Topic Abstract: Cancer Control & Implementation Science

Sara Tohme
Graduate Student, Medical Sciences Program-Health Outcomes & Implementation Science Concentration


Cancer remains the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular diseases. It is projected that about 2 million new cancer cases and approximately 611,000 cancer deaths to occur in the United States as of 2024. The major well-studied risk factors include harmful alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, poor diet, tobacco intake and infection by cancer-causing microorganisms such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). In attempt to decrease cancer incidence, risk, morbidity and mortality, cancer control efforts surfaced bringing by behavioral, social, and population science programs aimed at developing or improving interventions to prevent or early detect cancer. However, bringing these interventions and evidence-based practices into real-world clinical settings have been a challenge. This is where implementation science comes into play to effectively integrate scientific evidence into practice and policy to benefit public health. Initially, evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of cancer prevention and control interventions is gathered using the randomized controlled trial. This trial often merits controlled rigorous monitoring, and enrolled participants are often homogenous. When taking these interventions to be utilized in real-world clinical and public health settings, the bedrock for analysis and evaluation moves to large, heterogeneous populations and settings. This in turn entails taking into consideration various influences that might affect the proper adoption of cancer control programs. Implementation Science Research, hence, investigates and addresses the multilevel factors (individual, health systems and policy level) that might hinder achieving public health benefit and explores alternative and innovative approaches to health care delivery and practice.

Speaker Bio

Sara is a Ph.D. candidate studying Medical Sciences: Health Outcomes and Implementation Science at UF. She completed her B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Targeted Cancer Therapeutics. She is currently involved in three implementation studies with Dr. Ramzi Salloum, all of which revolve around cancer control: prevention (smoke cessation) and early detection (HPV Self Sampling).

Florida’s State Academic Standards for Science


Explain the significance of genetic factors, environmental factors, and pathogenic agents to health from the perspectives of both individual and public health.


Explain that scientific knowledge is both durable and robust and open to change. Scientific knowledge can change because it is often examined and re-examined by new investigations and scientific argumentation. Because of these frequent examinations, scientific knowledge becomes stronger, leading to its durability.


Describe instances in which scientists’ varied backgrounds, talents, interests, and goals influence the inferences and thus the explanations that they make about observations of natural phenomena and describe that competing interpretations (explanations) of scientists are a strength of science as they are a source of new, testable ideas that have the potential to add new evidence to support one or another of the explanations.


Explain how scientific knowledge and reasoning provide an empirically-based perspective to inform society’s decision making

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