2016 report reviewing Texas state cancer data, cancer
costs were found to "reach almost $169.9 billion in
reduced annual spending, $83.8 billion in output losses
per annum, and 879,800 lost jobs from cancer treatment,
morbidity, and mortality and the associated spillover
According to 2007 Texas data, excess colorectal cancer
rates – some 33% over the average -- were noted in the
counties surrounding Bryan-College Station, Texas, home
of several Texas A&M health science programs.
To improve these statistics, the Cancer Prevention &
Research Institute of Texas' (CPRIT) awarded grant
Texas A&M Physicians Family Medicine Center and
A&M School of Public Health. In addition, the
Texas A&M College
of Nursing received another CPRIT grant addressing
women's health. These academic teams partnered — creating
a program referred to as Texas C-Step —
that included a comprehensive cancer screening approach
not just for colorectal cancer, but also breast and
All three health science organizations continue to work
in concert to deliver coordinated cancer prevention and
screening education, screening procedures and additional
advanced diagnostic testing to rural
uninsured/underinsured patients in about 18 counties
surrounding Bryan-College Station.
Screening efforts also allow students and residents
valuable educational practicum opportunities and clinical
training in cancer screening procedures.
Core to the patient screening effort are community health
workers (CHWs). The CHWs, bilingual in Spanish and
English, provide patient navigation through the required
steps of the sometimes-complex paths of the sophisticated
academic health system. If needed, CHWs will also provide
assistance with appointment scheduling, travel
arrangements, and other necessary interventions in order
to complete needed screening or further diagnostic
testing if abnormalities are found.
Also known as promotoras, the CHWs are the core team
conducting community outreach, providing education at
senior centers and health fairs, or even as invited
guests at other community events.
CHW training, certification and continuing education is
offered by the Texas A&M
Center for Community Health Development.
The population of screened individuals comes from
self-referred patients, community referrals, physician
referrals, and family medicine clinic patients.
More than fifty agencies and service providers have
partnered with Texas C-STEP to provide patient referrals
and care, to disseminate materials, and provide public
education on the importance of cancer prevention and
screening. Some of these partners include:
- Brazos Valley Health Partnership
- Brazos Valley Community Action Agency
- Bridge Ministries Free Clinic
- Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Inc.
- Health for All
- The Rose Mobile Mammography
- National Community Health Worker Training Center
CPRIT funding and partnership is integral to the robust
cancer screening effort.