Category: Health Magazine, Summer 2024

Title:New lung cancer prevention strategies

Kathryn Taylor, Ph.D., and Randi Williams, Ph.D., attended a June 2023 WhiteHouse Cancer Moonshot Forum on smoking cessation.
Kathryn Taylor, Ph.D., and Randi Williams, Ph.D., attended a June 2023 White House Cancer Moonshot Forum on smoking cessation.

As a behavioral scientist studying cancer, Kathryn Taylor, professor of oncology, chose to hone in on evidence-based strategies to help reduce cancer-related mortality due to tobacco use. The work she co-leads with Randi Williams, assistant professor of oncology, as part of the Lung Screening, Tobacco, and Health (LSTH) research lab at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is especially relevant to underserved communities, who are often the target of tobacco product marketing.

At the heart of Taylor and Williams’ work is advancing promising early detection strategies and promoting proven smoking cessation efforts. Williams brings her background in public health and a lens of health equity to the LSTH lab, which is part of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program at Georgetown Lombardi.

Their multipronged approach examines barriers of care that underserved populations face involving lung cancer screening referrals, smoking cessation referrals, and treatment. Examples of different prongs include leveraging electronic health records to encourage more equitable promotion of lung cancer screenings and evaluating the effectiveness of using such screenings.

“We became interested in studying teachable moments associated with lung cancer screening among patients who smoked about 10 years ago,” said Taylor. “We see all of these areas fitting together: tobacco use assessment, tobacco treatment, and lung cancer screenings.”

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