This year, the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center’s Community Health Outreach and Education Program helped Joe DeMesse and thousands like him improve their odds against cancer.
“Both my parents died from cancer at a young age,” DeMesse recalls. “I couldn’t afford health insurance, but I knew getting screened for prostate and colon cancer was something I should do.”
Being tested is important, because the best way to beat cancer is to find it and treat it early. The Community Health Outreach and Education Program offers education and access to funding and screenings for early detection of skin cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer, as well as combination screening for heart, diabetes and cancer risks. At the same time, the program provides education about cancer prevention and healthy behaviors, including help to quit smoking. Community Health Outreach and Education Program teams visit health fairs, senior centers, farmers markets and faith-based assemblies to make it easier for people to get the tests and services they need for cancer prevention and treatment. The team’s nurses, health professionals and lay navigators serve as personal guides—patient navigators—to help sort out where to go, what tests patients need, what forms to fill out, how to get financial support and follow-up services.
“The nurse navigators treated me like family,” DeMesse says. “They helped me get funding and an appointment, and stayed on me to keep it. I don’t know what I would have done without that help.”
Do not let fear or embarrassment stop you from being screened. If you do not have a doctor or need assistance with a cancer screening, call the Community Health Outreach and Education Program at 302-623-4661. A screening nurse navigator will answer your questions, help set up an appointment and see if you qualify for free screenings.