African American Women and Mass Media Campaign Evaluation

African American women who get breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white women, and are less likely to survive for 5 years after diagnosis. Studies suggest that this disparity is due, in part, to African American women being diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage, receiving treatment later after diagnosis, and receiving less than standard treatment.

CDC developed the African American Women and Mass Media pilot campaign, which used radio and print media to make more women aware of the importance of getting mammograms to find breast cancer early. The campaign also sought to increase use of CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program screening services among African American women between 40 and 64 years old. The campaign was piloted in Savannah and Macon, Georgia between August 2008 and July 2009.

The campaign featured radio ads in which African American breast cancer survivors spoke about the importance of getting mammograms. We evaluated if women who heard campaign ads on radio got a mammogram through local Breast Test and More programs in Savannah and Macon compared to Columbus, Georgia, the control city.

Key Findings

We assessed mammograms obtained by African American women between July 2008 and December 2009.

  • Due to the campaign, African American women in Savannah had a 27% greater chance of getting a mammogram than African American women in Columbus.
  • This increase was specific to African American women in Savannah; no significant change was observed among women of other races and ethnicities, who were not targeted.
  • The average number of mammograms African American women received each month increased 46% in Savannah, 20% in Macon, and 15% in Columbus.
  • In Savannah, the same 46% increase was observed for younger (40 to 49 years old) and older (50 to 64 years old) African American women.
  • Community exposure to health messages should be ongoing, as campaign effects were not sustained after the campaign ended.


Hall IJ, Johnson-Turbes A, Berkowitz Z, Zavahir Y. The African American Women and Mass Media (AAMM) campaign in Georgia: quantifying community response to a CDC pilot campaign.external icon Cancer Causes and Control 2015;26(5):787–794.