photo of the backs of three young women with their arms around each other

START NOW Breast & Cervical Cancer Awareness

Putting Metro East on the Road to Better Breast Health

The START NOW Breast & Cervical Cancer Awareness Services Program at Touchette Regional Hospital is a grant-funded, community-based program that provides groundbreaking breast cancer education and patient navigation services. START NOW receives funding through Susan G. Komen Missouri and the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Foundation.

Our goal is to provide education and support to all females and males ages 40 and over in St. Clair, Madison and Clinton counties. We provide continuous care for each individual - from screening mammograms to survivorship. To achieve our goal and enable more women and men to receive mammograms, START NOW services are provided regardless of an individual's ability to pay.

Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Services

START NOW provides dedicated treatment navigators to any patient who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Touchette has three Certified Patient Navigators and bilingual Patient Navigators to serve women and men throughout the community. Your Navigator offers emotional support at every step in your journey and connects you to additional services:

  • Facilitates interaction and communication with, and between, healthcare providers, staff and patients
  • Assists with completing paperwork
  • Accompanies you to doctor’s appointments and treatment as needed
  • Helps you identify and access financial services to pay for services
  • Schedules appointments and arranges transportation
  • Ensures you receive follow-up treatment in a timely manner if you receive a positive finding
  • Tracks interventions and outcomes
  • Offers access to translation services

We also host annual public mammography events, such as our Mammothon every October, which helps individuals in need receive screenings to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages.

The Need for START NOW

Women and men in low income and underserved communities have fewer opportunities to learn about the signs and effects of breast cancer, which ultimately leads to higher mortality rates from the disease. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, only 38% of women without insurance have received a mammogram in the past two years. The START NOW Program is designed to adapt to the social issues of health and reduce barriers to care.

With generous support from our funders, we’ve educated more than 20,000 individuals about the importance of early breast cancer detection and referred more than 14,000 patients for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

For more information about START NOW Breast & Cervical Cancer Awareness Services, please call 618.332.6130, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays).