In 2010, cancer became the leading cause of death worldwide. Nearly 50% of new cancer incidence and 2/3 of cancer deaths now occur in low and middle-income countries. In many of these countries, the stigma associated with cancer is a barrier to treatment and support and contributes to the high rates of mortality.
Starting in December 2010, LIVESTRONG in association with JSI, began implementing Comparte Tu Historia (Tell Your Story) project in Mexico. The goal of the project was to reduce stigma associated with cancer through culturally-relevant and targeted messaging while raising awareness of the global cancer burden.
The campaign had 5 major components:
- Mass media: radio, video, print, and social media as a means to disseminate positive and informative messages about cancer and the ability to survive it
- Community outreach: working on the community level to increase awareness about cancer and cancer-related stigma through trainings and community mobilization
- Special events: bringing together survivors and the general public to gain a deeper understanding of awareness and the problem of cancer in Mexico
- Public relations: working with media to share positive and empowering messages on national, provincial, and regional levels
- Monitoring and evaluation: collecting data to help increase the body of knowledge regarding the issue of cancer stigma, identify key lessons in addressing stigma, and show impact
Mexico is the second country to implement the cancer anti-stigma initiative, which was originally piloted in South Africa. The 18-month project worked in four communities throughout Mexico: Merida, Guadalajara, Nezahualcoyotl and Alvaro Obregon. In each of these communities, the project worked with many players: stakeholders to spread the message, survivors to share their stories, media stations to air testimonies, and NGOs to conduct trainings and build organizational capacity and sustainability.
- Development and nationwide airing of TV public service announcements of 12 cancer survivor's stories
- Development and nationwide airing of radio announcements of 12 stories of 12 cancer survivors
- Four-part radio series providing in-depth information on cancer
- More than 245 people trained in the basics of cancer and survivorship, 30 of whom became master trainers.
- Attendance of more than 7,000 people at the World Cancer Day event held at the Zocolo in Mexico City
- Public bus campaign highlighting cancer survivors in Mexico City
- Nine special events throughout the project sites
- Baseline knowledge attitudes and practice (KAP) survey on cancer stigma among 800 respondent in the four locations