October 17, 2013 (BOSTON) – For the fourth straight year, Tufts Medical Center will host See, Test & Treat®, a free cervical and breast cancer screening program, funded through grants from the CAP Foundation. The program features same-day tests results, diagnoses and follow-up care for uninsured and underserved women ages 21 and older. In addition, this year’s program will include free pediatric kidney screenings for children ages five to 18. The program will take place on Saturday, October 26, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in the OB/GYN clinic on the second floor of Tufts Medical Center’s South Building (860 Washington Street in Boston).
Traditional screening procedures often require women to visit health care professionals at least twice—once to have an exam and again to receive follow-up care, if needed. A number of factors, including limited access to transportation, cultural and language barriers, lack of child care and inability to take time off from work, may prevent many women from seeking routine care.
“According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 245,000 women in the U.S. are expected to receive a diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer in 2013,” said Barbarajean Magnani, PhD, MD, FCAP, former Chair and Pathologist-in-Chief of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tufts Medical Center. “However, numerous studies have shown that an early diagnosis is the key factor in successfully treating these diseases. We feel that it is our duty to help our friends and neighbors in the community by offering them this yearly opportunity to receive potentially life-changing and life-saving medical tests and care free of charge.”
“We are very excited to add a pediatric component to this year’s program,” said Lockie Milner, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center. “It is very important for growing children to have healthy kidney function. Now when Boston-area women attend the See, Test & Treat program, they can bring along their children to receive these necessary pediatric screenings. It’s all part of the Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital commitment to treating every single one of our patients as if they were a member of our own family.”
Women attending the program will undergo pelvic and breast exams, with a Pap test and mammogram if needed, to screen for early signs of cervical and breast cancer. Pediatric kidney screenings for children will include blood pressure and urinalysis tests. Test results, physician consultations and follow-up care will be provided the same day. All patients will receive their results in a private setting and will be given information about follow-up treatment options, if necessary. Health education will be provided, and complimentary food, entertainment and children’s activities also will be available on site. Each participant will receive a See, Test & Treat t-shirt and Target gift card after receiving their test results.
ChangBao (Ella) Yuan, 33, left a steady job in Shanghai, China in December 2009 to come to the United States to care for her older sister, who was battling terminal breast cancer; Yuan cared for her for the last four months of her life. After her sister’s death, Yuan decided to stay in Boston, despite the challenges of learning a new language. Yuan, who works as a travel agent in Chinatown, does not have health insurance through her company, nor can she afford to purchase it on her own. Two years ago, while studying English at the Asian American Civic Association, Yuan saw an advertisement for the See, Test & Treat program. Given her family history, and driven by concerns from her parents back in China, Yuan made an appointment to attend the 2011 program. Even though she received a clean bill of health, Yuan made a point to attend See, Test & Treat again in 2012, and it was a good thing she did. Her Pap and HPV tests came back abnormal, and after a review by her pathologist, it was determined that pre-cervical cancer cells were present. Over the past year, Zitao Liu, MD, PhD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Tufts Medical Center, has provided Yuan with additional tests and follow-up care. She continues to be followed closely by medical professionals and is due for her one-year check-up this month.
“When I received my test results last year, I was very worried, both for my own health and for my family,” said Yuan. “But Dr. Liu is very professional, considerate and patient and I feel confident knowing that he is taking care of me. I’m so thankful that Tufts Medical Center offers this free program to the community every year; it's very important for people who don’t have health insurance right now. It's a good way to take care of ourselves and make sure we lead healthy lives. If I didn't attend last year and didn’t have those tests, I don’t know what would have happened to me. I will continue to take care of my health every day and I hope other women come to this year’s See, Test & Treat program so they can take care of their health too.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology both recommend regular Pap tests for all women who are older than 21 or who are sexually active. In addition, the CAP agrees with the recommendations of the American Cancer Society that all women 40 years and older should have annual mammograms.
Participants are encouraged to register and reserve an appointment slot for the 2013 See, Test & Treat program by calling 617-636-4872. Cantonese and Mandarin language interpreters will be available to assist patients for registration calls and during the event. Walk-ins are also welcome.
About Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Tufts Children's Hospital. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Children's Hospital is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of more than 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.