UNC Breast Cancer Study Garners International Attention

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The results of a UNC-based research project that suggest women who exercise regularly after the age of 30 may be less likely to develop breast cancer have appeared in media outlets around the world and will be included in an upcoming story in Fitness magazine.

The research was presented by UNC graduate student Lisa Sprod at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting May 31 in Seattle. Sprod served as principal researcher on the project.

News of Sprod's presentation spread quickly via Reuter's, a leading international news service. Within a few days, stories about the UNC research project and Sprod's role appeared in print and electronic versions of media outlets around the world, including Russia, Italy, Greece, India, Sweden Canada and the United Kingdom, and Sprod was interviewed for a story in a future edition of Fitness magazine.

The stories all noted that the results of a survey of 4,296 women showed that women above 30 significantly cut their chances of developing breast cancer if they exercise at least an hour per week.

"I was extremely surprised by the amount of media attention the presentation received," Sprod said. "It's interesting to see how something like this can snowball."

Sprod is finishing her dissertation for a doctorate degree from UNC in Exercise Science. She served as clinical coordinator at the university's Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute for three years before leaving recently to take a position as a research assistant professor with the University of Rochester and to continue cancer control research.

Other researchers on the project included Carole Schneider, RMCRI's director of research and education, Susan Carter, the institute's medical director, and Reid Hayward, its director of basic science research. The three are faculty in UNC's Sport and Exercise Science program.

Sprod said she hopes to work with Schneider, who served as her advisor, in the field of cancer rehabilitation.

"The work being done at the institute is extremely important," Sprod said. It's an amazing facility and work being done there has changed many lives."

The Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute is the only comprehensive cancer rehabilitation facility of its kind. It provides individualized prescriptive exercise and dietary intervention in the recovery of cancer treatment-related symptoms. Find out more at http://www.unco.edu/rmcri.

Of Note
- UNC's Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute will sponsor the Race Against Cancer '' a benefit 5K run and 1-mile fitness walk '' on Saturday, July 4. The race begins at 7:15 a.m. Deadline to pre-register is June 26 for mail-in entries and noon on July 1 if registering online at http://www.unc.edu.rmcri. Registration can be done in person until 4 p.m. on July 3 at Bells Running, 2620 W. 10th St., Greeley, or at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute on the UNC campus. Cost is $25 per adult and $15 for children 12-and-under. Race-day registration begins at 6 a.m. and is $30. For more information, call 351-1876.

- The race was formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure but event organizers dropped the affiliation to keep all proceeds locally to support survivors of all kinds of cancer. In the past, 25 percent of the funds raised by the race supported the Susan G. Komen national program for the education, screening and treatment programs for those with breast cancer.

- Gary Dutmers