Cancer Screening and Prevention
Cancer places a huge burden on people throughout Kansas. The Department of Population Health works closely with KU Cancer Center to improve cancer control in the state and region. Our faculty are improving cancer screening delivery and service uptake, particularly colorectal and breast cancer, in underserved rural and minority communities.
Research and Education
Working with rural primary care doctors, we began our research studying doctor-patient communication and barriers to cancer screening. We since have expanded into American Indian and Latino communities, where we have improved access to cancer screenings and are currently testing a computer access model.
Removing barriers to cancer screening:
- Using the latest computer technology, we initiated discussions between doctors and patients in rural and urban areas to encourage colon and breast cancer screening for Latino and American Indian women.
- We surveyed American Indian women in various locations to determine mammography participation, satisfaction and barriers to screening.
- Working with incarcerated women at risk for cervical cancer, we assess health care utilization patterns and literacy and seek to break down barriers to cancer screening and follow-up care.
Far-reaching collaboration: Our faculty collaborate with Internal and Family Medicine departments, Breast Center and Gastroenterology divisions at KUMC, Haskell Indian Nations University, KU campus in Lawrence and Wichita and with health-care providers.
We serve people from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds: Investigators are focusing on Native American/American Indian, Hispanic and African American populations and on hard-to-reach and medically underserved populations — those in the inner city, with low incomes and in remote rural Kansas communities.
We give back to the communities we serve: Through preventive health education and screening activities, we work with nonprofit, government and educational entities across Kansas.
We offer several cancer-related educational opportunities, including Masters of Public Health courses and seminars. Courses in which cancer topics are interwoven include:
We also foster interest in cancer screening through educational summer internship programs for local minority high school and college students and study abroad students.