The Texas C-STEP project (Cancer Screening, Training, Education and Prevention Program) will help to eliminate barriers to cancer screening through a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Grant funding enhances the ability of the Texas A&M Physicians Family Medicine Center to provide free cancer screenings to residents of the Brazos Valley who are uninsured or low-income qualifiers.
Through training opportunities associated with this grant, an increased number of family medicine practitioners will develop an expertise in conducting cancer screenings, such as colonoscopy, and performing advanced diagnostics associated with breast and cervical cancer. The clinic uses community health workers, known in Spanish as Promotoras, to make the cancer screenings more accessible, affordable, and culturally relevant, and to provide patient navigation services through a trusted resource.
Texas C-STEP is dependent on referrals. Anyone can make a referral or potential patients may self-refer. Most referrals come from C-STEP partnerships with local health care providers that serve safety-net populations. Pastors, social workers, agencies and family members are other sources for referral.
The following screening or diagnostic services are available to qualifying residents of Brazos, Burleson, Falls, Freestone, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Montgomery, Robertson, Trinity, Walker, Waller and Washington counties:
- FIT Tests
- Clinical Breast Exam
- LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)
- Pap Test
- Ultrasound Guided Needle Biopsy
- HepC Testing
- HPV Vaccination Education and Navigation
Financial Assistance Package
The free screening services are intended to assist uninsured Brazos Valley residents, or underserved residents who qualify financially. Patients will be asked to complete a short qualifying application to determine financial need. Patients whose income and assets total 250% of federal poverty level or below may qualify for the free screenings. Patients who do not qualify financially, but who are in a situation where they cannot afford to pay may have their application reviewed on an individual case basis.
Who May Refer?
Anyone may refer—physicians and other healthcare providers, social services providers, family and friends—or the patient can simply call to schedule an appointment for a preparatory visit with the community health worker.