Cancer Fighting Partners
Residents of Queens will be seeing something new when they visit the library – a mobile cancer screening van from the HHC Queens network of hospitals where they can get cancer screenings at little or no cost. The van will be touring twenty libraries throughout Queens as part of the new Queens Library HealthLink, a collaboration between Queens and Elmhurst Hospitals, the Queens Borough Public Library, the American Cancer Society and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that aims to increase health literacy and bring cancer prevention to borough residents.
“People in Queens depend on Queens library for their information needs,” said Thomas Galante, Director of the Queens Library. “We are pleased to be a partner in this important initiative to improve the health and well-being of all our neighbors.”
The mobile cancer screening van, funded through the efforts of City Councilmember Hiram Monserette, will provide mammograms, clinical breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap tests. The American Cancer Society is participating in the partnership through numerous workshops on cancer prevention, early detection and issues related to successful treatment.
Services are available to women over 40, regardless of immigration status, who have little or no insurance and have not had a mammogram in the last year. The main goal of the project is to reach Queens residents who don’t have access to cancer prevention and early treatment services. The partnership hopes to make a dent in the excess cancer burden that Queens residents carry. HHC’s Queens Health Network has found that late-stage breast cancer is three times more likely in Queens residents than the national average and late-stage prostate and rectal cancer is nearly twice as frequent.
“This is really an issue of access. It’s an issue of outreach and education, and that’s what this alliance is all about,” said Alan D. Aviles, HHC President.
Queens Health Network, which operates the Queens
Cancer Center at Queens Hospital in Jamaica, is uniquely qualified to
provide cancer screening services for Queens residents. The Cancer Center
is the first to offer comprehensive cancer services in the borough of
Queens, giving residents the opportunity to have first rate cancer care
without traveling far from home.