About the Journal
Special Interview with Ahmedin Jemal
4 May 2012
Check out the special interview with Ahmedin Jemal - author of June Platinum Priority article:
"International Variation in Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates"
Volume 61, issue 6, pages 1079-1092, June 2012
1. Dr. Jemal, You are probably the top cited author in the field of Cancer Epidemiology. Can you tell us a little bit of your education and why you selected Cancer Research as your specialty?
I was first trained in Veterinary Medicine and practiced large animal medicine for about four years in Ethiopia before I came to the US for graduate studies in veterinary science (epidemiology) at Louisiana State University (LSU). Upon graduation from LSU, I applied for a cancer research training fellowship program at the National Cancer Institute, and I was lucky to be admitted in the program. I developed my interest in cancer epidemiology (specifically in descriptive epidemiology) during this training program. I did not have any background in cancer epidemiology before that.
2. What are your expectations with regards to incidence and mortality rates of the most common cancers in both men and women (breast, lung, colon and prostate) for the upcoming years?
In general, it is difficult to predict trends in cancer incidence rates because incidence rates could be affected by changes in both risk factors and detection practices. Nevertheless, lung cancer rates are expected to continue decrease because of continued reduction in smoking prevalence since 1960s. Similarly, colorectal cancer rates are expected to continue decreasing largely because of increased uptake of colonoscopy which allows detection and removal of precancerous lesions (polyps). However, trends in breast and prostate cancer incidence rates over the past few decades were largely influenced by mammography and PSA testing, respectively, and thus it is difficult to predict future trends in breast and prostate cancer.
3. What changes or improvements would you like to see concerning scientific research your area of expertise in the future?
I would like to see more success stories based on population-based studies in order to accelerate the application of existing cancer control knowledge in to practice.
4. Who is your hero, if not in the field of Research, in life?
My mother is definitely my hero. She is a very compassionate woman with unconditional love and dedication to see the best in all humanity.