Colorectal Cancer Public Education
Materials for Arab Americans
Why These Materials Are
Nationally, colorectal cancer screening rates are low, with less than
half of eligible individuals reporting that they are being screened within
the recommended intervals.
In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated
with other national organizations to begin a multi-year, multimedia campaign
called "Screen for Life: A National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign."
The target audience for Screen for Life is men and women age 50 years
and older. Subpopulations identified within this age group include African
Americans, Hispanics, Alaska Natives, and Medicare beneficiaries.
One subpopulation not addressed in Screen for Life materials and focus
group work is Arab Americans.
Data from the 2000 Census show approximately 70,000 Arab-Americans in
Michigan. A 1998 survey conducted by Zogby International for Detroit Edison
and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
revealed a total of 206,411 Arab Americans in Macomb, Washtenaw, Oakland,
and Wayne counties. Current estimates show 250,000 Arab Americans and
an additional 100,000 Chaldeans in those same counties.
Death registry data show 49 colorectal cancer deaths in the Arab-American
population for the years of 1998-2000, but this number is a certain underestimate
of the true rate. A variety of factors related to death registration and
proper identification contribute to the significant underestimation of
the number of cancer-specific deaths accurately assigned to the Arab-American
ethnicity. Similar problems exist for other special populations, such
as Native American and Hispanic.
The Special Cancer
Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (SCBRFS) shows that during 2002, 21
percent of Arab-American adults ages 50 years and older had received only
a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within the preceding year and 24 percent
had had a screening sigmoidoscopy only within the past five years. Data
from the 2002 SCBRFS also indicate that 10 percent of this group had undergone
a screening colonoscopy within the preceding 10 years.
Of note is the wide variation in rates seen among
Arab-American men and women for each of the colorectal cancer screening
tests. The most extreme example of this variation is for screening sigmoidoscopy
within the last five years: 42 percent of the Arab-American men interviewed
reported that they had had this test during that time period, compared
with 12 percent of the Arab-American women interviewed.
Arab Americans also show lower overall colorectal cancer screening rates
than the overall Michigan population. SCBRFS data indicate that 32 percent
of eligible adults within Michigan's general population receive appropriate
screening for colorectal cancer with FOBT and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy,
while only 18 percent of Arab-American adults receive appropriate colorectal
How These Materials Were
In an effort to reach the Arab-American population with messages about
the importance of routine colorectal cancer screening, a grant was awarded
to ACCESS to translate, focus test, and produce an Arabic version of the
CDC Screen for Life colorectal cancer educational materials.
After translating selected Screen for Life materials into Arabic, ACCESS
conducted focus groups with Arab-American community members to determine
the cultural appropriateness of the materials and to identify the most
appropriate methods of distributing them within the Arab-American community.
Guided by the information gleaned from these focus groups, ACCESS completed
production of the culturally appropriate Arabic- and English-language
brochures, fact sheets, and posters in the Fall of 2003. These materials,
which are appropriate for use in a variety of settings, are available
for dissemination by MCC member organizations and other interested stakeholders.
here to view the colorectal cancer educational materials produced
for Arab Americans,
(Note: Although the initial supplies of many of these materials have been depleted, some of these resources may still be ordered in limited quantities through the Michigan Health Promotions Clearinghouse at www.hpclearinghouse.org).
To Request Copies For further information, contact Elizabeth Tylor of the ACCESS Community Health & Research Center at 313-216-2238.
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