Cancer screening rates in a student-run free clinic

Zishuo Ian Hu, Dylan M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: In the United States and in New York State, individuals with no health insurance have consistently lower screening rates for breast and cervical cancer than those with health insurance and are also more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer. Our objective was to compare the cancer screening rates among patients at a free student-run clinic to state and national data. To our knowledge, ours is the first study examining breast and cervical screening rates and their relation to insurance status, income level, education level, race, and marital status in a suburban free student-run clinic. Methods: As part of their intake from fall 2012 to spring 2013, patients at the Stony Brook Health Outreach and Medical Education Clinic in Stony Brook, NY, filled out a 26-item survey that included questions about race, income, education level, marital status, and cancer screening status. We compared the screening rates reported by our patients to published state and national rates. Results: Breast and cervical cancer screening rates reported by 165 patients treated at our free student-run clinic were lower than the overall state and national averages. No significant associations between race, income, education level, or marital status and cancer screening rates were detected. Conclusion: Cancer screening rates at our free student-run clinic for the uninsured were lower than the overall state and national rates. These findings are consistent with previous reports of lower cancer preventive care utilization among the uninsured and suggest that insurance status has been a significant barrier to obtaining cancer screenings among our clinic population. Increasing cancer screening rates at student-run clinics may be a cost-effective secondary prevention activity that can decrease cancer mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalOchsner Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Ambulatory care
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Mammography
  • Papanicolaou test
  • Preventive medicine


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