The future of the cancer prevention workforce: why health literacy, advocacy, and stakeholder collaborations matter

J Cancer Educ. 2012 May;27(2 Suppl):S165-72. doi: 10.1007/s13187-012-0337-0.


In considering the role of the cancer prevention workforce in meeting the nation's future health care needs, it is vital to address the considerable gaps in information, communication, training, professional development, roles, and levels of collaboration among diverse disciplines, stakeholders, and constituencies. As part of an October 2009 symposium at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center entitled "Future Directions in Cancer Prevention and Control: Workforce Implications for Training, Practice, and Policy," the Health Policy and Advocacy Working Group was convened to discuss barriers to closing these gaps. Three major themes emerged from the group's deliberations and are discussed here: (1) the role of critical health literacy and evidence-based collaborations in cancer prevention education, research, and practice; (2) the implications of health advocacy for policy development and clinical and public health practice; and (3) culturally and linguistically appropriate cancer prevention programs and information within advocacy/workforce collaborations. Mechanisms for addressing these gaps are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Literacy*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology* / education
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Workforce