CAP@Your Service – July
The College of American Pathologists sponsored its seventh successful See, Test and Treat™ event on May 13 – 15, 2008, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During the three day program, 123 uninsured and under insured women, received free breast and cervical cancer screening services at the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, a National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CCOE).
During the See, Test and Treat event, women received a pelvic exam, along with a Pap test to detect any potential early signs of cervical cancer, and a mammogram for early detection of breast cancer. A Patient Advocate met privately with each patient to give her the results, as well as a grocery store gift certificate and a See, Test and Treat t-shirt. In addition, two CAP members—Bradley M. Linzie, MD, FCAP, and Steven M. Debol, MD, PhD, FCAP—volunteered their time for the program.
English, Spanish, and Hmong-speaking women were invited to attend the event and a special day was designated for each group of women—Tuesday was designated for English-speaking women, Wednesday for Spanish, and Thursday for Hmong. Language interpreters were on-site to help patients on Wednesday and Thursday. In addition, a “Hmong tea” was held two-weeks prior to the event to educate the Hmong women about the Pap test procedure and why it is important to receive regular cervical cancer screening tests.
“A key component to the success of the program is removing all barriers to early diagnosis and treatment for all women” said Dr. Linzie. “Having the language translators on hand and the educational tools available helped the women to feel comfortable with the process. One woman had the opportunity to review a text book to better understand how cervical cancer progresses and why receiving a Pap test regularly is important for early detection.”
In addition, patients also had the opportunity to see a Pap slide under the microscope and ask questions of either Drs. Linzie or Debol regarding what they saw. “I think the women benefited from actually looking at the Pap tests under the microscope,” said Dr. Debol. “It made it easier for them to fully understand their diagnosis.”
One-hundred-and-five women received Pap tests. Of those, five were ASCUS, and two were diagnosed as low-grade. All the patients with ASCUS results had specimens sent for HPV testing. Colposcopy was available for women with abnormal Pap results.
Sixty-three women had mammograms and received their results following the event. If they had abnormal results, the women were scheduled for necessary follow-up treatment.
The unique aspect of the See, Test and Treat program is that pathologists and cytotechnologists are present to screen and diagnose Pap test results immediately so that follow up care, including colposcopy, can be provided during the same visit. The traditional screening process typically requires two health care visits. While the women waited for their results, they were offered refreshments and were invited to participate in activities promoting health and wellness, such as aerobic exercise and salsa dancing, as well as receive healthy lifestyle tips.