Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects up to 1 in 8 women in their lifetime and kills tens of thousands annually. This month millions of survivors, researchers, doctors, advocates, and communicators are raising awareness about breast cancer. But, to really make a difference, we need to do more than raise awareness. We need to focus on the best strategies for spreading information and moving women to actions that could save their lives. Here is some guidance from research featured on frankology.
Emotion can be a powerful tool for motivating people to take action on their health, but are some more effective than others? Researcher and winner of the 2014 $10,000 frank research prize Jina Yoo tackled this question in her study of African American women and breast cancer. She found that informative videos that evoked feelings of sadness helped participants remember information about breast cancer risks, while videos that frightened participants made it harder for them to recall these messages.
Watch her frank talk.
Breast cancer prevention shouldn’t start when a woman reaches middle age. That’s what makes messaging to younger women about the risks of breast cancer so important. A study conducted by Cynthia Kratzke, Aunp Amatya, and Hugo Vilchis of New Mexico State University suggests that a multimedia approach to informing young women about breast cancer prevention may be effective. After conducting a study of over 500 college-aged women, the researchers found significant support for breast cancer prevention apps and text messages, as well as for more traditional media outreach programs like web sites.
Public health research has shown that low-income and minority women often don’t get the follow-up care that they need after initial treatment for a breast cancer diagnosis. That’s what makes the results of a new study conducted by Jesus G. Ulloa and his colleagues so important. Ulloa and his team found that providing wallet cards with information about tumor stage, treatment received, recurrence rates, and symptoms of recurrence can significantly raise the knowledge level of breast cancer survivors.