A Community Coalition to Address Cancer Disparities: Transitions, Successes and Challenges

J Cancer Educ. 2015 Dec;30(4):616-22. doi: 10.1007/s13187-014-0746-3.


Community-based participatory (CBP) strategies are considered important to efforts to eliminate disparities. This paper outlines how the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) uses CBP strategies as a part of a long-term cancer education, prevention, and control strategy in an urban community. Community partnerships have proved to be vital resources to inform PECaD's agenda and the research practice of academic partners. We begin with a description of PECaD governance and partnership structures. The paper then describes programmatic activities and successes, including efforts to monitor clinical trials, deployment of mammography resources, anti-smoking, and prostate and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening education. The influence of changes in funding priorities, preventive screening policy, and community partner development on the partnership process over time is discussed. PECaD community partners have grown and expanded beyond the Program's mission and developed additional partnerships, resulting in a reevaluation of relationships. The impact of these external and internal changes and pressures on the partnerships are noted. The evolution of the evaluation process and what it has revealed about needed improvements in PECaD activities and operations is presented. A summary of the lessons learned and their implications for CBP practice are provided.

Keywords: Cancer prevention and control; Community-based participatory research; Health disparities; Health education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Health Education
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*