancer Prevention and Control Program is hosting a seminar series on the 2nd Wednesday of every monthn the Chester E. Ridgeway Conference room 7000 in AO1 unless otherwise noted.

We take a break for the summer months, but we will be back in full swing in September of 2018.  Put these dates on your calendar and then check back for more information as we get closer:

August 14, 2019 - Speaker Michael Chaiton re Smoking Cessation 

This talk will cover some of the difficulties in helping people quit smoking and why population-wide measures like banning menthol from cigarettes may be much more effective at reducing the prevalence of smoking. 

September 11, 2019 – Speaker is an Intervention Methodologist 

October 9, 2019 – Speaker TBD 

November 13, 2019 - Speaker TBD 

December 11, 2019 - Speaker Swati Patel 

January 8, 2020 - Speaker TBD 

February 12, 2020 – Speakers will be Drs. Adgate and McKenzie 

March 11, 2020 - Speaker Elizabeth Ryan re Dietary Interventions for Primary Prevention of Colon Cancer 

April 8, 2020 – Speaker TBD 

May 13, 2020 - Speaker TBD 

Check back for upcoming presentation details or contact Ellen Valentine at 303-724-8421 for details.

Cancer Prevention and Control Annual Retreat

Stay tuned for more details about the 2020 event!