Physical inactivity and increased alcohol consumption are among factors that increase breast cancer risk in women, but Augusta University’s Dr. Steven Coughlin is developing a one-of-a-kind breast cancer prevention app to help women combat the disease with healthy lifestyle changes.
Coughlin and his research team have launched a year-long project in creating the Physical activity and Your Nutrition for Cancer app to provide women with healthy behavioral tips on topics such as diet, caloric intake and carcinogenic exposure including hormone replacement therapy.
The PYNC app – which will be available on smartphones and tablets – will have the capability of syncing to users’ Fitbit and LoseIt! accounts to track health and fitness goals. Users can access the app’s health education information section to learn more about breast cancer risk reduction.
“Although there are breast cancer information apps already on the market, this app is unique in that it will be the first of its kind that solely focuses on breast cancer prevention,” said Coughlin, an associate professor in the university’s College of Allied Health Sciences. “Since we know that many breast cancers in women can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes, my team and I wanted to provide women with an easy-to-use app to help them take control of their health.”
A prototype app is currently being coded, and a group of women in Augusta and Seattle has begun reviewing the software’s content and usability. With the data collected during this study, Coughlin hopes to have an actual product later this year.
“At Augusta University, we are committed to innovative research that will empower the patient. That is why I am excited that our university’s professors have developed an app to help prevent a disease that remains one the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in American women,” said Dr. Gianluca De Leo, chair of the Department of Clinical and Digital Health Sciences in the College of Allied Health Sciences.