Breast cancer journey inspires UW-Stevens Point professor to educate others
After spending 14 days in the hospital recovering from breast cancer surgery, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Biology Professor Diane Caporale realized that her experience gave her a greater purpose.

“I felt that if I survived through it all, I had to educate others about breast cancer,” she said.

The five-year cancer survivor will share her personal journey as well as her genetic research on breast cancer as part of the 10th annual University Evening at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Her presentation, “I Inherited More from My Father than his Good Looks: A Case Study on Breast Cancer,” will be held in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center, with a reception to follow. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

University Evening invites the community to learn more about the creativity and scholarship of distinguished UW-Stevens Point faculty.

In her talk, Caporale hopes to educate others on the risks for both men and women who carry the BRCA breast cancer gene, which may lead to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. “If caught early, the prognosis can be excellent,” she said.

Caporale’s research into breast cancer and human genetics began a few years ago with the support of one of her students, 2012 graduate Erica Swenson, now a medical student at UW-Madison. In addition to teaching molecular biology and genetics, she also mentors several student research projects such as the spread of tick-borne diseases in Wisconsin.

Caporale holds a doctoral degree in genetics and a master’s degree in biology secondary education from the University of New Hampshire, and an undergraduate biology degree from the University of Vermont. She and her husband, UW-Stevens Point Biology Professor Chris Hartleb, have two daughters.


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