"These are the words of Juana Espino, a cervical cancer survivor who now serves as the project coordinator of the Houston PAP Project.

The UTHealth Houston program offers free cervical cancer screenings to a primarily Hispanic demographic.

As a result of her journey, Espino has played a pivotal role in sharing her story and motivating other Hispanic patients, like herself, to undergo screenings.

"I used to be unsure of my purpose in life, but after everything I've been through, I feel like it was all for a reason," remarked Espino.

"Now I can support others, offer them hope, and connect them with assistance. That's why I'm thankful to be involved with the Houston PAP Project," expressed Espino.

The Houston PAP Project provides free cervical cancer screenings almost every month on one Saturday at two clinics: UT Physicians Multispecialty Clinic–Jensen and UT Physicians Multispecialty Clinic–Rosenberg.

The acronym in the name, PAP, serves a dual purpose: it denotes the cervical cancer screening test, the Papanicolaou smear (Pap test), and reflects the project’s mission statement in Spanish: Prevenir, Ayudar, Poder (to prevent, help, and empower).

Catering to an almost entirely Hispanic and Spanish-speaking demographic, the project endeavors to offer essential cancer screenings to women facing challenges in accessing healthcare services.

The clinics offer more than just cervical cancer screenings; they also provide follow-up testing and treatment.

This encompasses services like colposcopies and excisional procedures for cervical precancer. Patients are guided through treatment pathways if cervical cancer is detected.