June 8, 2011
Great strides have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer but, we still don’t know what causes breast cancer and we don’t know how to cure it. What we do know is that women educated about breast cancer are more likely to access screenings so that early detection and a better prognosis become possible.
Linda Creed: Fighting Breast Cancer with Heart education and outreach program includes breast health education for the general public as well as special populations. From the very beginning, Linda Creed has made it its educational goal to be inclusive, reaching out to underserved populations and bringing focused breast health education that is culturally relevant for these populations. Linda Creed has developed culturally competent breast health education curricula for use in its Circle programs because staff recognized that traditional breast health education curricula did not address the specific experiences and barriers facing members of the African-American and LBT communities. Safe Circle is for use in the African American community and Rainbow Circle is for the Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender community.
The Circle curricula have been designed using health education best practices, as well as incorporating the knowledge and experiences of each program’s Task Force. The Task Force is an advisory board made up of community members who have a particular expertise or interest in breast cancer as it relates to these demographic groups. By engaging members of these communities in the design of the curricula and the education sessions, Linda Creed is able to ensure that the needs of the community are being met. The curricula include information about signs and symptoms; how to identify a change in their breast or a partner’s breast; common breast cancer myths; how to identify if your health practitioner is giving you a thorough clinical breast exam; risk factors; risk reduction methods; screening methods and recommendations; treatment options; patient rights; breast cancer stages and definitions; as well as how to connect with a health care provider. The health information shared is based on current data and updated on a regular basis. Linda Creed conducts Safe Circle and Rainbow Circle meetings and education sessions in settings that are welcoming and allow the participants to feel comfortable. This may include community centers, events such as OutFest and Equality Fair, or community places of worship. The majority of Safe Circle and Rainbow Circle participants reside in the city of Philadelphia.
LindaCreedbreastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight breast cancer with heart through community-based education and referral, support, advocacy and direct service for those who need us. Linda Creed accomplishes its mission by offering access to mammograms and diagnostic tests, conducting community outreach and education, providing financial relief to women in treatment for breast cancer, and driving an effective advocacy agenda. These services are targeted to uninsured and underinsured women and women who have historically faced multiple barriers to quality medical care.