For Cervical Cancer Screening Month, NCI "TEAMS UP"
in a Unique Partnership
NCI's Cancer Information Service (CIS) partnership program recently launched a new initiative to help overcome cancer health disparities in this area. Many women in the United States do not get screened for early detection of cervical and breast cancer at recommended intervals, despite the proven effectiveness of screening in reducing risk for these diseases. This is particularly true for women who don't get needed services because of fear and mistrust, lack of knowledge or awareness of services offered, limited physical access to services, socioeconomic barriers, language or cultural orientation, or an inability to follow through with provider recommendations. There are many cancer control approaches that work, but very little is known about how best to disseminate these approaches to widely implement them at the community level.
CIS, the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, the Office of Education and Special Initiatives, and the Office of Liaison Activities are partnering with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service Agents on a pilot project called "TEAM-UP: Cancer Screening Saves Lives." The pilot program's goal is to increase participation in cervical and breast cancer screening programs among never and/or rarely screened women in eight states - Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee - with persistently high cervical and breast cancer incidence and mortality rates. NCI/CIS Partnership program staff are working with ACS regional planners and CDC and USDA staff to build and sustain partnerships that encourage the adoption and implementation of evidence-based screening programs to reach those populations of women at greatest risk for cervical and breast cancer.
The dissemination of evidence-based interventions that target these women is one mechanism to address the cancer health disparities among diverse populations. An ongoing evaluation of "TEAM-UP" will assess whether this type of partnership is able to train public health practitioners to adopt research-tested cancer control approaches in the field.
For more information on the National Cervical Cancer Education Campaign, go to: http://www.cervicalcancercampaign.org/.