Loretto Hospital offering free mammograms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Crusader Staff Report

Loretto Hospital will offer free mammograms during October for uninsured or underinsured West Side residents.

The free 2D and 3D tomosynthesis mammograms is offered for residents of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and those in the surrounding communities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but Black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women.

Compared with white women, Black women had lower rates of getting breast cancer (incidence rates) and higher rates of dying from breast cancer (death rates) between 1999 and 2013. During this period, breast cancer incidence went down among white women, and went up slightly among Black women. Now, breast cancer incidence is about the same for women of both races.

Deaths from breast cancer are going down among both Black and white women, especially among younger Black women. But breast cancer death rates are 40 percent higher among Black women than white women.

The CDC also says that Black women are more likely than white women to get triple-negative breast cancer, a kind of breast cancer that often is aggressive and comes back after treatment. Scientists are doing research to learn why some women are more likely to get this kind of breast cancer, and to find better ways to treat it. Through this work, women have become more aware of the different kinds of breast cancer.

Many Black women are unable to get care or don’t get the best quality of care based on where they live. These inequalities leave women of color and poor women in a situation where they are more likely to die from breast cancer or become sicker due to their battle with the disease.

Public health agencies are working to make sure all women are screened for breast cancer as recommended, and those who are diagnosed with breast cancer can get the best treatments. They also are helping women reduce the risk factors that raise their chances of getting breast cancer. Together, these efforts could reduce racial disparities in breast cancer.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live his or her healthiest life,” said Deatra Howard, vice president and chief nursing officer at The Loretto Hospital. “Early detection is vital, and The Loretto Hospital remains dedicated to ensuring every woman, regardless of race or insurance status, has access to potentially life-saving breast screenings this year.”

Anyone interested is encouraged to make an appointment for a mammogram, but some same-day appointments will be available for those who qualify. To find out more or make an appointment, call 833-TLH-LOVE (833-854-5683) or visit the Loretto Hospital Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging website.

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