Breast Cancer Screenings Key to Saving LivesBy Daniel Cherry | Published 04 Oct 2012 04:26pm |
The American Cancer Society announces partnership with two Jackson based medical providers.
About five African American women needlessly from breast cancer each day in the U.S. because they don't have sufficient access to health care according to a study published in the Cancer Epidemiology medical journal. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how Mississippi providers hope to lessen that risk.
African American women are less likely to develop breast cancer, but those that do, stand a much greater risk of dying. Dr. Jasmin Chapman is CEO of the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center. She says too many women either don't have adequate access to care or to proper information about the disease.
"What we're seeing is more and more women at a younger age coming down with breast cancer, and depending on when they find it, you're also finding, not only do they have to go through this disease, but the rate of death is so severe."
Chapman's center is one of two health care providers chosen in Central Mississippi by the American Cancer Society to receive grants aimed at increasing access to care for low-income women. Tamara Butler with the Cancer Society says increased screenings will lower the rate of death.
"Because of either educational access or just fear. So we're hoping that through this program and partnership we'll be able to reach more African American women to overcome their fears, first, of having a mammogram, as well as to give them the access and resources."
Women have a 93 percent chance of survival when breast cancer is detected early, but in those that forego screenings, the cancer often spreads before it's found, complicating treatment. That's why Irene Tyler of Jackson gets tested regularly and is urging other women to make annual mammograms a priority.
"Because we want to live as long as we can. We have children. We have family. They want us to be around a long time...it's very important."
Health care providers say a healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce the chances of developing breast cancer, but there is no substitute for annual screenings.
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