The ASC emphasizes public education and awareness of early cancer detection practices, especially cervical cancer. The ASC Foundation funds projects that focus primarily on patient education and effective screening programs.
Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer
Community Cervical Cancer Screen Program
Kansas City, Kansas
The Coalition of Hispanic Women Against Cancer’s (CHWAC) community cervical cancer screening program, also referred to as Pap smear mobile events, is focused specifically on advocacy for Latina women who do not have regular access to care, are uninsured, and are predominantly Spanish speaking and live within the greater Kansas City area.
For more than 16 years, the CHWAC has been the only organization in the greater Kansas City area dedicated to serving Latina women with breast and cervical cancer education, prevention and support services. Their programs are designed and implemented by Latina women for Latina women and are provided in a culturally and linguistically sensitive way. The CHWAC began by offering Latina women access to free or low-cost breast cancer screenings, connecting qualified participants to state funded programs (Early Detection Works in Kansas and Show Me Healthy Women in Missouri), and providing follow-up referrals for care as needed.
In 2013, with the support and funding from the American Society of Cytopathology Foundation, the CWHAC responded to the needs of the community and began to offer cervical screenings and education, in addition to mammography services. During interactions with women at the mammogram outings, many women seem to not understand cervical cancer, how one contracts it, what tests detect it, and how it can be prevented and/or treated. Many find screenings to be embarrassing and frightening when completed by providers unknown to them and with limited cultural or linguistic competence. Consequently, cervical cancer screening among Latinas continues to be sub-optimal.
With continued support from the ASC Foundation, CHWAC continues to provide much needed mobile Pap smear screenings in 2018 to 200 of Kansas City’s most marginalized Latina women. Funding received for 2018 provided for:
- Purchasing materials to equip our mobile screening events [8 per year] that serve 200 women
- Paying for the cost of 100 cervical screenings for women who do not qualify for state funding and cannot afford to pay reduced cost exams themselves
- Covering the cost of the medical provider that will perform the pelvic exams and cervical screenings
- Paying the costs for the Community Educational Classes [4 per year] conducted by Ley Health Educators (LHEs) that provides women vital information about cervical cancer and the importance of screenings