A luncheon ceremony celebrating the unveiling of a computerized, touch-screen kiosk related to breast health will be held Thursday, April 15, at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the International Primary Care Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital. The kiosk is made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to educate Hispanic women about the importance of breast health.
Inginia Genao, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Multicultural Affairs Department at Grady Hospital, is overseeing the grant, which is being used to encourage Hispanic women to get regular mammograms and perform breast self-examinations, in hopes of decreasing mortality rates from a leading killer.
"This kiosk is an extremely important tool to help reduce breast cancer in the Hispanic population," said Dr. Genao, who has spearheaded numerous Hispanic medical initiatives, including the International Primary Care Clinic at Grady, which served 600 patients in 2003. "Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers that afflicts Hispanics, and we know that education is the key to prevention. If we educate women to do breast self-exams and learn the importance of getting regular mammograms, they will comply." The project, known as Cultural Touch, will educate Hispanic women about the risk factors for breast cancer, screening processes, nutritional strategies to reduce cancer risk, and provide information on clinical trials. The goal of the project is to provide a user-friendly, culturally appropriate vehicle for breast health information through the use of a computerized, touch-screen kiosk and provide clinical breast exams by bilingual providers in the International Primary Care Clinic. Community bilingual educators will provide follow-up for participants, who in turn will be referred for mammography screening.
The American Cancer Society projected in 2000 that about 54,100 new cancer cases would be diagnosed among Hispanics and about 21,100 Hispanics would die of the disease, making it the second leading single cause of death among Hispanics of all ages, second only to heart disease. The most commonly diagnosed cancers in Hispanics are breast, prostate, lung and colorectal.
According to the Intercultural Cancer Council, only 38 percent of Hispanic women ages 40 and older have regular screening mammograms. Low screening participation rates make Hispanic women more likely to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage of the disease when fewer treatment options are available, resulting in poorer outcomes and higher mortality.
"The main purpose of this project is for Hispanic women to get more mammograms because mammograms save lives," Dr. Genao said.
In addition to Dr. Genao, the luncheon will feature a live kiosk demonstration with a patient from the International Primary Care Clinic and welcoming remarks by Curtis Lewis, MD, chief of staff, chief medical officer, and associate dean of clinical services for Grady Health System and Emory and Morehouse schools of medicine. Juan Velasquez, MD, a first-year Emory School of Medicine resident, will open the ceremony with a guitar performance.