Cancer queens

From sun-safety for infants in Arizona to social networking for breast health awareness among African American women in Florida, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is proud to support the wide range of cancer prevention and early detection initiatives represented by its nine FY2011 community grantees.

The Foundation’s Community Grants program supports local cancer awareness education and screening programs across the United States for all populations, especially underserved communities.

In January, the Foundation awarded $85,000 in community grants to nine new recipients from communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee. Among the supported projects is Cancer Queens! A Cancer Prevention Musical Revue. With performances across Tennessee, the revue features cancer prevention and health promotion messages set to popular music. This program of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center targets women over the age of 35 and encourages them to make healthy lifestyle choices, including getting screened for cancer.

New this year, are grantees with a focus on preventive health in younger generations. The Skin Cancer Institute at the Arizona Cancer Center educates parents in Tucson on sun safety habits for their babies and themselves through the distribution of sun safety gift bags. Based in Anchorage, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will promote healthy lifestyle choices and nutritional habits among Alaska native youth at risk for obesity by developing and distributing workbooks that emphasize traditional foods and physical activities involved in food gathering and preparation.

A social networking approach will be used by the Gilda’s Club South Florida to educate African American women in three counties about breast cancer awareness and early detection, as well as encourage participants to share what they learn with others. Two other grantees are focusing on breast cancer education at the local level. The Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in California is providing breast health and cancer education for Hispanic women in an effort to reduce late-stage diagnoses and mortality among this community. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Linda Creed: Fighting Breast Cancer with Heart organization is using established educational programs to educate low-income and underinsured African American and lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Turning the Tides on Colorectal and Prostate Cancer will be the focus of the preventive work done by the Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center, Inc., in Florida. The program will provide colorectal and prostate cancer education to medically underserved Hispanics and African Americans in two counties.  In South Carolina, the Upstate Prostate Cancer Alliance aims to educate African American males about prostate cancer awareness through presentations and survivor testimonials in 12 counties.

Funds from the Foundation will support the Peak Vista Community Health Centers’ annual no-cost skin cancer screening event in May, which emphasizes early detection and prevention education. This valuable program, powered by professionals volunteering their time, will provide 400 individuals with screenings and skin cancer education in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Foundation is proud to support the FY11 grantees and their work to provide cancer prevention education and screening to communities across the country.

Do you know of other innovative community-level programs focused on cancer prevention education and screening? What have you done in your hometown to raise awareness?