Nearly 50 Women Attend Final Breast Screening Event

Research project gathers local information about breast abnormalities while empowering women in Sint Maarten to proactively monitor their health


Saturday marked the final community breast-screening event of the year for medical students and fellows involved in a breast abnormalities research project. The project is a multi-year collaboration between AUC, the Positive Foundation, and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor to gather local information about breast abnormalities, assess women’s health, and educate the community about breast cancer. 

The November 10th event was the third health screening organized over a two-month period. With nearly 50 women in attendance, it was the largest event of the series, which screened a total of 100 women in October and November. Screenings were held on Saturdays in Philipsburg and were offered free of charge to attendees.

AUC contributed dozens of volunteer medical students and Clinical Medicine Fellows, including Dr. Crystal Golding, Dr. Dominik Dabrowski, and Dr. Materum Pons. Students and fellows were responsible for screening participants’ health, providing a breast cancer screening questionnaire, and discussing information about breast abnormalities, including risk factors, signs, and detection strategies. Participants were then seen by Dr. Chobanyan, a clinical oncologist and Professor of Clinical Medicine at AUC, who performed a clinical breast examination. 

AUC’s involvement with the project began with Dr. Chobanyan in 2017. At that time, there were no programs to assess the prevalence of breast abnormalities and risk factors in populations within Sint Maarten. With the support and approval of the Ministry of Health, she was able launch a multifaceted program with both an educational and clinical component.

The goal of the study is to eventually screen 500 women. Dr. Chobanyan plans to continue the project in 2019 to help reach that goal.