Low health literacy makes it challenging for patients to navigate the healthcare system, putting them at risk for poorer health, contributing to higher mortality and hospitalization rates, and placing a tremendous burden on physicians and hospital staff. Cancer patients require a high degree of health literacy in order to make the complex decisions surrounding their diagnosis and treatment. Cancer awareness is desperately lacking in many limited resource settings where low health literacy, stigma/myth, health and social inequities, contribute to the high degree of late-stage diagnoses. Education and access to screening and diagnostic services are integral components in the early detection of the disease, leading to lower costs and more successful treatment.
PROPOSED CANCER AWARENESS PILOT PROGRAM FOR FACTORY WORKERS:
Changing life-style habits, a rapid increase in life expectancy and low screening rates have led cancer to become one of the main causes of death for much of the developing world. Globally, 50% of cancer in LMICs occurs under the age of 65, leading to an avoidable loss of productive life years. One-third of cancers are preventable by addressing lifestyle risk factors, and early detection is key for successful and lower-cost treatment. In an attempt to increase awareness of cancer prevention and detection methods in low resource environments, we propose introducing an evidence-based, locally-adaptable cancer awareness program delivered directly to employees in the work environment. We intend to pilot this program in 2021-22.