In 2015, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia issued its first grant to Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach for their “Mammograms Made Easy” program. Their premise for making mammograms easier was something we had never funded before. Unlike traditional service delivery, Fox Chase brings cancer screening to the community via its Mobile Screening Unit (MSU). The MSU, in partnership with the Flyers Wives, is recognized as a best practice model to increase breast cancer screening. Funding provided by Komen Philadelphia enabled Fox Chase to increase services to local women in need of mammograms by bringing the MSU to the community.
The MSU is the only one of its kind in the region that is affiliated with an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Notably, the MSU provides a private space for women to receive their breast cancer screening in a location that is more convenient for them. The convenience of the MSU reduces some of the barriers to care that have been noted by many women that have previously kept them from receiving their mammograms. The community screening program provided by Fox Chase is helping target non-English speaking populations in the greater Delaware Valley region, specifically Philadelphia County, which is identified by Komen Philadelphia as a priority area in our community profile.
In 2016, Komen Philadelphia funded a second grant to Fox Chase Cancer Center, and as a result Fox Chase was able to provide essential screening to Mrs. Zulma Martinez.
Zulma received her first mammogram from the MSU in 2015, her mammogram was normal. In the summer of 2016 Zulma returned to the MSU for her second annual mammogram, this time her mammogram was inconclusive and she was referred to Fox Chase Cancer Center for further testing. The additional testing revealed that Zulma had microscopic papilloma with microcalcifications.
Though benign, the results are considered high risk, and she was navigated to receive further consultations with breast specialist, Richard Bleicher, MD at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Throughout this whole process, the community navigator, Deb Resnick, has assisted Zulma and her family. Originally from El Salvador, Zulma is limited English proficient, therefore the navigator arranged for a certified medical interpreter to help in explaining results and next steps. They also arranged for Zulma’s transportation to and from Fox Chase and met her at appointments. The navigator will continue to assist Zulma throughout any subsequent visits. Zulma says she is extremely appreciative for what the healthcare team at Fox Chase has done to facilitate the process. In turn, Fox Chase is appreciative for the support and funding from Komen Philadelphia.