ERP_bcrisk websiteOn October 1, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (UNC BCERP) launched an interactive website devoted to educating young African American women about environmental risk factors for breast cancer. Researchers in the UNC BCERP who are studying the environmental influences on basal-like breast cancer in black women under 50, partnered with staff in the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Environmental Resource Program (ERP) and the UNC School of Information and Library Science to develop the website. Before creating the site, ERP staff, serving as the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) of the UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS), conducted focus groups to understand African American women’s perceptions of breast cancer and to learn where they get health information. They discovered that many young black women did not feel represented in breast cancer awareness campaigns, which often feature white women. In response, BCERP and COEC staff created videos featuring young black breast cancer survivors, breast cancer advocates, and physicians. In addition, the website includes information on breast cancer risk factors and a tool for users to assess personal risk factors. The team has also incorporated built-in analytics to evaluate the website’s effectiveness as a source of breast health information. Although African American women are the target audience for this tool, women of all backgrounds can use it to learn about breast cancer risk. Visit mybcrisk.org to explore the new site. Funding for this project is provided, in part, by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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