The National Colorectal Cancer Round Table (NCCRT) is spearheading a campaign to encourage partnering institutions to educate and promote access to colorectal cancer screenings for more people. The hope is that at least 80% of Americans will be screened by 2018. Here is information on how your institution or clinic can partner with the local community.
Equal Access to Healthcare is Everyone’s Responsibility
We have the screening technologies that can find colorectal cancer at its early stages, which is very treatable. However, the problem is that many people don’t have access to even the simplest type of screening. Furthermore, even if someone has access to medical care, they don’t know that they should be screened for colorectal cancer.
If you are part of an organization that wants to bring screening to more people, here are three categories to keep in mind in your community.
Older generations are not aware of the importance and ease of screening for colorectal cancer. They may not be technologically savvy enough to hear about colorectal cancer screening via social media, so unless someone tells them they don’t know.
Minorities may have language barriers that create an additional layer of difficulty to understanding the importance or existence of colorectal cancer screening. With limited knowledge of available resources, they may not seek medical care. Distrust for or lack of medical care in native countries may result in avoiding colorectal cancer screening altogether.
People who live in poverty often do not seek medical care until things become urgent. For cancer, this is a terrible strategy and completely misses the benefits of early detection. Making screening easy to reach and available at different times will help low-income families get the help they need.
Working with Community Organizations
Hospitals and clinics can best reach the community be partnering with social and educational institutions that are already there. Houses of worship, such as churches, synagogues, and temples are meeting places that regularly receive foot traffic. Houses of worship often have an administrative infrastructure that makes the dissemination of information effective.
Senior Centers and schools are also places where people gather on a regular basis and build relationships of trust. These relationships help when spreading the message of important medical screenings. They also provide the social support necessary to get people to show up for a medical screening.
Reaching People Through Social Media
Many people are now on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Social media is a great way to spread news. It offers a method to communicate with people who would otherwise be isolated from traditional word of mouth modes of contact. Social media posts also allow people to easily click on a link to go to a website for more information.