Local Implementation of Cancer Control Activities in Rural Appalachia, 2006

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Underserved communities with high cancer rates often are not involved in implementing state cancer control activities locally. An East Tennessee State University research team formed 2 Appalachian Community Cancer Research Review Work Groups, 1 in northeast Tennessee and 1 in southwest Virginia. During 4 sessions, the research team presented regional cancer data to the work groups. Work group participants explored research from a lay perspective and identified possible reasons for cancer disparities in central Appalachia. The fifth session was a community dissemination activity in which work group participants engaged in cancer education and action by presenting the research to their local communities in unique ways. During a sixth session, both work groups discussed these interventions and further attempted to answer the question, "What makes the experience of cancer unique in Appalachia?" This article describes the key steps of this community-based participatory research process.