Special Topics Reports

Exploring Special Appalachian Cancer Issues with Communities

(PDF Version of Topic Overview)

After a review of 30 Appalachian cancer roundtables and forums, a team of ETSU staff (with input from a multi-state Advisory Board) identified five topics of special interest to the Comprehensive Cancer Control community in Appalachia. Five organizations responded to explore each topic in greater depth. Each response involves Appalachian communities and state Comprehensive Cancer Control programs, and will produce a written report that is useful in understanding the unique issues related to cancer control in Appalachia. An Advisory Board meeting is scheduled in May, 2011, where Advisors will discuss methods for disseminating findings to multiple states within the Appalachia region.

A summary of each topic of inquiry is provided below:

Mobile Cancer Screening Units: 

This special topic is being investigated by James Keresztury, of Mountains of Hope (the West Virginia CCC) and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. Telephone interviews are being conducted with CCCs, multiple mobile cancer unit operators and their community partners in four states to identify key characteristics of units operations and role in cancer control in rural communities.


Article iconRead:
Organizing, Quantifying Costs, and Documenting Benefits of Mobile Cancer Screening Units in Rural Areas

How do mobile screening units work in a region with high rates of poverty and limited access?

 

The Use of Cancer Navigators: 

The Virginia Cancer Plan Action Coalition (Virginia CCC) successfully competed to examine this special topic under the leadership of Sharon Dwyer & Ann Duesing. Several state CCCs completed preliminary surveys of characteristics of navigator program, and followed up with a day-long meeting to further explore different program models; a follow-up meeting of key leaders is scheduled for February 25th, and this coalition of states is interested in further developing their partnership to improve cancer navigation within their own states and across state lines.


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Organization and Financial Support of Rural Cancer Care Navigation Models

How is patient navigation funded and managed across Appalachia?

 

Communication Around Environment and Lifestyle Risks for Cancer: 

ETSU chose to organize and convene appropriate cancer coalition representatives from four states for this topic. A two day invitational meeting with environmental epidemiologists and community cancer advocates is scheduled for March 28-29 to identify challenges in public discussions when communities inquire about cancer rates; successful methods for CCCs to engage communities in cancer control and improve participation in lifestyle-environmental risk discussions will be generated.


Article iconRead:
Communication about Cancer CombiningEnvironment and Lifestyle Risk Factors

How can people communicate effectively about cancer causes and risk factors without tension

 

The Use of Storytelling in Cancer Control: 

The ETSU Storytelling Department has organized a regional review of where, by whom and how storytelling is used as a strategy for public education for cancer control. A survey of internet sources and telephone surveys among programs that use storytelling in healthcare settings is being completed; and will include follow-up discussions with organizations & support groups. Media will be collected and reviewed to elaborate processes, methods, and messages used in cancer education.


Article iconRead:
Storytelling as a Cancer Communication Methodology

How is storytelling used throughout the Appalachian region with regard to cancer?

 

Physicians' Involvement with Cancer Control: 

Walter Shepherd, of Comprehensive Cancer Consulting Services, formerly director of the North Carolina CCC successfully competed to address this topic. Content analysis of cancer plans is being conducted to identify recruitment strategies; an e-mail survey is being conducted with CCCs to identify key champions and discuss best practices in recruitment and busy professionals' stories about their involvement.


Article iconRead:
Successful Methods for Engaging Physicians and other Direct Health Care Service Providers in Appalachian Community Cancer Control Activities

Why and how do busy direct care providers become involved in cancer control activities?