Research Scientist Dr. Lisa Carter-Bawa of CPPCI Featured in International Lung Cancer Newsletter   

Research Scientist Dr. Lisa Carter-Bawa of CPPCI Featured in International Lung Cancer Newsletter

December 13, 2023

Lisa Carter-Bawa

A Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) scientist's approach to tackle the stigma of lung cancer screening has earned some accolades among peers.

Lisa Carter-Bawa, Ph.D., MPH, APRN, ANP-C, FAAN, director of the Cancer Prevention Precision Control Institute (CPPCI) at the Center for Discovery & Innovation, was prominently featured in a monthly newsletter by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) for her research paper highlighting the needs to soften potentially stigmatizing communications to at-risk populations for lung cancer in order to lower barriers to the cancer screening–and ultimately, cancer care–process.

The research paper, published in the IASLC’s official, open-access journal called JTO Clinical and Research Reports (JTOCRR) in October 2023, is entitled “Effective Communication About Lung Cancer Screening Without Iatrogenic Stigma: A Brief Report Case Study Using the Lung Cancer Stigma Communications Assessment Tool of LungTalk.”

In her paper, Dr. Carter-Bawa and colleagues report the process of using a newly created tool supported by the American Cancer Society’s National Lung Cancer Roundtable - the Lung Cancer Stigma Communications Assessment Tool (LCS-CAT) - to audit potentially blaming, labeling, and oversimplified language and imagery of LungTalk, a public-facing health communication and decision support tool created by Dr. Carter-Bawa.

Such language, according to Dr. Carter-Bawa, could be disruptive along the lung cancer care continuum, especially and most importantly within early detection of lung cancer.

She strategized for that language to thus be softened in order to prevent discouragement of at-risk populations–most specifically the smoking population–to be proactive about conducting an honest look into lung cancer screening, prevention, detection, and treatment out of fear of being stigmatized within and beyond the healthcare community.

Dr. Carter-Bawa concluded with the advice that, “Until stigma is addressed at multiple levels, the public health benefit of lung cancer screening will continue to be severely challenged.”

It’s through her experience in patient care as an experienced nurse practitioner that Dr. Carter-Bawa uses her research to find benefit for patients through the compassion of and understanding by the medical community. Through actionable changes in communication, she believes patient mortality rate in lung cancer at the end of the cycle can be more effectively addressed at the beginning. 

Her focused and dedicated approach to research into new inputs is already showing her potential to bring about different outcomes in lung cancer prevention and early detection.

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