Public service announcements (PSAs) promoting Latino cancer clinical trials participation and a book spotlighting Latina breast cancer survivors - all produced by Redes En Acción researchers - have been incorporated into new Hispanic/Latino cancer research and awareness efforts across the country.
The broadcast and print PSAs, produced by the Redes initiative in 2001, are being exposed to a new audience through the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), which is research-based at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. And photos and bilingual materials from Nuestras Historias: Mujeres Hispanas Sobreviviendo el Cáncer del Seno (Our Stories: Hispanic Women Surviving Breast Cancer) are showcased on a new Spanish-language Web site produced by the University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison.
"We're excited about the opportunity to partner with other research groups to reach Latinas throughout the country," said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, Redes En Acción Principal Investigator. "I'm extremely pleased that our products are not only being seen and highly valued by other researchers but are playing a role in their research efforts as well."
In a nationwide media campaign over the past five years, Redes En Acción has focused attention on the underrepresentation of Latinos in national clinical trials. Through a series of video, audio and print PSAs, the campaign has encouraged Latinos to learn more about the availability of cancer studies and the benefits of participation.
The PSAs, produced in both Spanish and English, were distributed to television and radio stations and newspapers around the country, providing a toll-free NCI Cancer Information Service telephone number and urging Latinos to call for information about cancer research in general and, in particular, studies taking place in their area.
Recently, the North Central Cancer Treatment Group Latino Project has used the PSAs in an effort to educate the Hispanic/Latino population and solicit interest in clinical trial options available through the NCCTG, a national clinical research group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. NCCTG consists of a network of cancer specialists at community clinics, hospitals and medical centers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The print PSA developed by Redes En Acción was adapted and tailored by the NCCTG Latino Project and displayed at Latino health fairs, community churches, a migrant health clinic and Salvation Army Medical Clinic, and distributed in a Minneapolis/St. Paul area Spanish-language newspaper. In addition, the print piece was included in a display the Mayo Clinic Cancer Education Program uses at community outreach events, and broadcast PSAs have been aired by the Clear Channel Radio Station.
Dr. Judith S. Kaur, Associate Professor of Oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, oversees the Health Disparities Committee for the NCCTG, which is sponsoring the Latino Project.
Meanwhile, a comprehensive Web site for Spanish-speaking breast cancer patients and their families is featuring the stories and photos of Latina survivors from Nuestras Historias, which was published by Redes En Acción in October 2004.
The Nuestras Historias book relates the influence of the Hispanic culture on the breast cancer experience and on the coping skills used by many Latina women in battling the disease. For both the book and the new Web site, profiles of the Latina women are presented in both Spanish and English.
"The book focuses on hope and resilience," notes Dr. Ramirez, "and this collaboration combines state-of-the-art Web technology with proven social science theory to disseminate that message to an extensive audience of Latina women who need to hear it."
Conviviendo con el Cáncer de Seno is a cultural and linguistic translation of an existing online resource called the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS) "Living with Breast Cancer" program developed by UW-Madison.
What Is Redes En Acción? Redes En Acción is a major NCI-supported initiative to combat cancer among Latinos through a nationwide network of community-based organizations, research institutions, government health agencies and the public. Core activities include promoting cancer training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key Latino cancer issues, and supporting cancer awareness activities within the Latino community.
The initiative is coordinated by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and San Antonio, with regional network centers in San Antonio, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.