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CDC Funded Project Targets Cancer Rates in Immigrant Women
Researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health El Paso Regional Campus and the UT School of Public Health in Houston are expanding the AMIGAS project, an interventional effort created in 2004 to lower the risks of cervical cancer among Mexican women in U.S. border populations. The expansion is supported by a $1 million, 2-year, grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the National Cancer Institute, although cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined by 50 percent in the United States over the past three decades, the disease remains a serious health threat for Hispanic women.
Theresa Byrd, DrPH, RN, associate professor at the UT School of Public Health El Paso Regional Campus and lead investigator, began the AMIGAS project more than three years ago.
Recently revised and expanded by the CDC, the project is a collaboration among a community health advisory group, promotoras (lay health educators recruited from the local community) and researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Designed to create awareness of cervical cancer among immigrant Mexican women in the United States, the AMIGAS program includes a video, information on a flip chart, a training guide for the promotoras and a listing of local screening services.
The participating women will be from El Paso, Houston and Yakima Valley, Wash. The selected cities encompass three types of regions, a Mexican-U.S. border community, an urban community and a rural community.
If AMIGAS is shown to be effective in increasing rates of cervical cancer screening, the researchers will work toward full adoption, implementation and maintenance of the interventional program.
By Natalie Wong Camarata, Institutional Advancement
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