The first c-CARE module will focus on lung cancer. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are high in the Central Savannah River Area, as is the burden of lung cancer. Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended low dose CT scans to detect lung cancer in high risk individuals. cCARE provides an excellent platform for coalescing healthcare providers, community organizations, government leaders and other key stakeholders that share common goals with respect to lung cancer incidence, mortality, morbidity and survivorship.
An essential aspect of the c-CARE lung cancer module will be to identify and engage community-based resources, medical and non-medical, that can assist individuals at risk for, or diagnosed with this all too frequently fatal cancer. Among the resources that will be most helpful are those that are able to provide free and low-cost cancer-related services (prevention, early detection, treatment, surveillance), supplemental educational materials, and other forms of programmatic support. In addition to working with community clinics, many of which are co-located in or affiliated with local churches, c‐CARE will leverage valuable resources available from the American Cancer Society, the Lung Cancer Alliance, and other non-profit organizations.
At each c‐CARE community site, in addition to providing an educational intervention using a “train-the-trainer” model, we will work with the pastors or administrators to implement a permanent Tobacco-Free policy that encompasses parking lots and green spaces as well as inside the buildings.
The primary target population for the c-CARE lung cancer module is adult African American smokers and former smokers whose historical level of smoking combined with other potential lung cancer risk factors makes them eligible for lung cancer screening. However, because this screening is so new as a recommended strategy for early detection of lung cancer, and many people (even some healthcare providers) are uninformed about what it entails or who should be screened, we intend to make our educational intervention broadly available to all congregants/patients/patrons 21‐80 years of age, irrespective of tobacco use history. As part of the c‐CARE intervention, participants will learn whether they are appropriate candidates for screening. If so, they will be encouraged to consider (in partnership with their primary care provider) initiating lung cancer screening. If the participant is not an appropriate screening candidate, the information they learn through the cCARE lung cancer module may prove of benefit to a family member or a friend. We will provide the complete intervention one time at each of the 12 sites. However, we will also encourage and support the trainers in continuing to offer the lung cancer module to new groups of participants throughout the duration of the project.
Over time, we intend to make the lung cancer and other c‐CARE modules more broadly available throughout Georgia. Initially, however, we will concentrate our efforts in the 13 Georgia and 5 South Carolina counties that make up the CSRA.