Although the field of science keeps advancing, it may be the simple telephone that helps save more lives. Anita Kinney, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Population Sciences at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, and her fellow researchers have found that personalized messages over the phone can better help promote preventive measures against cancer.
Dr. Kinney and her team studied how people reacted when given phone calls based on their personal risk, family history and best practices in health communication. The findings showed that those who received this type of intervention greatly improved their odds of getting a cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy. These screenings are a powerful tool in the fight against cancer, as they help catch cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages.
While cancer screenings are an effective weapon against cancer, they are only useful if people actually get them. This is the issue for those in rural areas because their location makes it harder to access proper healthcare. Dr. Kinney and her team are trying to change that. With her team’s new approach, patients can stay at home, yet still talk to experts who are hundreds, or even thousands of miles away.
This enhanced method of prevention will help states with populations spread over a large area, such as New Mexico. It will provide people with better access to healthcare, which will hopefully improve our odds of beating this terrible disease.
- A. Y. Kinney, W. Boonyasiriwat, S. T. Walters, L. M. Pappas, A. M. Stroup, M. D. Schwartz, S. L. Edwards, A. Rogers, W. K. Kohlmann, K. M. Boucher, S. W. Vernon, R. G. Simmons, J. T. Lowery, K. Flores, C. L. Wiggins, D. A. Hill, R. W. Burt, M. S. Williams, J. C. Higginbotham. Telehealth Personalized Cancer Risk Communication to Motivate Colonoscopy in Relatives of Patients With Colorectal Cancer: The Family CARE Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2014; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.51.6765
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