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Local Program Highlights

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) has experienced screening successes nationally through the 67 funded programs across the country. Learn more from the following examples.

Alaska: Building Awareness

In 2007, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Health Check (BCHC) partnered with the Alaska Aces, a semi‐professional hockey team based in Anchorage, to plan a series of pre‐season hockey games focused on the importance of finding breast and cervical cancer early. The Aces, BCHC, and other community cancer groups contributed to the Paint the Rink Pink awareness and fundraising events—

  • The Aces' community relations manager led game night preparation and coordination.
  • Event partners organized informative display tables.
  • BCHC organized a display that included medical models of a breast to help people learn what a lump feels like, general breast and cervical health brochures, and information on enrolling for free BCHC screening services.
  • Other event partners arranged for cancer survivors to perform the national anthem, and provided survivors and oncologists as spokespeople for interviews that ran on the jumbotron during intermissions.
  • The Aces purchased TV and radio air time and produced posters for distribution through community networks. The players wore pink jerseys, which were auctioned off after the games.
Poster: I made time. I got screened and got the facts.

The Paint the Rink Pink events increased awareness about the importance of breast and cervical cancer screening among 13,000 fans, and the participating organizations continued to work together. BCHC was introduced to a breast cancer survivor support group in Anchorage, to which they now refer patients. Following this event, BCHC received funding from some participating community cancer groups to support a poster campaign called Make Time, which encouraged women to make time for Pap tests and mammograms so they could be there for their families and community.

The events continued in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the Aces began having yearly general cancer awareness events, which included breast cancer and comprehensive cancer control. In 2012, the Aces still had a focus on breast cancer, running ads from BCHC on the jumbotron. The Aces' Paint the Rink Pink games are a major attraction.

Oregon: Expanding Their Reach

The Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) and the Oregon Health and Science University Center for Women's Health (OHSU CWH) began working together in 2009 to increase the number of free breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women in Oregon. This partnership occurred in two phases.

In the first phase, the OHSU CWH offered free breast and cervical cancer screenings to BCCP-eligible women facing financial, logistical, or other barriers. Community donors paid for the screenings and for treatment if a woman was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Other funding paid for treatment if a woman was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the second phase in 2010, the partners looked for an opportunity to educate and screen women statewide. The OHSU CWH focused on cervical cancer screening, and BCCP focused on breast cancer screening. A community organization helped women who were not eligible for BCCP get treatment as needed. About 20 to 30 women per week were screened in 2010, totaling more than 1,000 women for the year. Because of the program's success, donors gave the OHSU more money to extend the project to women in rural areas. In October 2010, the partnership expanded to include 10 doctors in eight counties, who screened more than 550 women over the next six months.

Mississippi: Faith-Based Training-the-Trainer

African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than women of other racial and ethnic groups. The Mississippi Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (MBCCP) found a way to tell African-American women about their program. Because spirituality and religion influence African-American women's decisions about their health, the MBCCP worked with faith-based organizations to educate African-American women about their breast cancer risk and the importance of finding it early.

In 2009, the MBCCP developed Praises in Pink, a program that helps liaisons statewide organize activities at their houses of worship to educate parishioners about the importance of getting mammograms as recommended, and tell them about MBCCP's services.

The MBCCP sent letters to faith-based organizations across the state, asking them to conduct outreach activities during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Each organization that chose to participate identified a liaison; several were breast cancer survivors. MBCCP staff trained each liaison and gave him or her a training manual, resource guides, a list of MBCCP doctors, health education materials, and other resources. Each organization agreed to host at least one education and outreach program.

In its first year, 117 liaisons representing 85 houses of worship participated in the Praises in Pink program, reaching 4,600 women. By October 2010, 213 liaisons had been trained and 140 organizations had joined the effort. That year, 7,000 women were informed about screening and early detection through Praises in Pink. Another 24 trained liaisons were in action by October 2011. A total of 265 trained liaisons representing 140 faith-based organizations participate in Praises in Pink, covering eight of Mississippi's nine public health districts. The number of women who received services through BCCP increased in 70% of the counties that conducted Praises in Pink activities.

West Virginia: Reaching the Remote

In 2006, the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) noticed fewer women being screened in Webster County, an area with high poverty rates. Because one clinic stopped providing services through the WVBCCSP, only one small clinic was available to screen all 900 eligible women in that area. Women found it hard to get screened because of the clinic's small size and remote location.

Informal conversations between WVBCCSP and a community coalition turned into a partnership with the Webster County Cancer Education Project, a coalition of more than 30 partners that offers cancer screening clinics, education programs on cancer prevention, and analysis of the impact of the services. The coalition includes Pfizer, Subway, faith-based organizations, the American Cancer Society, state agencies, universities, and many other groups. Coalition partners came together to—

  • Encourage graduate nursing students from the University of Pennsylvania to volunteer at cancer screening clinics.
  • Donate money and other resources, like pre-paid gasoline cards to offset patients' travel costs.
  • Provide free Pap tests and mammograms through WVBCCSP.

The screening clinics provided other health services, like dental and eye tests, heart health screenings, and physical activity and nutrition programs. When screening tests found health problems, patients were referred to doctors. In its first year, more than 100 women received free screening tests. In 2008, the clinic that stopped providing services through WVBCCSP signed back on. Through this partnership, the program provides one free screening clinic in Webster Springs each year.

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