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Pushing Breast, Cervical Cancer Screenings

Public education effort in Texas persuades more young Hispanic women to do it

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- An extended media campaign and efforts by community volunteers to promote regular screenings for breast and cervical cancer increased the likelihood that younger Hispanic women in San Antonio, Texas, would get a Pap smear.

So says a study in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers found the media blitz and community programs resulted in a large increase in the rates of Pap smear screening tests among Hispanic women aged 40 and younger in San Antonio compared to their counterparts in Houston, where there was no such campaign.

But the public health education efforts in San Antonio did not affect Pap smear screening rates among women older than 40 and didn't greatly change the rates of mammogram screening for any of the women.

The study also found older women were least likely to have been screened for cancer, along with those who spoke only Spanish, who belonged to lower-income families, and those with little formal education.

Previous research has shown that Hispanic women are less likely than white women to be screened for cancer. The San Antonio campaign to promote screening was designed specifically for Mexican-American women. It included print, radio and television ads in both Spanish and English.

In addition, neighborhood volunteers were trained to conduct face-to-face visits to encourage women to get screened.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about screening for cervical cancer.

SOURCE: Health Behavior News Service, news release, Oct. 17, 2003


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