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UofL students seek answers to breast cancer disparities in minority populations
Date:10/25/2011

e assessing genetic variations that may predispose Hispanic women to have a greater risk of breast cancer.

Additionally, Kathy Baumgartner is the lead investigator on the Long Term Quality of Life Study (LTQOL) a 12-15 year follow-up of survival and quality of life for almost 1,600 women who participated in one of the New Mexico Women's Health Study (NMWHS), a study conducted from 1992 to 1996 that examined differences in the risk of breast cancer for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. All three Komen trainees have worked on the LTQOL, conducting phone interviews with women who are breast cancer survivors, as well as women who do not have a history of breast cancer. Women were asked to rate their quality of life based on several factors, including general health, limitations due to physical and emotional well-being, and the physical and mental impact of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Avonne Connor is the first SPHIS student to graduate with a doctoral degree in cancer epidemiology and is the first doctoral student to graduate with this specialization across all institutions in Kentucky. Connor examined whether genes associated with obesity and diabetes influence the disparity in breast cancer risk between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women.

Nandita Das' dissertation is using data from the Health Eating Activity & Lifestyle Study initiated in 1996 by Richard Baumgartner, chair, SPHIS Department of EPH. Das is investigating whether genes associated with folate metabolism influence the associations of chemotherapy and dietary intake of folate with breast cancer survival.

Stephanie Denkhoff has served as study coordinator for the LTQOL study, and her dissertation will examine the influence of genetics and environmental factors on the development of breast tumor subtypes that differ among ethnic groups.

Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in women, and approximately 3,600 women are diagnosed
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Contact: Julie Heflin
julie.heflin@louisville.edu
502-852-7987
University of Louisville
Source:Eurekalert

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