The following article features coverage from the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.            

Denver, CO — The Cancer Outreach Project and the National Indio Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. (NICE) have partnered to provide cancer education, screening, and referral services to Asian Indio women that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, according to research presented at the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress.

The program focused on Asian Indio women who were either not insured or under insured and provided services such as a clinical breast examination, Pap smear and pelvic examination, and screening or diagnostic mammography/ultrasound as appropriate. Participants also received fecal immunochemical testing and referral for colonoscopy as per American Cancer Society guidelines. These services were provided in collaboration between an Asian-Indio lay navigator and an advanced practice nurse, and any patients with abnormal test results were referred to the appropriate health care professional for continued services through grant funding.

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The researchers have since conducted a retrospective review of the outcomes of this program that indicated more than 500 women have received cancer prevention medical services and awareness education. The program’s patient panel included 255 women, the majority of whom return between 2 and 7 years for follow up care. The program has diagnosed 8 cancers, including 1 patient with ductal carcinoma in situ, 1 patient with lobular carcinoma in situ, 1 patient with stage I breast cancer, 1 patient with stage III breast cancer, 2 patients with cervical cancers, and 2 patients with endometrial cancers.

The researchers understood that the use of outreach methods and health care providers who have similar cultural backgrounds or display cultural competency can improve trust in patient populations and promote follow-up care. The participants in this study specifically indicated their culturally sensitive lay navigator and female health care provider as a factor that encouraged their participation and compliance.

“[Nurses] can impact the disparity related to screening through leadership, education, and practice with targeted populations. This innovative service delivery approach is a model that others can utilize to meet the health care needs of a population that historically has not accessed the United States health care system until late in a cancer trajectory,” the researchers concluded. 

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 2017 Oncology Nursing Society’s Annual Conference by visiting the conference page.


1. Byrne S. Addressing cancer education, screening, and treatment disparities in Asian Indio women: outcomes and lessons learned. Oral presentation at: Oncology Nursing Society 42nd Annual Congress; May 4-7, 2017; Denver, CO.