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Gateways to Cancer Screening I and II

Gateways to Cancer Screening I

The Gateways to Cancer Screening Project explored the cancer screening experiences and care needs of women with mobility disabilities in Toronto, Canada, using community-based participatory research methods.  The research team included disability rights activists, community workers, healthcare providers, and community and university-based health researchers working in a collaborative fashion to learn about challenges and facilitators for women with disabilities in their access to screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.  Five peer-led focus groups were held with 24 women with mobility disabilities.  The women identified a range of barriers to cancer screening.  They discussed the complex work of (1) arranging and attending health-related appointments, (2) confronting normative assumptions about women’s bodies, and (3) securing reliable health care and information.  A key recommendation from the women was to provide disability training for healthcare professionals and clinical staff who work in cancer screening on appropriate and clear communication, compassionate behaviour, and best practices in working with women with disabilities.

Gateways I Report

Disability and Society Paper

Journal of Cancer Education Paper


Gateways to Cancer Screening II

Improving the Breast Cancer Screening Experience of Women with Mobility Disabilities:  An Educational Intervention with Healthcare Providers (Gateways II) is a disability education research and implementation project with healthcare providers who work in breast cancer screening.  Seven focus groups were held with 43 mammography technologists, radiologists, and clerical staff from the Joint Department of Medical Imaging at Mount Sinai, Princess Margaret, and Women’s College Hospitals in Toronto, Canada, to understand their experiences and learning needs when working with women with disabilities.  This information was used in combination with the research results from Gateways I to develop and deliver a creative immersive learning education program for healthcare providers to increase their competencies in working with women with mobility disabilities.  The research team subsequently developed the evidence-based disability education tools and resources found on this website for use and adaptation in other settings.  The ultimate goal of this project is to promote health equity for women with disabilities accessing breast cancer screening by creating resources that will improve access, screening, and early detection of their breast cancers. 


Related Pages:

Accessibility at Mount Sinai Hospital

Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital