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Communication and comprehensive cancer control coalitions: lessons from two decades of campaigns, outreach, and training

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Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) coalitions and programs have delivered effective models and approaches to reducing cancer burden across the United States over the last two decades. Communication plays an essential role in diverse coalition activities from prevention to survivorship, including organizational and community capacity-building and as cancer control intervention strategies.


Based upon a review of published CCC research as well as public health communication best practices, this article describes lessons learned to assist CCC coalitions and programs with systematic implementation of communication efforts as key strategies in cancer control.


Communication-oriented lessons include (1) effective communication work requires listening and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders, (2) communication interventions should target multiple levels from interpersonal to mediated channels, (3) educational outreach can be a valuable opportunity to bolster coalition effectiveness and cancer control outcomes, and (4) dedicated support is necessary to ensure consistent communication efforts.


External and internal communication strategies can optimize coalition efforts and resources to ultimately help produce meaningful improvement in cancer control outcomes.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Robert Bailey II, MPH, for his work in writing and editing this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Brad Love.

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Love, B., Benedict, C., Van Kirk Villalobos, A. et al. Communication and comprehensive cancer control coalitions: lessons from two decades of campaigns, outreach, and training. Cancer Causes Control 29, 1239–1247 (2018).

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  • Cancer control coalitions
  • Health communication
  • Organizational communication
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Public health communication