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Cancer Prevention and Control

Cancer accounts for approximately 1 of every 4 deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of death in Massachusetts. Almost 1.6 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2013. Certain groups, such as those of lower socioeconomic position consistently suffer disproportionately from cancer. 

A vast scientific literature has demonstrated effective ways to prevent cancer, detect cancer at early stages to improve prognosis, improve the cancer treatment experience, and improve health and quality of life during cancer survivorship. However, these effective treatments and interventions are often not implemented and used consistently in practice. 

Eliminating health disparities is at the heart of the UMass Chan mission. We are working on multiple fronts to advance health equity through education, research, health care delivery and public service., Our institution is investing in infrastructure and resources to serve as an engine of discovery to generate new knowledge that can have a tangible and measurable impact on those greatest in need. Our investigators conduct epidemiological, interventional and implementation research, including work focused on social determinants and disease prevention and management among populations that bear a greater burden of disease.

Implementation science is an emerging discipline in the health sciences that addresses the need to scientifically study how best to incorporate evidence-based practice into routine clinical and public health practice.  Implementation science requires a unique and diverse set of methodologies and skill sets. It also involves interdisciplinary team science approaches in collaboration with practice settings and organizations aiming to adopt evidence-based approaches. A critical component for the future of implementation science is a well-trained scientific workforce. PRACCTIS is one of the first full-time training programs intended to address this need.

The goal of PRACCTIS is to train future leaders in cancer prevention and control research as part of the ongoing effort to reduce the burden of cancer.