Redes launches national screening PSA campaign

Image from Redes cancer screening PSA campaign
Image from Redes cancer screening PSA campaign

November 10, 2009. Redes En Acción has unveiled six new public service announcements (PSAs) designed to educate Latinos about the importance of early screening in detecting breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

The new PSAs can be viewed on the Redes En Acción Web site and also via the new SaludToday Web site, which aims to promote healthier lifestyles among Latinos.

In the coming weeks, the new PSAs also will be distributed to television stations across the country.

The public service announcements were produced by Redes En Acción in both Spanish and English. The culturally relevant TV spots, funded by the National Cancer Institute (Grant No. U01 CA114657), show the benefits of preventive screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer among Latinos.

“We’re extremely excited to launch a national Latino cancer public awareness campaign with these new PSAs,” said Redes Principal Investigator Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“Latinos are at a disadvantage when it comes to being in good health, so we want to raise awareness about disparities and prompt behavioral changes to improve Latino health.”

The national Redes En Acción public awareness campaign will encourage Latinos to learn more about how they can protect themselves from cancer. The PSAs and accompanying print materials are being developed in partnership with the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS).

The 30-second TV spots encourage people to learn more about screening tests available for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers by calling the CIS toll-free telephone number (1-800-4CANCER).

The public education campaign addresses priority cancers and cancer issues facing the Latino population, as outlined in the Latino Cancer Report, which was produced by Redes En Acción. The report found that access to care (and screening) was the number one issue and that the most important cancer sites with regard to Latinos are breast, cervical and lung cancers.

By topic, the PSAs focus on:

  • Breast cancer – one promoting regular mammograms for women 40 and older, and a second PSA developed for younger Latina women with a strong family history of breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer – one PSA promoting Pap tests and another focusing on the vaccine that can be taken beginning at age 9 to protect Latinas from the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer – two PSAs raising awareness of the test for colorectal cancer – one TV spot specifically for men and the other for women

This is the second national cancer awareness campaign developed by Redes En Acción aimed at the Latino population. In 2001, under the Special Populations Networks initiative of NCI, Redes En Acción produced a series of PSAs promoting Latino clinical trial participation. These PSA can also be viewed on the Redes En Acción and SaludToday Web sites.

As in the earlier campaign, the new PSAs are culturally appropriate and rely on the knowledge and talents of a team of experts. Before final production, the PSAs were pre-tested by a representative sample of the target audiences.

“Educating the Latino community about cancer is a major facet of the Redes En Acción mission,” said Dr. Ramirez. “These new PSAs will help raise awareness by showing how we can all learn more and take action to protect ourselves and our families from this disease.”