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Overview

What Is The Right To Know Campaign and Why Is It Needed?

Breast cancer is a major public health concern for all women, including women with disabilities. Women who have disabilities are just as likely as women without disabilities to have ever received a mammogram. However, they are significantly less likely to have been screened within the recommended guidelines. The public health community has used health communication messages and campaigns to increase breast cancer awareness and encourage women to take steps to help prevent breast cancer, yet few communication messages exist that target women with disabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study to explore the barriers to breast cancer screening for women who have physical disabilities. We discovered that the barriers include:

  • Thinking, "It won't happen to me"
  • Focusing on other health issues
  • Difficulty with positioning while getting a mammogram
  • Not knowing where to go for accessible screening
  • Inaccessible facilities and equipment
  • Healthcare provider's knowledge and attitudes

Women with disabilities also identified the lack of health promotion messages and materials that reflect their unique needs as a problem and requested that CDC address this issue.

As a result of this study, a family of health promotion materials (e.g., posters, MP3 files, low-tech fliers, print advertisements, and tip sheets) has been designed to increase awareness of breast cancer among women with physical disabilities and encourage these women to get screened. Materials share the tagline “Breast Cancer Screening. The Right To Know,” and feature four women with physical disabilities who have survived breast cancer.

 

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