Getting to Know Dalnim Cho, Ph.D.
For most of her career, Dr. Dalnim Cho has been interested in research that measures and monitors the quality of life and related behaviors of cancer patients, their families and their communities. A native of Korea, she earned her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Korea University in Seoul. In search of greater opportunities to work and study, she left Korea and earned two additional degrees – an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Personality Psychology, at the University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT).
“At UConn, I expanded my interest to health behaviors for cancer survivorship and prevention,” she explains. “I have long studied individual levels of influence, but here I started looking at the impact of the family, neighborhood, and other factors beyond the individual, that affect health behaviors.” Since 2017, she has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at M.D. Anderson.
“Prostate cancer has the largest racial disparities among all cancers in the U.S. African American men have the highest prostate cancer burden as they are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than any other racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. Prostate cancer burden also exists beyond the incidence and mortality as racial/ethnic minority prostate cancer survivors report lower quality of life than non-Hispanic white prostate cancer survivors. Reasons for these disparities in prostate cancer are complex, but energy balance may be associated with the disparities” she adds. As none of the studies to-date have targeted African American or Hispanic men, Dr. Cho, Dr. Lorna McNeill and other collaborators, including Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist, have developed Watchful Living, a pilot lifestyle intervention for African American and Hispanic prostate cancer patients and their partners.
“Our study seeks to determine the feasibility of recruiting target participants and implementing Watchful Living,” Dr. Cho explains. “Secondary aims are to 1) evaluate the preliminary efficacy of the intervention in improving diet, physical activity, partners’ support for lifestyle behaviors, quality of life and inflammation, and 2) review the process for the intervention.”
“We especially included spouses/partners in the study because caregivers and patients influence each other’s health, and patients may be more motivated to change their behavior if their significant other’s also do. By targeting survivor’s partners, we expect greater behavioral change and more likelihood that this change will be maintained.”
Dr. Cho and her team are challenged by the difficulty of reaching out to minority prostate cancer survivors, who also have a partner who is willing to get involved, but they are actively seeking participants for the protocol. “The staff and our support on this translational research effort are terrific, and we have high hopes for its success.”
The Third Expert Report
In May 2018, the World Cancer Research Fund International and American Institute for Cancer Research launched their The Third Expert Report - Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective. This report summarizes past decades of cancer prevention research, providing reliable cancer advice and updated Cancer Prevention Recommendations. It highlights new findings, including five additional cancers linked to obesity and strengthened evidence that specific food or nutrients are not single factors causing or protecting against cancer. Instead, a combination of diet and physical activity throughout life combine to make you more or less vulnerable to cancer.
A few of the chapters are:
- Cancer Process
- Judging the Evidence
- Energy Balance and Body Fatness
- Survivors of Breast and Other Cancers
- Recommendations and Public Health and Policy Implications
How can therapy for heart attack patients help cancer survivors?
Learn more about the link between heart disease and cancer in this article published by American Heart Association News.
Going Gym Free with Hosts Marc & Beth and Guest Karen Basen-Engquist: Blog Talk Radio
Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral Science and director of the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship was a featured guest on the "Let's Talk! Going Gym Free Show" with Marc and Beth. Listen now
The National Cancer Institute is providing data for researchers to develop novel analytic approaches for quantifying physical activity and dietary exposures
This data is available to all qualified investigators for studies of physical activity and nutrition. Interested investigators can request access to IDATA Study via the Cancer Data Access System.
Thank you to Erik Anderson, Co-Chairman & CEO of Topgolf® and to the entire Topgolf team for promoting a healthy lifestyle by supporting programs and research in the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. Topgolf’s fundraising efforts in July of 2017 raised $50,000 for the Center.
Learn more about the Topgolf partnership.