Open Access in JAH
- Given the continued growth in the number of persons with cancer in the United States, the primary prevention of cancer remains an urgent public health priority. As the field of cancer prevention continues to mature and scientific knowledge evolves, it is imperative to challenge the status quo and embrace new approaches to cancer prevention. In this commentary, we summarize recent trends and some of the scientific advances that have been made over the past few decades regarding the complex process of cancer development and the interaction of individual and social risk factors.
- Adolescent risk-taking may have long-term consequences for adult cancer risk. Behaviors such as smoking and sexual activity, commonly initiated during adolescence, may result—decades later—in cancer. Life course epidemiology focuses on unique vulnerabilities at specific development periods and their importance to later development of disease. A life course epidemiological perspective that integrates social and biological risk processes can help frame our understanding how specific adult cancers develop.
- In an effort to explore opportunities for cancer prevention during preadolescence and adolescence, the Cancer Prevention Across the Lifespan workgroup within the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened an informal panel of experts for a 2-day workshop August 9–10, 2011. In this report, we provide highlights from the workshop. A central theme of the workshop was that preadolescence and adolescence are times of unique susceptibility and vulnerability within the lifespan.
- Health, in its purest sense, is not the primary mission of the nation's K–12 schools, so why should schools feel obligated to address cancer education? The nation's educators are under tremendous pressure to prepare students to pass tests in English language arts and mathematics. As a result, health education and physical education are often assigned third-class status in many of the nation's schools, despite numerous studies supporting the connection between health and academic achievement. Is there a place for cancer prevention education in today's K–12 schools? This commentary explores existing structures that affect cancer prevention education and offers suggestions to improve K–12 health education initiatives.
- We conducted a descriptive study of the correlates of refusal and acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination by rural parents of preadolescent and adolescent children. We hypothesized that the correlates of parents who allow their children aged 9 to 13 years to get the HPV vaccine and those of parents who do not allow vaccination would differ significantly.