Riverside County "Early Detect Me" Cancer Screening Guide

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Background: Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States. Screening is an important method to detect cancer before it advances toward late stage, which is more difficult to treat and often incurable. As California’s tenth largest population, Riverside County is largely affected by cancer. Unfortunately, not enough residents are familiar with appropriate cancer screening methods available to them. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to develop an educational tool to promote awareness about screening recommendations. Improving education on this topic is an important aspect needed to promote early screening, as odds for remission are best when cancer is caught early. Implementation: Based upon information gathered from informal needs assessments and a review of secondary data, the Early Detect Me: Cancer Screening Guide was created. Guides are printed in English and Spanish and include information on how to conduct self-examination, signs, symptoms, and risk factors of cancer, screening recommendations, and resources available. The guides focus on three of the most common cancers affecting Riverside County residents: breast, skin, and prostate cancer. The guides will be promoted in physician’s offices, health fairs and events, and cancer resource centers. Conclusion: Further education and awareness on cancer screening is necessary to promote early cancer detection. Those that obtain Early Detect Me will have the opportunity to better educate themselves, and their friends and family about cancer screening recommendations. The guides are expected to improve awareness and create dialogue between patients and their primary care physicians.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Health Education