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Cancer Screening: Access

Categories:

  • Cancer screening,
  • Physical environment,
  • Community,
  • Facilities & organizations,
  • Healthcare facilities,
  • Workplace,
  • Schools,

Access to Cancer Screening

Research shows that access to cancer screening is important because it saves lives. When cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat and improves the chances of survival. Regular cancer screening can help find some types of cancer before symptoms begin. It is important to get checked for cancer even if you feel fine and have a healthy lifestyle.1 Cancer screening is not only a matter of personal choice, it can also be positively influenced by community environments.

Residents of Gift Lake are working toward making the healthy choice the easy choice by using the mobile health unit which travels to isolated communities and help reduce barriers to accessing important health information.

Work with Alberta Health Services to:

  • Create cancer screening programs that are available onsite or through a mobile site.1 Mobile cancer screening sites can reduce the physical barriers to cancer screening. Communities can support reducing these barriers by promoting awareness of the mobile cancer screening site and by coordinating the scheduling of the screening mobile bus in your community.
  • Increase access to cancer screening, especially for underserved populations. For example, develop a transportation system such as a ride share or volunteer pick-ups for those who cannot easily access screening programs.2 Another option is to provide reimbursement (partial or full) for potential out of pocket costs that inhibit individuals from accessing screening services (transportation and child care costs).2
  • Create education sessions about cancer screening with messaging tailored to your community needs.
  • Create culturally appropriate ways to approach people about cancer screening (a care pathway for a specific cultural group).

For further action related to cancer screening in your community, see:

Multi-component community-wide interventions that increase awareness about and access to cancer screening opportunities in your community will have greater impact than implementing single one-off strategies. These may include policies that increase the availability, affordability and access to cancer screening in a community.

Evaluation measures the impact of all the hard work that went into developing a community initiative. Evaluating impact examines:

  1. What you expect to learn or change
  2. What you measure and report
  3. How to measure impact

What you expect to learn about access to cancer screening may include:

  • Increased access to cancer screening services
  • Increased policies and initiatives supporting cancer screening on site
  • Increased screening for cancer (overall or some cancer types, depending on strategy implemented)
  • Increased requests or offers to screen by physicians and other healthcare professionals

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References- Access to Screening

  1. Healthier Together. Get screened. 2019. Available from:  https://www.healthiertogether.ca/living-healthy/get-screened/
  2. The Community Guide. What Works - Cancer Prevention and Control: Cancer Screening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2012.
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