New cancer survivorship study focuses on Kentucky

    Stephanie Boone, PhD
    Stephanie Boone, PhD

    It’s among the first studies to evaluate only Kentucky cancer survivors with any type of cancer and compare the results within the state. University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences researcher Stephanie Boone, PhD, is leading efforts with a web-based survey called Life After Diagnosis and Descriptors of Experience and Responses or LADDER study.

    The goal is to recruit and enroll men and women over the age of 18 years, living in Kentucky, newly diagnosed with cancer within the past 12 months. The purpose of the survey is to capture positive and negative impacts of cancer and cancer treatment on the lives, experiences, health and wellbeing of patients within the first year of diagnosis. Participants will receive compensation.

    “An individual’s cancer experience is unique and influenced by a wide range of issues that may affect a person’s response to a cancer diagnosis,” Boone said. “As the number of cancer survivors in Kentucky increases, we hope to gain a better understanding of the cancer experience.”

    She says this includes looking at the quality of survivorship care, areas where needs are not being met and aspects of coping with cancer.

    There are approximately 255,000 Kentucky residents living with a history of cancer, and an estimated 26,500 new cancer diagnoses are expected this year in Kentucky.

    Researchers hope to enroll an equal number of survivors from both rural and urban parts of the state.

    “By inviting participants across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a diverse geographic culture is represented and our results can help to guide strategies to improve outcomes—quality of life, follow-up care and survival—in this ever-growing population,” Boone said.

    As experiences can change over time, the researchers anticipate this study will provide support for additional web-based research in Kentucky, along with the potential for study expansion.

    Survivors may enroll in the study by visiting the Kentucky Cancer Survivorship website.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.