UNC Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (UNC BCERP)


Grandmother with adult daughter and grandchild riding bikesThe UNC BCERP is a five-year initiative aimed at studying how obesity and other influences may affect susceptibility to an aggressive subtype of breast cancer, basal-like breast cancer. UNC researchers have shown that basal-like breast cancer is more prevalent in pre-menopausal African American patients.

UNC BCERP seeks to accomplish the following major aims:

1. Identify whether obesity interacts with post-pregnancy changes in the breast to promote cancer development.

2. Identify changes caused by interactions between basal-like breast cancer and other cells found in breasts of obese women.

3. Determine if pregnancy and obesity alter the area surrounding breast cancer tissue in basal-like breast cancer patients.

4. Identify outreach needs and implement effective educational tools that inform women about obesity-related breast cancer risk.

5. Promote bidirectional communication between researchers and the breast cancer community in North Carolina.