CPRIT 2012 Abstracts Online
Abstract #204 - Empowering High-Risk Women To Prevent Breast Cancer: The Dallas Cancer Disparities Coalition
K. Cardarelli; M. Martin; K. Linnear; M. Paul; C. Lafayette; P. Harris; A. Johnson; K. Wilson; V. Ingram; The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth; University of North Texas
Introduction: Thirty percent of cancer deaths among Texas women can be attributed to breast cancer with the highest mortality rates observed in African Americans. These racial differences can be attributed in part, to the late stage of breast cancer diagnosis, which related to lack of routine mammograms, clinical-, and self-breast exams. The Dallas Cancer Disparities Community Coalition was created in 2007 to address the disproportionate burden of cancer mortality in South Dallas. Using a community-based participatory approach, the Coalition’s intervention was a program designed to increase valid knowledge of chief contributing factors for breast cancer, increase awareness of the importance of mammograms, and increase the proportion of women who are compliant with breast cancer screening guidelines. Methods: The 8-week breast health education program, built on tenets of the Health Belief Model and Social Cognitive Theory, targets women in Dallas County age 40 and older who have never had cancer, and who are eligible for a screening mammogram. All participants complete verbally-administered pre- and post-surveys to measure knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices related to breast cancer prevention. The 8-week health education program is designed to reduce cancer risk and to improve the quality of life of the participants by addressing nutrition, physical activity, weight management, regular preventive care, and emotional well-being. Sustainability is promoted through a year-long health behavior maintenance program. Lay health educators recruit and retain participants and navigate women with abnormal mammogram results. All women are offered the opportunity to receive a screening mammogram at no cost. Results: 290 women have participated in the program. Of the 290 women enrolled, approximately 46% had never received a mammogram and another 22% had not had a mammogram in over 5 years. Of the 190 women that have received screening mammograms through the program, approximately 22% required follow up for abnormal results. Statistically significant improvements in breast cancer knowledge and breast self-examinations have been demonstrated. Conclusion: Keys to success include:1) leveraging community stakeholders; 2) participating in ongoing community cultural events; 3) empowering women to network and build relationships in their communities; 4) providing incentives for participation; and 5) motivating women to take control of their physical, mental, and social well-being. Lessons learned from this community-based program to date can be used to create sustainable models of breast cancer prevention programs targeting underserved women.
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