Illinois Public Media News









AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 25, 2012

UIC to Study Weight Loss After Breast Cancer

Researchers in Chicago are launching a study to find out whether weight loss can help African-American breast cancer survivors.

The University of Illinois at Chicago study is funded by a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Melinda Stolley is leading the research. She says poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity contribute to breast cancer progression.

The randomized study will recruit 240 breast cancer survivors who finished their treatment at least six months ago. Study participants need to be overweight, able to participate in moderate physical activity and not currently in a structured weight-loss program.

UIC will coordinate with the Chicago Park District to carry out the study in the Roseland-Pullman, Englewood, Austin, South Shore and Lawndale neighborhoods of Chicago.

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Categories: Education, Health, Science

AP - Illinois Public Media News - March 22, 2012

Study: Race Gap in Breast Cancer Deaths in Many Cities

African-American women with breast cancer in Chicago are more likely to die of their disease than white women.

Now a new study by Chicago researchers finds that the disparity is a widespread problem in major cities. A team from the Sinai Urban Health Institute calculated the race gap in breast cancer mortality for the nation's 25 biggest cities, and found that more than half of them have a significant disparity.

"In the United States the number of deaths that occur each year because of the disparity, not because of [just] breast cancer, is 1,700," said Steven Whitman, director of the Institute. "That's about five a day."

Chicago was among the worst cities, with black women in the city 61 percent more likely to die than white women. Memphis had the largest disparity, and three other cities fared worse than Chicago: Denver, Houston and Los Angeles. All of the data are based on the years 2005-2007.

The study authors have connections with the Metropolitan Breast Cancer Task Force, whose research indicates that societal factors - "racism," as Whitman bluntly put it - are mainly responsible for the disparity. Task force members say unequal access to screening mammograms is largely to blame, and point out that Illinois' program providing screening to low-income women is nearly broke. Other public health researchers note that genetics likely plays a significant role in the race gap as well.

The study was funded by the Avon Foundation and published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.

Categories: Health, Race/Ethnicity, Science

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