Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1263–1269 | Cite as

Using Comics to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

  • Jiayan Linda Wang
  • Nazia Acevedo
  • Georgia Robins Sadler


There are unaesthetic aspects in teaching people about the early detection of colorectal cancer using the fecal immunochemical test. Comics were seen as a way to overcome those unaesthetic aspects. This study used the Asian grocery store-based cancer education venue to pilot-test the clarity, cultural acceptability, and alignment of five colorectal cancer education comics intended for publication in Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community newspapers. After developing the colorectal cancer education comics, API students asked shoppers to review a comic from their collection and provide feedback on how to make the comic clearer and more culturally pertinent to API readers. To evaluate viewers’ responses, the students gathered such unobtrusive data as: (1) how many of the predetermined salient information points were discussed as the student educators interacted with shoppers and (2) how many comics the shoppers were willing to review. Shoppers were also asked to evaluate how effective the comics would be at motivating colorectal cancer screening among APIs. The students were able to cover all of the salient information points with the first comic. As evidence of the comics’ capacity to engage shoppers’ interest, shoppers willingly evaluated all five comics. Using multiple comics enabled the educators to repeatedly address the four salient colorectal cancer information points. Thus, the comics helped student educators to overcome the unesthetic elements of colorectal cancer discussions, while enabling them to engage shoppers in animated discussions, for far more time than with their conventional didactic educational methods.


Asian Pacific Islander Cancer Colorectal cancer Education Disparities Screening Comics Literacy 



We would like to thank the participating Asian grocery stores: Lucky Seafood, Miramar Cash and Carry, Orient Valley Filipino Cuisine, 99 Ranch Market, Vinh Hung Supermarket, and Zion Market. We also wish to acknowledge donations made to support the program from Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs and the UC San Diego Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA). Finally, we thank the entire Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program’s cancer outreach team for their contributions, and especially Jinho Jung, Jonjei Ku, Scott Nguyen, Roger Quach, and Martin Somo. We also thank Isaac Quintanilla Salinas, John Tat, and the University of California San Diego Faculty Mentor Program faculty for their guidance.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiayan Linda Wang
    • 1
  • Nazia Acevedo
    • 1
  • Georgia Robins Sadler
    • 2
  1. 1.UC San Diego Moores Cancer CenterLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUC San Diego School of MedicineLa JollaUSA

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