The Importance of Dialogue: Encouraging Health Professionals to Improve Cancer Screening at the Local Level
As 2012 draws to a close, the Foundation continues to plan the 2013 Dialogue for Action on Cancer Screening: Hitting the Targets. Registration has just opened for health professionals working in cancer screening. Even if you are not a health professional, the Dialogue is important for you, too! Conference participants from across the country use the knowledge, connections and experiences they gain at the Dialogue to improve cancer screening in their communities and work settings.
This year an estimated 1,638,910 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer (Cancer Facts and Figures, 2012). More than 575,000 will die from the disease: that’s over 1,500 people a day! Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease. However, up to 60 percent of cancer cases and more than 50 percent of cancer deaths are preventable – with the knowledge we have right now. Guidelines-driven screenings by health care professionals for some cancers can result in the discovery and removal of precancerous growths or the early detection of cancer, when it is most treatable. Barriers to appropriate cancer screening include lack of funding; limited provider time, resources, or staff; and concern about the capacity to provide follow-up care for people who need it but lack health care coverage. The goal of the Dialogue is to encourage professionals who are stakeholders in cancer screening to apply evidence-based screening policies, programs or practices to their communities and work environments. This requires focused and sustained efforts at both the national and local levels.
The 15th in a series of annual national conferences, the 2013 Dialogue will build on the solid track record of the Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer Screening and combine the broader theme of cancer screening with the best in cutting-edge presentations and activities that stimulate dynamic exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration among participants. The 2013 Dialogue will explore policy, program and practice/quality topics that include health care access, quality and cost; issues in screening guidelines; engagement of patients in their health care; and strategies to increase colorectal, cervical and breast cancer screening.
For more information on the Dialogue, visit www.dialogueforaction.org.