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Grantee Spotlight: Center for Pan Asian Community Services Talks about Cultural Stigma

Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), GA
"I don't know what to do...I am going to die." Hindered by cultural stigma and shame about the pain she felt in her breast, 53-year-old Kamala refused to tell her family about her worries. As a Bhutanese refugee, Kamala knew that speaking openly about internal, bodily matters was heavily frowned upon, even though she was encouraged to get help by friends who had received breast cancer prevention and awareness education through the CPACS Asian Breast Care (ABC) program. When a culturally and linguistically competent navigator visited her home to provide outreach, she strongly hesitated before opening up about the lump in her breast and agreeing to receive breast health education and a mammogram.

When Kamala received abnormal test results her family refused to acknowledge the significance and she was devastated. She spoke no English and could not afford health care so was reluctant to follow-up at a local hospital. Despite this, CPACS supported her with a translator and transportation through the follow-up appointment and her biopsy. On the way to her biopsy, Kamala cried to her navigator the entire time: "I am going to die." A week later, the results came back and Kamala was healthy. Happily, she could not stop crying tears of joy. She was extremely appreciative of the CPACS ABC program for reassuring and caring for her when her family could not and as a result of her positive experience, Kamala now educates others about breast cancer awareness, and encourages them to seek help through CPACS.

A Grantee's Perspective

Chenango Health Network has received grant funding from the NYS Avon Breast Health Outreach Program for many years. AVON BHOP support has enabled our agency to conduct our Every Woman Counts in Chenango County Campaign, which motivates, encourages and supports hundreds of women who live in this rural upstate county to be screened for breast cancer and receive necessary treatment and support. Read More