Cancer Gets A Mobile Foe

Cancer Gets A Mobile Foe
Care: A City of Hope cancer screening and prevention vehicle.

Duarte-based City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, recently announced the launch of a mobile cancer prevention and screening program.

The program, which officially launched late last month with $6.2 million in funding, features two mobile clinics – complete with vans and medical personnel staffing – that travel throughout the Southern California region, especially in traditionally underserved communities.

Each clinic consists of a van, nurse practitioners, nurses, mammography technologists and support staff that provide three services: 

• Genetic testing for mutations associated with increased risk for developing cancer;

• Personalized screening recommendations for 15 different cancer types based on a novel risk assessment; and

• Preventative vaccines for viruses such as HPV, which is linked to multiple types of cancer.

The aim is to increase access to these cancer screening and prevention services, especially in communities where patients have to travel dozens of miles to their nearest medical center.

There is no charge to patients who undergo the screenings and receive cancer prevention advice.

If a mobile clinic client receives a positive finding from their screening, a nurse navigator will guide them through the diagnostic process and provide appropriate resources. 

The program is funded through a combination of a $1.2 million federal grant and $4 million in donations. The private donations are from Steve and Farah Gozini (Steve Gozini is founder, chair and chief executive of Sawtelle-based real estate investment firm BH Properties) and City of Hope’s own Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group of donors.

The program’s main aim is to offset a longstanding lack of access to screening and prevention programs. The American Cancer Society recently estimated that more than 40% of the 2 million expected new cancer cases and more than 600,000 cancer deaths this year could be attributed to modifiable risk factors, including a lack of early screening.

“Our … mobile cancer prevention and screening program is the next step in our mission to expand access to optimal cancer care, bringing our expertise outside the walls of our campus and into the communities we serve,” Harlan Levine, president of health innovation and policy at City of Hope, said in the Feb. 26 announcement. “We know that identifying and addressing cancers early saves lives, and we want to do our part to ensure every person has access to these services and help create a healthier, more equitable future for all.”

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