purdue university college of consumer and family sciences
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September 2007

Can We Really Prevent Cancers?

The estimated impact of cancer prevention, chemoprevention and control strategies on overall cancer deaths is dramatic.  The Institute of Medicine estimates that information we have now was broadly applied, we could achieve a 29% decline in the rate of cancer deaths by 2015.  With the new advances being made in this area, this estimate could grow dramatically.  It is likely that the development and implementation of new strategies in cancer prevention and control will by far have the greatest impact on reducing the burden of cancer.

The Oncological Sciences Center, an interdisciplinary research person looking into microscopecenter in Purdue’s Discovery Park leads the University’s efforts in the area of cancer prevention.The Center has five focus areas. In addition to Cancer Prevention and Control, the other four areas are Cancer Nanotechnology, Cancer Biomarkers, Novel Engineered Diagnostic and Therapeutic Devices, and Cancer Care Engineering.Dr. Dorothy Teegarden, a Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, serves on the executive committee of the Oncological Sciences Center. Dr. Teegarden brings the perspective of prevention to the Cancer Care Engineering Project.

The activities of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, with the guidance of the advisory team, Drs. Debbie Knapp, James Leary, Chris Agnew and Sophie Lelievre, is actively promoting research collaborations across interdisciplinary lines, and with the Indiana University School of Medicine and Cancer Center. The Purdue program sponsors a monthly seminar series, a Purdue retreat, and an annual retreat co-sponsored with the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center that is focused on cancer prevention, chemoprevention and control.  This years joint retreat will be in November.  It will target nutrition and cancer prevention; a signature area of the Foods and Nutrition Department.

Given information about an individual’s genetic and environmental exposures, it is now possible to identify who is at risk of developing cancer and to develop and test strategies to reduce this risk.  With the use of biomarkers and engineering technologies, we are making progress in very early detection, before the cells develop into tumors.  We also are poised to develop improved methods for changing behaviors and improving health care delivery to implement strategies known to reduce the risk of cancer.  Our work in this area may greatly reduce the number of cancers that develop and ultimately the personal and financial costs of this disease. For more information contact: Dr. Dorothy Teegarden at: dteegard@purdue.edu.

Nutrition Science Major Offers Students Many Options!

The Nutrition Science curriculum offered in the Department of Foods includes the integration of biological and physical sciences with applied and basic nutrition concepts. This provides the necessary foundation to thoroughly understand the science of nutrition. This major offers students a strong background for a medical professionalvariety of career options. Prerequisites for most pre-professional health programs, such as medical, dental, physical therapy, and osteopathic medical schools are met by this curriculum. In addition, students will be well prepared for attending graduate school in nutrition science or other life science programs. Students who opt for careers directly following graduation may consider opportunities in research, development, or sales in the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in government agencies or in academia. In addition, potential opportunities in corporate health and wellness programs exist. Students interested in these types of opportunities may consider including a minor or a double major as part of their curriculum. The curriculum offers many electives that can be used to create an individualized program of study. For more information about the Nutrition Science curriculum in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, contact Dr. Kim Buhman at: kbuhman@pudue.edu.

Breastfeeding Benefits

Breastfeeding is universally endorsed by the Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization as the best way to feed infants. Years of research have shed light on the vast array of benefits, not only for children, but also for mothers and society. For children, breastfeeding supports optimal development and protects against acute and chronic illness. For mothers, breastfeeding helps with recovery from pregnancy and childbirth and provides lifelong health advantages. According to CDC, breastfeeding is associated with less risk for pediatric overweight.

pregnant woman with advisorThe Purdue Cooperative Extension Service has been teaching the importance of breastfeeding since 1989 through the Have a Healthy Baby (HHB) program. This Program is a prenatal nutrition education effort that emphasizes nutrition, lifestyle choices and the importance of breastfeeding. Results show that approximately 50% of at-risk limited resource and adolescent women initiated breastfeeding after participation in HHB.

Donna Vandergraff, EFNEP Coordinator with Purdue Extension, serves as the representative to the Indiana Breastfeeding Alliance, a statewide network of agencies working to increase the rates of breastfeeding in Indiana. This network now includes local and regional breastfeeding coalitions. There are currently 16 coalitions and more are being formed. Purdue Extension is an integral part of many of these coalitions. Through the efforts of the Alliance and the coalitions, the CDC breastfeeding report card shows that Indiana meets 7 of the 8 process indicators for support of breastfeeding. For more information about breastfeeding coalitions in the state of Indiana, contact Donna at: dvanderg@purdue.edu.





Foods & Nutrition Department
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Phone: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674

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