Primary content

The Cancer Good News Project

Authors

 L Phillipson (Lead)

L Pitts

J Hall

Aims

Objectives designed to address fatalistic attitudes and taboos associated with cancer screening using project resources, community forums, recruitment of community champions to share cancer screening and survival narratives, promote discussion about breast and bowel screening and agreement that timely screening reduces the risk of dying from cancer.

Method

‘The Cancer Good News Project’ (2012-2013) utilised an Action-Research framework to address cancer related stigma and improve cancer screening rates amongst Macedonian and Serbian community members in the Illawarra. Research insights were translated into a tailored, integrated and evidenced based program to promote ‘good news’ about cancer survival and screening behaviours for two priority cancers – breast and bowel.  Multiple strategies were utilised to address literacy and language barriers.

Results

The Cancer Good News Project has achieved high community engagement and success in promoting discussions around cancer, reducing stigma and promoting screening intentions. More than 391 community members participated in community forums/events and used tailored resources. Surveys confirmed that Good News Stories and information had promoted helpful community discussion about cancer; elicited agreement that mammogram is important to detect breast cancer early and to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer; and that the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is important to detect bowel cancer early and to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer. Intention to screen increased significantly.

Implications

Project success was underpinned by the strategic partnerships, involvement of local bi-cultural health workers and inclusivity of community champions. The emphasis on engaging community members in participatory research was significant in promoting cancer discussions within CALD communities.