PHILADELPHIA – As part of a continued focus on making cancer screenings more accessible to the greater Philadelphia community, Penn Medicine is coming together again with community partners and Siemens Healthineers to provide free cancer screenings, no insurance required, including advanced 3D mammograms. Events include a Penn Medicine Community Health Fair to connect West Philadelphia neighbors with health screenings, preventive care, and education.
The free mobile mammograms will be available to those age 40 and above from Monday, June 5 through Friday, June 16, 2023. A Siemens Healthineers 43-foot-long mobile mammography unit will be stationed in the parking lot of The Fresh Grocer of Upper Darby, located at 421 S. 69th Street to provide state-of-the-art imaging services.
On Sunday, June 11, 2023, additional health resources and screenings, including take-home colon cancer screening kits, PSA tests (blood test) for prostate cancer, lung cancer risk assessments, vascular health assessments (ultrasound), and health education, will be available during a Community Health Fair at the Community of Compassion CDC at 6150 Cedar Avenue. Registration is optional and walk-ins are welcome at both events. Additionally, a free shuttle service from the health fair to the mammography unit will be available on June 11.
This marks the third time that Penn Radiology and Siemens Healthineers have teamed up to offer free mammograms, after successful events in 2021 and 2022 that resulted in more than 400 breast cancer screenings completed. Penn Medicine frequently partners with local faith-based and other community organizations – like Community of Compassion CDC, which is hosting this community health fair for the second year in a row – to reach their members through cancer screening and education events. Last year’s event drew more than 350 individuals, and this year will be the first time screenings for non-cancer, chronic diseases – including conditions affecting vascular and liver health – are also available.
“The incredible response to our previous events shows that these community outreach initiatives work and are meeting a need for cancer screening in the community,” said Linda White Nunes, MD, MPH, vice chair of inclusion, diversity and equity for the department of Radiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “We’re committed to helping more people access resources for cancer and chronic disease diagnosis, treatment, and education, and are excited to offer a combined Community Health Fair and two-week free mobile mammography event in an underserved community again this year.”
The events in West Philadelphia, where the majority of residents are Black, are part of broader health equity efforts at Abramson Cancer Center focused on addressing cancer disparities. For example, Black adults have higher death rates from most cancer types than other racial groups, including breast cancer, where the mortality rate is 41% higher for Black women compared to white women. For most cancers, Black people are more likely than white people to be diagnosed with an advanced disease.
The goal of cancer screening exams, including mammography, is to find cancers at early stages, when they’re most likely to be treated successfully. Barriers to cancer screening may include lack of insurance or money for out-of-pocket expenses, transportation to a health care provider, or the availability to take time for care during business hours.
“We want all in our community to have the opportunity to take care of their health by getting the recommended cancer screenings,” said Carmen Guerra, MD, vice chair of Diversity and Inclusion in the department of Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate director of Diversity and Outreach at the Abramson Cancer Center. “Decentralizing cancer screenings by providing screening opportunities in neighborhoods across our region – and not just inside our medical facilities – is one strategy we’re using to remove potential barriers and to reduce health disparities.”
Cancer Screening and Health Fair Event Details
No insurance required.
Free Breast Cancer Screening:
- Location: The Fresh Grocer (parking lot), 421 S. 69th St., Upper Darby, PA 19082
- Date and Time: June 5-16, 2023, beginning at 9 am daily. Closing times vary and are noted below:
- Monday, June 5 – Friday, June 9: 7 p.m.
- Saturday, June 10 – Sunday, June 11: 5 p.m.
- Monday, June 12 – Thursday, June 15: 7 p.m.
- Friday, June 16 – 12 p.m.
- Details: Open to individuals age 40 and above; private changing rooms available; registration encouraged (call 267-414-2205 to register), but walk-ins are welcome.
Free Community Health Fair:
- Location: Community of Compassion CDC, 6150 Cedar Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
- Date and Time: Sunday, June 11, 2023 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Details: Open to all ages; free food, raffles, and giveaways. Health screenings include take-home colon cancer screening kits, PSA (blood) tests for prostate cancer, lung cancer risk assessments, vascular health assessments, and more.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.
The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
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