Abigail, 34, takes care of her three children in Maywood, Illinois. She had a professional career in Mexico, where her parents still live, but now she stays at home to reduce the costs of childcare. She has had worries about her health ever since she was diagnosed with endometriosis and her cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Juana, 33, works as a health home aide in the Bronx, New York. She has recently seen her older sister go through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy to treat a breast cancer diagnosis; and just two years before, her mother also had a breast removed.
These two women are separated by hundreds of miles and trained in different lines of work, but they have a lot in common when it comes to their health risks. Neither woman has any health insurance, and both received their first-ever mammogram at a See, Test & Treat event.
The hurdles between at-risk women and recommended preventive medicine are not the same for everyone, but they always pose a deadly threat. For Abigail, the cost of being included on her husband’s health insurance plan would be more than her husband’s entire take-home pay, making any coverage out of reach. The possibility of cervical cancer going untreated is among her greatest fears, but the staff at Loyola University Medical Center did manage to ease some of her nervousness.
See, Test & Treat now reaches women in 10 languages, expanding the accessibility that makes the program stand out.
“At first I was nervous; but when I stepped in the door and a doctor in a lab coat greeted me with a smile and spoke Spanish to me, I was relieved,” Abigail said while her Pap test was being examined. “Although I speak English, speaking my first language relaxes me.”
See, Test & Treat now reaches women in 10 languages, expanding the accessibility that makes the program stand out. As always, the same-day results and child-friendly setting go a long way for mothers who cannot always commit to multiple appointments for a preventive test.
For women like Juana, a packed work schedule can make it easy to fall behind a schedule of regular cancer screenings, and the cost of peace of mind can add up quickly. With women in her immediate family fighting breast cancer themselves, she wanted an affordable option to be sure of her own health.
“I’m still young, but I know that I may be at risk,” Juana said at the program held in May at Montefiore Medical Center. While the program’s turnaround time for testing was only two hours, she made good use of those two hours thanks to the community health outreach that coordinated with the screenings. Educators from Latina SHARE, Bronx Community Health Network, HealthFirst, and Ridgewood Savings Bank connected women with affordable health care resources, and a Montefiore dietician explained ways to improve overall wellness and prevent disease through nutrition. See, Test & Treat is proud to provide education and financial advice that can make a difference in the health of women and their families.
Though every See, Test & Treat reaches a unique set of women, the validated, pathologist-led model holds true no matter where help is needed. As members of their communities and families, Juana and Abigail both needed a program that could assure them that cervical and breast cancer would not become a threat to their lives. As women in underserved communities, they needed representatives who could discuss options for affordable coverage and tests so they could make their health a priority. Because of the donations made to the CAP Foundation and the selfless work of many volunteers and health care professionals, the cost of peace of mind came down to zero.