Get Screened Philly

The American Cancer Society‘s “Get Screened Philly” campaign is not just about cheering for the underdogs – Philly has that mastered. Instead, it’s about developing and offering interventions to eliminate cancer as we know it for all individuals in Philadelphia by providing free health screenings, education, resources, and support.

The American Cancer Society reported promising and worrisome 2023 cancer statistics, with a 65% reduction in cervical cancer incidence rates from 2012 through 2019 due to HPV vaccine initiatives. Conversely, prostate cancer incidence rate increased by 3% each year from 2014 through 2019 due to changes in screening guidelines about PSA testing.

According to Cancer Statistics, 2023 racial disparities in cancer occurrence and outcomes continue to persist for many cancers; Black men have 5% higher overall incidence than White men mainly because of prostate cancer, which is 70% higher than in White men, 3x times higher than in AAPI men, and 2x more elevated than in AIAN and Hispanic men.

Most striking is that Black women, who have a 4% lower incidence of breast cancer than White women, still are 40% more likely to die from it. Similarly, Black women are twice as likely to die from endometrial cancer as White women despite similar incidence.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot, reminding Philly that underdogs can win

Prevention AND screening programs reduced deaths by 33%. However, in Philadelphia, which ranks last among Pennsylvania's 67 counties in health outcomes despite having the top medical institutions in the country and where 40.1% of the population is Black, cancer screening continues to lag behind state and national rates. Additionally, neighborhood geospatial tools show overlaps in cancer incidence/mortality rates, risk factors, and low screening rates.

Therein lies the basis of the Philadelphia American Cancer Society, Get Screened Philly campaign, poised to swiftly and dramatically increase screening rates across Philadelphia. This campaign launched with a citywide summit of key leaders from healthcare systems, faith-based and patient advocacy organizations, businesses, government etc., who recommended and are dedicated to a multilevel offense and defense to bring Philly a win!

Get Screened Philly photo collage

As a member of the Philadelphia Area Board, I am thrilled ACS is committed to reducing the cancer burden of all individuals in Philadelphia through interventions such as:

  • Free cancer screenings
  • Transportation for screening
  • Community awareness campaigns
  • Identifying priority neighborhoods for mobile cancer screening using georeferenced data
  • Education resources for the community and health systems
  • Roundtables with HCPs, patient advocacy groups, businesses, and government leaders
  • Advocacy to eliminate structural barriers

Together, we can end cancer as we know it; but we need you! So please contact me, ACS, or American Cancer Society – Northeast Region directly to volunteer or sponsor any of the above initiatives.

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