October 1, 2012
For some women in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), screening for breast and cervical cancers is routine. For others there are many challenges preventing them from being screened at all, or keeping up with routine screening. According to research that has already been done, under-screened and never-screened women tend to include: immigrants, newcomers, refugees, some lesbian and bisexual women, trans men and women who are under-housed or living on the street.
WCRI scientist Dr. Sheila Dunn, in collaboration with St. Michael’s Hospital and more than 15 community partners, is working to make breast and cervical cancer screening more accessible to underserved and vulnerable women across the Toronto Central LHIN. The CARES project is partnering community-based “peer ambassadors” with nurse practitioners to engage women in areas where they meet and live, to provide information about cancer screening.
Through CARES, screening mammograms and Pap smears are made easy for women to access. In some settings, the nurse practitioners can even perform Pap tests on a mobile health bus. The CARES team is also able to co-ordinate supportive accompaniment to mammography appointments, provide information sessions in more than 20 languages and give tangible supports to enable women and trans men to access education and screening.
In the month of November, CARES is hosting the It’s Time For CARES campaign. During the campaign, information sessions will be held at Women’s College Hospital and at St. Michael’s Hospital. For information: www.caresToronto.
The CARES project has been made possible through funding provided by Cancer Care Ontario.Jump to top page