BENEFITING: AMERICAN FRIENDS OF BSHVILAYCH
An Overview: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Israeli women and the fifth leading cause of death (Israel Ministry of Health, 2014). One out of every 8 women in Israel may develop breast cancer (Israel Cancer Association, 2015). Breast cancer mortality rates are significantly higher in religious women compared with non-religious women in Israel (Isak, 2001, Shmueli & Tamir, 2007). Current breast health promotion activities targeting the religious population are seriously lacking. Most of this country’s health information is disseminated through secular media (internet, television, etc.). According to our research, 2% of the ultra-orthodox community accesses health information through the internet. More common sources include physicians and the ultra-orthodox media, which generally do not address breast health. Therefore, providing effective, culturally-sensitive education programs, that focus on prevention and risk-matched screening, are a crucial step towards decreasing morbidity and mortality rates in this population. Our Program: Your Health is in Your Hands: The Israel Breast Health Awareness Program was designed to increase breast health education and screening and prevention behaviors in low SES, religious communities in Israel. Partially funded by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, the program was successfully implemented in 9 communities in 2010. Since the program’s inception, mammogram rates have been steadily rising and gaps in subpopulation compliance rates have narrowed. (ICA, 2014). Building on this successful model, we hope to replicate the program to 9 new communities.