For most chronic and life-threatening diseases like cancer, early detection can mean that the patient will seek therapy in good time and control disease progression. This can be extremely effective in preventing such diseases from reaching their fatal stages. In a study, Gadgil et al., 2017 found that breast awareness effortsin a cohort of women led to early diagnosis of breast cancer and reduced fatality in a two-year intervention period. Apparently, efforts toimprove breast awareness and access to care for women of different ages indicate early detection and more conventional treatment of breast cancers. Overall, creating awareness andimproving access to healthcare has the potential to result in significant down-staging of cancer. This is one major role of outreach awareness programs with regards to cancer.
Outreach awareness programs are not limited to cancer cases alone, as Ndiaye et al. (2003)report. Outreachprograms make health education available in the areas of disease prevention, screening, and early detection various life-threatening diseases through partnership programs. The programs involve communities and help members to learn about resources and acquire knowledge that they can then share further with others in these communities.
With such programs in place, early detection and diagnosis of disease is possible, leading to increased survival rates and better disease control and treatment outcomes.
Gadgil, A., Sauvaget, C., Roy, N., Muwonge, R., Kantharia, S., Chakrabarty, A., Bantwal, K., Haldar, I. and Sankaranarayanan, R., 2017. Cancer early detection program based on awareness and clinical breast examination: interim results from an urban community in Mumbai, India. The Breast, 31, pp.85-89.
Ndiaye, S.M., Quick, L., Sanda, O. and Niandou, S., 2003. The value of community participation in disease surveillance: a case study from Niger. Health Promotion International, 18(2), pp.89-98.