About the Inside Knowledge Campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Inside Knowledge About Gynecologic Cancer campaign raises awareness among women and health care providers about the five main types of gynecologic cancer: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar.
Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. While gynecologic cancers are often discussed as a group, each is unique and has different signs, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention strategies.
Developed and implemented by CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, the Inside Knowledge campaign supports the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act of 2005,external icon or Johanna’s Law. The law is named for Johanna Silver Gordon, who died of ovarian cancer in 2000.
- Women of all ages, races, and ethnic groups, especially those aged 35 years and older.
- Health care providers.
- Pay attention to your body and know what is normal for you. Gynecologic cancers have warning signs.
- When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective.
- If you have vaginal bleeding that is unusual for you because of when it occurs or how heavy it is, see a doctor right away.
- If you notice any other unexplained signs or symptoms that last for two weeks or longer, see a doctor.
- Getting screened regularly can help prevent cervical cancer or help find it early, when it is easiest to treat.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Consider getting the HPV vaccine if you are in the age group for which it is recommended.
- A family history of ovarian cancer can increase your risk. While most women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer don’t have a family history of the disease, having close family members (such as your mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother) on either your mother’s or your father’s side who have had ovarian cancer can increase your risk.
- There are factors that may increase your risk for uterine cancer, including if you are over the age of 50, have obesity, take estrogen, or have a family history of uterine, ovarian, or colon cancers.
Inside Knowledge messages and materials are based on—
- Consultation with gynecologic cancer experts and survivors.
- Formative research and focus group testing with women across the U.S. to understand their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs related to gynecologic cancers, and to identify creative approaches and strategies to deliver the campaign’s messages effectively.
- Formative research with gynecologists, primary care physicians, and nurse practitioners to understand their knowledge, attitudes, and clinical practices related to gynecologic health and gynecologic cancer, and to assess the usefulness of campaign educational materials.
- Analysis of data from national surveys in which CDC commissions questions about women’s and health care providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to gynecologic cancer.
Media Distribution and Process Evaluation
Inside Knowledge uses a multimedia approach, involving a mix of digital, earned, and paid media tactics, to ensure campaign messages reach the broadest audience possible. The campaign’s public service announcements (PSAs) are distributed to television, radio, and print media outlets in all 210 U.S. media markets. Display ads have been placed in shopping malls, bus shelters, subways and trains, buses, and airports in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, DC. As funding allows, the campaign places advertisements on television, Internet, and social media sites to promote awareness of gynecologic cancers and direct women to the campaign’s website.
CDC conducts process evaluation by tracking audience impressions (PSA and paid media placements), clickthroughs (digital display ads), materials requests, and visits to its website. Campaign PSAs have generated $235 million in donated ad value and more than 8 billion total audience impressions (the number of times PSAs were seen or heard) since their first release in 2010.
Inside Knowledge works with CDC’s National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program awardees to disseminate and evaluate campaign materials at the local level. The campaign also provides free materials to state and local health departments and the general public, including medical practices, hospitals and clinics, physicians, community groups, gynecologic cancer advocacy groups, and women’s groups.
In 2015, an evaluation of Inside Knowledge campaign advertising was completed, as mandated by Congress. Overall, the evaluation found that campaign ads were effective in increasing awareness of gynecologic cancer symptoms.