Cancer Screening and Prevention Key Topics at Coaches vs Cancer Tip-Off Breakfast

For immediate release: November 06, 2014

Dr. Cheryl Holt with the event leaders

Dr. Cheryl Holt with the event leaders

November 6, 2014 – The importance of cancer screening and early detection was a major focus at this year’s annual Coaches vs. Cancer Season Tip-Off Breakfast, which was held on November 4, 2014 and was sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball. Cheryl Holt, PhD, who co-leads the Population Science research program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, spoke at the event and highlighted many aspects of cancer and associated prevention and screening.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program was created in 1993 by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program empowers university basketball coaches, their teams, and their supporting communities to join in the universal fight against all types of cancer by raising awareness through programs and fundraising events. It was hosted this year by University of Maryland, College Park and Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon.

An associate professor and co-director of the Center for Health Behavior Research at University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Holt touched on the role that media can have in creating public confusion around a wide variety of cancer topics, such as the debated effectiveness of different cancer screenings.

“There has been a lot of recent controversy around recommended cancer screening schedules,” says Dr. Holt. “This leads to public confusion and underscores the importance of people maintaining a close relationship with their primary care physician.”

As part of her work in cancer screening and prevention, Dr. Holt leads Project HEAL, which stands for “Health through Early Awareness and Learning” and is a 5-year project funded by the National Cancer Institute. As part of Project HEAL, men and women in African American churches in Prince George’s County, MD are educated to spread awareness about cancer early detection.

“It is so important to help spread the word of finding cancer through early detection via our social networks and the other people in our lives,” Holt said.