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"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

- Jane Goodall


New Publication


The Nova Scotia Community Cancer Matrix: A geospatial tool to support cancer prevention


Globally, cancer is a leading cause of death and morbidity and its burden is increasing worldwide. Clinical approaches alone will not solve this cancer crisis. Cancer prevention represents the most cost-effective, feasible and sustainable pathway towards global cancer control. While much is known about cancer risk factors, prevention programs often lack consideration of how place impacts cancer risk over time. The Nova Scotia Community Cancer Matrix (NS-Matrix) study was established in Nova Scotia (NS), a small province in Eastern Canada with a population of 1 million. The study integrates small-area profiles of cancer incidence with cancer risk factors and socioeconomic conditions, to inform locally relevant and equitable cancer prevention strategies. The NS-Matrix Study includes over 99,000 incident cancers diagnosed in NS between 2001 and 2017, georeferenced to small-area communities. In this analysis we used Bayesian inference to identify communities with high and low risk for lung and bladder cancer: two highly preventable cancers with rates in NS exceeding the Canadian average, and for which key risk factors are high. We report significant spatial heterogeneity in lung and bladder cancer risk. The identification of spatial disparities relating to a community's socioeconomic profile and other spatially varying factors, such as environmental exposures, can inform prevention. Adopting Bayesian spatial analysis methods and utilizing high quality cancer registry data provides a model to support geographically-focused cancer prevention efforts, tailored to local community needs..

About Daniel


I'm a professor in health promotion, a member of the Healthy Populations Institute, and flagship project co-lead, Creating Sustainable Health Systems in a Climate Crisis, at Dalhousie University. I work with a fantastic team of trainees and colleagues to explore the relationships between the quality of the environment and human health. The quality of the environment can be beneficial, like when we take time to immerse ourselves in nature; or, it can be detrimental such as when we are exposed to harmful contaminants.


My research is focused on measuring the characteristics of the environment, investigating how these characteristics affect our health, and experimenting with solutions and interventions toward a sustainable, healthy lifespan. If this type of work sounds interesting or even fascinating to you then please get in touch.


I'm always looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to join or support the team. Opportunities.

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