Using a Community-Based Participatory Research Project to Increase Awareness About Breast Cancer Screening in African American Women

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women; however, African American women have the lowest survival rates compared to other ethnic groups and the lowest rate of mammogram screening. To increase awareness for breast cancer screenings in underserved populations, researchers partnered with Carin’ and Sharin’ Breast Cancer Education and Support Group, to enhance an existing health promotion and outreach program to include a complimentary “Lunch and Play” in Memphis, Tennessee. The expansion of the program was a 45-min skit, Hats off to Cancer, which used storytelling to honor and incorporate five different cultural experiences with breast cancer prevention and diagnosis.

To ensure the success of this project, community-based participatory research (CBPR) was the research methodology chosen. The choice to utilize CBPR was in large part because the goal of the project was to ensure that the importance of shared cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences unique to underserved African American women was included in the planning, design, and implementation of a community-based cancer screening and prevention program.

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