UGA professor receives $3 million grant from National Cancer Institute for breast cancer research

For one University of Georgia professor, research means the most fundamental of all differences the difference between life and death.

Three years ago Jeffrey K. Springston, associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations of the Grady College at Journalism and Mass Communication, underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer after a routine screening caught the disease early.

Diagnosed at only 42, Springston calls himself "the classic poster child for early detection." Doctors told him he may not have lived to be 50 if the cancer hadn't been detected early. "But they caught it and so far I'm doing great," said Springston. "Fortunately I was practicing what I preach. Thank goodness."

Ironically Springston began preaching the importance of cancer screening about eight years ago because the disease was so common in his family.

"Clearly having cancer so prevalent in my life was a motivating factor in me applying my research in the direction of health communications," said Springston. "My own experience has been a real validation of my research. For me this is professional and personal."

The National Cancer Institute has awarded Springston a $3 million grant to research the differences between promoting breast cancer screening by comparing the effectiveness of the use of CD-ROMs against person-to-person telephone consultations.

Springston will design the CD at UGA and will conduct the research over the next five years with professors from Indiana University and Duke University. The study population will be women enrolled in managed care organizations in Indianapolis and the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.

"We want to see if one of these methods promotes mammography screening more effectively," said Springston. "We are also concerned with cost-effectiveness. That is a major part of the study, to see if the CD-ROM is viable economically. We hypothesize that over time it will be much cheaper.

Contact: Kim Carlyle
University of Georgia

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