Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research Project

Pilot Research Project Five

Promotora outreach for cervical cancer screening

Co-Principal Investigators:
Beti Thompson, Full Member, Public Health Sciences - FHCRC and Gloria Coronado, Assistant Member, Public Health Sciences - FHCRC
Hugo Vilchis, Director, Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center

Hispanic women in the United States (U.S.) experience nearly double the incidence of invasive cervical cancer experienced by non-Hispanic whites. The problem is especially severe in the border communities of the U.S. and Mexico. Differences in prevalence of Papanicolaou (Pap) tests for early cervical lesion detection are thought, in part, to explain the differences in incidence, however, difference in participation in follow-up care among women with abnormal cervical cytologic findings also may contribute to the disparity. The overall goals of this outreach project are to increase pap testing and follow-up testing for abnormal pap smears among women living in the border communities of New Mexico and Mexico. Specifically, using a promotora program to promote pap testing and follow-up for abnormal tests, we will:

  1. Aim 1: Primarily, increase the number of pap tests that occur in a specific border community clinic compared to two non-intervention clinics.
  2. Aim 2: Secondarily, increase the follow-up rates for abnormal pap smears in the specific Border clinic.

Promotoras who work with the intervention clinic will be trained to provide information to and encourage women to receive pap testing. They also will be trained to work with the clinic to identify the results of the tests and to encourage women with abnormal tests to receive follow-up testing. Finally, they will refer women to usual care if the initial or follow-up tests are negative or refer women to treatment if the woman presents with cervical cancer. A number of agencies exist in the community to treat women with cervical cancer. The main questions of interest, corresponding to our specific aims are: 1). Is there increased pap testing as a result of the intervention? and 2). Is there increased follow-up testing (e.g., repeat pap or colposcopy) as a result of the intervention? A secondary aim is to answer question 3): What is the pattern(s) for treatment of cervical cancer? During the first six months of this three year project, information will be gathered on existing pap test rates in the three clinics that will participate. The next 24 months will consist of intervention in one clinic to increase pap screening rates and follow-up rates for abnormal tests and to follow treatment patterns. During the final 6 months, we will assess differences in pap screening and abnormal pap follow-up rates.

For More Information:

Faculty and students interested in learning more about this pilot project may contact Dr. Beti Thompson or Dr. Gloria Coronado at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Inquiries for faculty at New Mexico State University may be directed to Dr. Hugo Vilchis.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.