Adolescent Breast Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction and Education
The Adolescent Breast Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction and Education
Project was created to communicate information learned with from research
projects with the community. It is a result of community concerns and
a desire by MBCW translate research and information in a way that is understandable
To create persuasive, developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive
breast cancer prevention, risk reduction and educational messages that
will motivate young girls living in Marin County to reduce future breast
cancer risk by practicing healthy behaviors.
Funding for the initial creation of the program came from a $10,000 grant
from the Marin Breast Cancer Council.
There is growing evidence that early life events play an important role
in the development of breast cancer, and the onset of puberty is thought
to be a key event in influencing subsequent breast cancer risk. Adolescence
and puberty, when the undifferentiated mammary gland is proliferating
rapidly, may be a time when the breast is particularly sensitive to exposures,
such as early exposure to tobacco smoke and other environmental carcinogens.
Research has suggested that adolescent choices regarding diet, alcohol
and exercise can affect later breast cancer risk. Developmentally, adolescence
is an appropriate time to focus on creating positive attitudes toward
breast self-exam and protective behaviors such as breast feeding after
The program will take place in three steps.
- MBCW will conduct a community wide assessment about the current state
of health education in Marin County regarding health risk, adolescent
health and breast cancer.
- MBCW will host a series of focus groups, designed and conducted by
a professional, with young girls and mothers to learn where breast cancer
fits into the agenda of teenage girls in Marin.
- MBCW will conduct an evaluation of other programs around the country
to help determine tools and information that may be helpful in Marin.
Community members, including health care providers, public health professionals,
youth group representatives, breast cancer advocates, members of parent-teacher
organizations, health educators, adolescents, teachers and parents will
be involved as advisors in the process of developing, implementing and
evaluating the effectiveness of the project.
At the end of the assessment period, MBCW hopes to create a pilot program
that can be a model for other communities on how best to communicate with