Women, colorectal cancer, and social support

Research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Dr. Candyce Kroenke, MPH, ScD, discusses recent research that indicated post-menopausal women with colorectal cancer would die sooner from their disease if they had a lack of support from their families, friends and social networks when they were diagnosed than those who had high levels of support.  This research underscores the importance of identifying patients at risk of low social support and providing them with additional resources, including emotional support and logistical help.

Candyce Kroenke, MPH, ScD, is a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research (DOR). Social determinants including social networks, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status have been reliably related to differences in cancer survival. Dr. Kroenke’s research focuses on understanding these relationships as well as the behavioural, biological, and treatment-related factors underlying associations. Dr. Kroenke’s work further considers the influence of lifestyle and behavioural factors on cancer survivorship. She is currently the principal investigator of two studies funded by the National Cancer Institute. The first study examines the influence of social networks on breast cancer treatment and prognosis. The second study, Exploring Networks in a Cohort of Latina and Asian Emigrants, lifestyle, and Vital status (ENCLAVE), evaluates the role of multilevel social networks in associations between immigrant status, health behaviours, and breast cancer outcomes. She is also principal investigator of the Investigating Network Support In Gaps in Health and Treatment in Breast Cancer (INSIGHT-BC) study, funded by the American Cancer Society, which examines the role of social networks in racial disparities in breast cancer treatment and survival. Dr. Kroenke received her doctorate in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and her master’s and undergraduate degrees in Epidemiology and Sociology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to her work at the Division of Research, she was an instructor at the Harvard Medical School and a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley site.

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