Special Issue "Cancer Incidence and Risk Factors: Preventing Cancer across the Life Course"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kelly A. Hirko
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: cancer prevention; lifestyle risk factors; cancer disparities; etiology of breast cancer
Prof. Dr. Dorothy R. Pathak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: cancer etiology; cancer prevention; breast cancer risks; cancer incidence

Special Issue Information

Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. Environmental and/or potentially modifiable risk factors are important to investigate to reduce the overall burden of cancer. Indeed, more than 40% of cancers are attributable to modifiable lifestyle risk factors and could be preventable. Characterizing the constellation of exposures and risk factors over the life course is key in cancer prevention. While specific etiologically relevant windows of susceptibility to cancer risk factors have been proposed, more research is needed to characterize the interplay of environmental and lifestyle factors with timing of exposures in the life course. In this Special Issue, we welcome manuscript submissions focused on understanding how exposures to known cancer risk or protective factors may vary based on the timing of exposure across the life course. The requested manuscripts can focus on multiple cancer sites and risk factors, including alcohol, tobacco and secondhand smoke, traffic-related air pollution and chemicals, as well as protective behaviors, such as consuming a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and using sun protection. Studies examining etiologically relevant time periods for exposure to cancer risk factors, and those using innovative methodologies to characterize exposures across the life course are of particular interest.

Dr. Kelly A. Hirko
Prof. Dr. Dorothy R. Pathak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • cancer
  • prevention
  • life course
  • risk factors
  • modifiable
  • lifestyle
  • environmental
  • early-life exposures

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Nutrition Across the Life Course and Breast Cancer Risk: A Review of the Current Evidence
Authors: Kelly A. Hirko; Dorothy R. Pathak
Affiliation: 1) Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2) Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Abstract: Etiologically-relevant windows of susceptibility to breast cancer risk factors have been proposed, suggesting that the impact of nutrition on breast cancer risk may vary based on the timing of exposure. However, epidemiologic research on breast cancer has largely focused on nutrition during mid-to-late adulthood, and less is known about the impact of nutrition in adolescence on subsequent breast cancer risk. In this paper, we will summarize the state of knowledge on nutrition over the life course and breast cancer risk. We will also discuss methodological challenges in life course research in breast cancer, stemming in part from the long latency period and the differing etiologies across breast cancer tumor subtypes.

Title: Cabbage and Sauerkraut Consumption in Adolescence and Adulthood and Breast Cancer Risk among US-Resident Polish Migrant Women
Authors: Dorothy Rybaczyk Pathak; Aryeh D. Stein; Jian-Ping He; Mary M. Noel; Larry Hembroff; Dorothy A. Nelson; Fawn Vigneau; Tiefu Shen; Laura J. Scott; Jadwiga Charzewska; Bożena Wajszczyk; Karen Clark; Leszek A. Rybaczyk; Bogdan A. Pathak; Dorota Błaszczyk; Ann Bankowski; Walter C. Willett
Affiliation: 1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, (ORCID 0000-0002-5318-3985); E-mail: [email protected]; 2. Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta GA 30322; E-mail: [email protected]; 3. Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 35 Convent Dr, Bethesda, MD, 20892;E-mail: [email protected] 4. Department of Family Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; E-mail: [email protected]; 5. Office for Survey Research, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824; E-mails: [email protected] (L.H.); [email protected] (K.C.); 6. Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309; E-mail: [email protected]; 7. Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201; E-mails: [email protected] (F.W); [email protected] (A.B.); 8. Office of Policy, Planning and Statistics, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield IL 62761; E-mail: [email protected]; 9. Department of Biostatistics and Center for Statistical Genetics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; E-mail: [email protected]; 10. National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland; E-mails: [email protected] (J.Ch); [email protected] (B.W.); 11. East Lansing, MI, 48864; E-mail: [email protected]; 12. Albuquerque, NM, 87111: E-mail: [email protected]; 13. Naperville, IL 6056; E-mail: [email protected]; 14. Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA, 02115; E-mail: [email protected];
Abstract: Background: Breast cancer (BC) incidence and mortality are lower in Poland than in the United States (US). However, Polish-born migrant women to US approach the higher BC mortality rates of US women. We evaluated the association between consumption of cabbage/sauerkraut foods and BC risk in Polish-born migrants to US. Methods: We conducted a case-control study of BC among Polish-born migrants in Cook County and the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Cases (n=131) were 20-79 years old with histological/cytological confirmation of invasive BC. Population-based controls (n=284) were frequency matched to cases on age and residence. Food frequency questionnaires assessed diet during adulthood and age 12-13 years. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated with conditional logistic regression. Consumption of total, raw/short-cooked and long-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods was categorized as low, medium, or high (frequency of servings/week). Results: Higher consumption of total and raw/short-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods, during both adolescence and adulthood, was associated with a significantly lower BC risk. Consumption of long-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods was low and not significantly associated with risk. The multivariate OR for total cabbage/sauerkraut consumption, high vs. low (>4 vs ≤2 servings/week) during adolescence was 0.37 (95% CI=0.19-0.72, ptrend < 0.01) and 0.49 (95% CI=0.23-1.03, ptrend=0.07) during adulthood. For raw/short-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut (>3 vs ≤1.5 servings/week) the ORs were 0.34 (95% CI=0.16-0.70, ptrend <0.01) during adolescence and 0.38 (95% CI=0.17-0.79, ptrend < 0.01) during adulthood. For joint adolescent/adult consumption of raw/short-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods, (high, high) vs (low, low), the OR was 0.25 (95% CI = 0.09 – 0.71). The significant association for high adolescent consumption of raw/short-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods and reduced BC risk was consistent across all levels of consumption in adulthood. Conclusion: Greater consumption of total and raw/short-cooked cabbage/sauerkraut foods was associated with significantly reduced BC risk among Polish migrant women. The observed associations suggest a dietary modality, starting in adolescence, to reduce BC burden.

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