The University of Houston Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine and UH Health Family Care Center are joining a nationwide effort to increase awareness of the potentially life-saving benefits of regular cancer screenings.
“Cancer Screen Week”, scheduled for Dec. 5-9, is a public health initiative founded in 2017 by the American Cancer Society, Stand Up To Cancer and health care innovation companies Genentech and Optum, with the goal of helping save more lives through cancer screenings, particularly in underserved populations.
“Cancer screening is extremely important for your health,” said Dr. Stephen J. Spann, founding dean of the Fertitta Family College of Medicine. “It is important to establish a relationship with a primary care physician as they can provide preventative health screenings for breast, colon, cervical and prostate cancers when these are indicated.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 600,000 Americans will die from cancer in 2022. In Texas, which ranks 48th among all states in the rate of cancer screenings with less than 2% of those considered high-risk getting screened, it is estimated there will be nearly 140,000 new cancer cases and about 43,500 cancer deaths this year. And with COVID-19 causing many people to miss or delay screenings, doctors at the Family Care Center say “Cancer Screen Week” is the perfect time to get back on track.
“Scheduling regular cancer screenings is one of the best ways to take control of your health,” said Dr. Winston Liaw, chair of the Health Systems and Population Health Sciences department at the Fertitta Family College of Medicine and practicing physician at the Family Care Center. “It’s easier to prevent certain diseases than it is to cure them.”
Other factors, including lack of access to primary care and economic inequality, disproportionally impact people of color making it less likely they receive the preventative screenings. That’s where the Family Care Center, and its mission to expand health care in underserved communities, comes in.
“We offer many screenings on-site and in association with other community organizations,” said Dr. Kimberly Pilkinton, clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Family Care Center physician. “Preventative health care is important at any age, and we want to be a valuable resource for patients regardless of their financial situation.”
The Family Care Center is located in the University of Houston’s Health 2 building at 4349 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, suite 1001E. Most major insurance plans, including Medicare, are accepted. For patients without insurance, a sliding fee discount program (SFDP) is available based on income and household size. Same-day and next-day appointments are available and walk-in patients are welcome. Bi-lingual providers are available.
To schedule a screening, call 832-UHCARES or use the web form to schedule an appointment.