The Cancer Outreach Program (COP) is as a service intended to educate and mobilize communities to take action to prevent and control cancer. A goal is to increase the number of people who are in racial/ethnic minorities who are screened for cancer. The common, unifying theme for the Partnership is to deploy Community Health Advisors (CHAs) to provide cancer-related health promotion and cancer education to the public. The MSM COP continues to train CHAs, who participate in the colorectal cancer screening intervention program, Educational Program to Increased Colorectal Cancer Screening (EPICS), which is designed to increase screening among African-Americans. In building a statewide CHA network, MSM helped to construct the Breast Health Connection of Georgia, which uses CHAs to promote breast cancer screening, and partnered with the Fulton County Department of Health (FCDH) in the use of CHAs in promotion of colorectal cancer screening. In the recent past, four Legacy Grants were awarded to community organizations. One community-based participatory research (CBPR) project involves an HPV vaccine another is related to prostate cancer. There is a CBPR course for students enrolled in clinical research at MSM. In the next funding period, MSM will further develop its colorectal cancer screening initiative as a dissemination research project, using CHAs as instructors and health promoters.
Increased screening for cancer enhances the liklihood that cancers will be detected at early stages, at which they are more responsible to treatment. More extensive screening of minorities should reduce the cancer disparities between groups.
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