The Cancer Prevention and Control Program was established May 2001 through a grant provided by the State of Maryland Cigarette Restitution Funds. The overall goal of the Program was to reduce the incidence and mortality rates of colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers among Latinos residing in Montgomery County through a collaborative effort between the Latino Health Initiative, Community Ministries of Rockville, and CASA of Maryland.
From 2001 to 2006 one of the Program’s aims was to increase the involvement and capacity of local Latino community-based organizations and entities serving Latinos to work in cancer prevention and control. One of the most important accomplishments of the Program was to increase participating community-based organizations’ capacity and commitment to work in cancer prevention and control. As a result of this achievement, Community Ministries of Rockville and CASA of Maryland started to manage the Program, and the Latino Health Initiative ceased having an active role Fiscal Year 2007.
Although Latinos have lower cancer incidence and mortality rates overall compared with rates for African Americans and whites, among minority populations they experience overall and site specific cancer incidence rates second only to African Americans. Latinos also show disparities in the early diagnostic of cancers.
Drawing on Latino communities’ assets, the Program utilized trained lay health promoters to provide culturally and linguistically competent education and referrals to cancer screening services for low-income, uninsured Latinos residing in the County. Spanish-language education materials developed by the Program supported health promoters’ efforts and limited yet effective mass media interventions complemented their outreach. Partnerships with County, State, and private agencies provided opportunities to share lessons learned and expand capacities to better serve Latinos.
Health promoters conducted activities promoting basic knowledge of health, prevention, screening tests, and referrals related to colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers. The Program also partnered with healthcare providers to provide free mammograms and Pap tests to low-income, uninsured women living in Montgomery County.
Partners of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program included:
- Latino Health Initiative (Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services)
- CASA of Maryland’s Salud es Vida (Health is Life) Program
- Latino Outreach Program of Community Ministries of Rockville
- George Washington University Mobile Mammography Program
- Montgomery County Women’s Cancer Control Program
- Agencies in the Montgomery County Cancer Crusade
To learn more about the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, call: