600 women are screened in the AUC-Ministry of Public Health breast abnormalities project
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – This past weekend, the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine in collaboration with the Positive Foundation and the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor, hosted another successful free breast and health screening event in Philipsburg.
More than a dozen AUC students under the supervision of clinical medicine fellows provided 35 women with general health assessments that include family medical history, checking vital signs, calculating body/mass index, measuring waist circumference, visual acuity, blood glucose, and cholesterol level.
Each assessment also included a free clinical breast examination by Dr. Naira Chobanyan, clinical oncologist, and professor of clinical medicine at AUC.
The educational part included a presentation of the risk factors for breast cancer, a demonstration of the clinical breast exam breast abnormalities on plastic models, and an assessment of individual risk for breast cancer in participating women over 35.
Up to date the total number of local women served within the breast screening project is 600. Results of this study are vital for understanding the prevalence of breast abnormalities within population of Sint Maarten.
All results will be reported to the Ministry of Public Health to help establish policies for the screening of breast abnormalities and cancer.
For AUC medical students and clinical medicine fellows, the event was an opportunity to work side-by-side with patients while practicing clinical and communication skills.
Students spent much of their time explaining the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of breast cancer, and answering questions about personal breast health and self-care.
In addition to the benefits this research brings to the community of Sint Maarten regarding breast awareness and education, clinical fellows and medical students are afforded an opportunity to gain real-world clinical experience.
By working with real patients, conducting interviews, and performing an overall health assessment, medical students could enhance their preparedness for clinical rotations.
The project will continue in the next academic semester.