CAP Foundation’s free screening program helps diagnose, prevent cancer in women
Published on Friday, January 12, 2018
By: Cynthia Wall
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is joining several community partners to repeat a successful cancer screening first offered in 2017.
The See, Test & Treat Program, a part of the College of American Pathologist’s Foundation, offers free mammograms and cervical cancer screenings to women who qualify. Those screenings, along with a dermatology assessment, will be part of a screening package offered Saturday, Jan. 27, at the UMMC Cancer Institute.
The free screenings are available for uninsured and underinsured women in the Jackson metro area.
“We diagnose cancer. We also want to prevent it,” said Dr. Kim Geisinger, professor of pathology, who, along with Dr. Stephen Raab, professor of pathology, has worked to provide the screening.Tomeka Harps, a Brandon mother of three, tells anyone who will listen the 2017 screening was lifesaving. During her screening, doctors discovered a Stage 2B cervical cancer. Harps, who has completed treatment, now makes it her mission to encourage other women to be screened.
“I take any opportunity to tell someone to get screened,” she said.
Her own life is an example.
After several years of having abnormal Pap test results, she quit seeing her doctor. Lack of insurance and too little information fed the decision. In 2017, Ella Jackson, her New Horizon Church congregational care nurse, insisted Harps go to the See, Test & Treat screening.
Women who have abnormal readings during the screening will be provided information on how to follow up. Each is encouraged to see a physician for a diagnostic testing.
Geisinger, Raab and UMMC staff from the Departments of Pathology, Mammography, Gynecology, Dermatology and Nursing will be on hand to do the screenings. Many other UMMC staff and volunteers will help, too.
Raab said community partners who provide ongoing health services, help recruit screening participants and help sustain women in health crises are big factors in the program’s success.
“This year, we’re shooting for 100 women,” he said.
Each woman will receive the results of her screenings that day. Pap test results may take about two hours. While they wait, the women can talk to a financial health coordinator, meet with community health providers or state breast and cervical cancer program administrators, check on smoking cessation programs, receive breast screening information or attend nutrition or physical activity sessions.
The CAP Foundation grant helps fund the screening. Those attending may receive a light snack or meal and limited child care will be available.
Women can preregister, determine their eligibility and set up an appointment by calling (601) 815-3572.
NOTE: This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of CONSULT, UMMC's monthly electronic newsletter. To learn more about Medical Center news past, present and future, and to have more stories like this delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to CONSULT.