Laura Anderson leads a team that has received a $116,000 CIHR - ICR / Cancer Research Society Partnership - Research Grant for “Identifying changes in cancer risk factors during the COVID-19 pandemic and predicting population risk.”

Smoking, alcohol, poor diet, and lack of physical activity are well established factors that increase a person’s risk for cancer and unintended changes in these risk factors during the COVID-19 pandemic may have led to increased cancer risk. The overall goals of this study are to measure changes in cancer risk factors, identify populations at greatest risk, and predict how these changes may impact the future incidence of cancer.

The researchers will use a multi-pronged approach to evaluate the changes in cancer risk factors using national data from repeated surveys and novel artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches to non-traditional electronic sources of data.

The resulting measures of the change in risk factors during the pandemic will then be applied to existing cancer prediction models to estimate the potential increase in cancer burden due to risk factor changes during the pandemic

McMaster University Social Sciences

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