Lance Armstrong Foundation Announces Results of Successful Cancer Campaign in Mexico
Haley Williams -
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August 23, 2012

Students of the World: Mexico. Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything. (livestrongarmy)

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has announced the results of its successful Comparte tu Historia campaign in Mexico. This campaign raised awareness about cancer, changed misperceptions about the disease and challenged the stigma and silence that surrounds the world's leading cause of death.

"The Comparte tu Historia campaign has been a great opportunity to position the subject of cancer on the health agenda in Mexico. As of now we are only carrying out breast cancer and cervical cancer programs based on the availability of screening tests," said Dr. Mario Gómez Zepeda, Ministry of Health. "With the campaign, we have the opportunity to design strategies to promote health and combat the stigma, from a comprehensive approach to the various types of cancer."

"Comparte tu Historia is very important to me because it gave me a voice to share the message that I wish someone would have told me," said colon cancer survivor, Verónica Gascón.

In 2008, the Foundation launched an ambitious study to learn how cancer is perceived around the world. Public opinion surveys with more than 4500 adults from 10 countries on five continents representing more than 3.1 billion people were conducted. As part of the study, the Foundation analyzed media around the globe, conducted interviews in dozens of languages and documented the global cancer experience. The research revealed there is a pervasive stigma about cancer - not just in a few countries, but everywhere. Based on the findings, the Foundation decided to take action by developing a program to combat stigma. The program was first launched in South Africa in 2010, followed by the Comparte tu Historia campaign in Mexico.

The Foundation and JSI's primary focus was on four cities in Mexico including Alvaro Obregon, Nezahualcóyotl, Guadalajara, and Mérida. Over a period of 18 months beginning in December 2010, their efforts included:

  • Airing more than 5,000 television spots reaching more than 104 million people
  • Reaching more than 857,000 people on Facebook monthly
  • Training 244 people through a community Trainer of Trainers program
  • Airing more than 1,000 radio spots reaching 93 million people
  • Holding 10 special events, including an event on World Cancer Day which gathered more than 7,000 people in Mexico City's Zócalo

These efforts produced significant results, including:

  • 76% of people exposed to the campaign learned something new about cancer
  • 70% of people exposed to the campaign said it influenced them to talk more openly about cancer
  • 42% of people exposed to the campaign did something differently because of what they learned

In addition to the numbers, the success of the initiative was also revealed through words. Specific comments on what people learned or did differently included:

  • "I learned that a person with cancer is a person and must be helped."
  • "That cancer patients are also human beings."
  • "Do not hurt people with cancer. Before (I) thought it was incurable."

The Foundation has plans to expand on the efforts achieved in South Africa and Mexico and will announce those later this month. Ultimately, the Foundation plans to create an adaptable model to reduce cancer stigma that can be replicated in countries around the world.

For more info download the Comparte tu Historia campaign's PDF, or visit the Lance Armstrong Foundation's website

The Lance Armstrong Foundation serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation became a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer throughout the world. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation provides free patient navigation services to survivors with financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Known for its powerful brand - LIVESTRONG - the Foundation is also a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people living with cancer today. Since its inception in 1997, the Foundation has raised nearly $500 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit

Implementing partner John Snow, Inc. (JSI) is a public health research and consulting firm founded in 1978 and dedicated to promoting and improving the health of individuals and communities in the United States and around the world. JSI collaborates with regional, national and international partners to build local capacity to address critical health problems. Through management assistance, research and evaluation, and education, JSI works to enable clients to provide culturally appropriate services in an efficient, effective, and compassionate manner. For more information visit

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