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Keywords:

  • AANCART;
  • cancer;
  • Asian;
  • Cambodian;
  • qualitative research

Abstract

Census data indicate that Cambodian Americans are economically disadvantaged and linguistically isolated. In addition, cancer registry data show that Southeast Asians experience several cancer-related health disparities (e.g., markedly elevated risks of cervical and liver cancer). The Seattle regional Asian American Network for Cancer, Awareness, Research, and Training (AANCART) site has implemented a community-based cancer awareness program for Cambodian immigrants in collaboration with a Cambodian community coalition. Our cancer awareness program has the following goals: to assist individuals and organizations in advocating for a healthy community, to provide information within a cultural context, and to deliver information in ways that are useful and meaningful to the community. The program was guided by a community assessment that included the use of published data as well as information from qualitative interviews, focus groups, and quantitative surveys. Examples of community awareness activities include group presentations at community-based organizations (e.g., during English as a second language classes), health fair participation (including at nontraditional venues such as a farmers' market serving Cambodians), and educational displays in neighborhood locations (e.g., at Cambodian video stores). In addition, the Seattle AANCART site has both inventoried and developed culturally appropriate Khmer language cancer education materials and disseminated materials through the ETHNOMED website. Our approach recognizes that limited English language proficiency may preclude many Cambodians from understanding publicly disseminated information, and Cambodian immigrants are often isolated and tend to stay close to their own neighborhoods. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.