Bates Cancer Queen 10-21-08

Envision a group of women donning feather boas and rhinestone tiaras, dancing to the sound of “The Loco-motion” while singing the lyrics, “Every woman needs this lifesavin’ test now. Come on baby, go and get your Pap smear.” These 10 lovely ladies are a part of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Cancer Queens! A Cancer Prevention Musical Revue!

This traveling troupe of professional health educators volunteer to perform a 45-minute, live show featuring skits and song and dance routines set to popular music with new educational lyrics. The Cancer Queens have had little training other than singing in the shower and watching themselves dance in the mirror at home.

The “edutainment” group is on a mission to inspire women to treat themselves like queens and take care of their health. Mattie Bates, a breast cancer survivor and Cancer Queen, said that the group tries to empower women to take care of themselves against cancer.

Audience members have approached me after performances to discuss their diet and exercise routine as well as telling me they were definitely going to make appointments to get their mammogram and Pap test.

We have had many people write on their evaluations that they wish all women could see our show to hear our message.

With Prevent Cancer Foundation’s grant-funded support, Cancer Queens has been able to travel to rural communities across Middle Tennessee to encourage women to get their screenings as well as live healthier lives.

Cancer Queens is part of the Nashville, Tenn. based Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center and is part of National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Learn more about Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Cancer Queens.