(Memphis) October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and more than ever there is a push locally for African-American woman to get screenings.
Black women in Memphis are twice as likely as white women to die of breast cancer, and it has nothing to do with genetics.
A study conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute showed that, on average, one African-American woman a week dies in Memphis for a number of reasons, including stigmas about cancer in the black community, income issues and a feeling that black women put their care after that of their families.
Methodist Health Care is trying to educate black woman about the importance of early detection through its network of church congregations.
With the Help of the West Clinic, it’s also providing free mammograms to women 40-65 who can’t afford them.
Last year, Methodist provided screenings to 351 women in the city’s poorest zip codes.
As it turned out, it’s also where more black women are dying of breast cancer.
“38109, 116,127, 118,106,125,128, these were all the top zip codes where those ladies had died when the last data came out from the Tennessee Department of Health, and we found out we actually did more screening in those areas than any other.
So, we were delighted,” said Dr. Teresa Cutts, researcher for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
The program is funded by a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Methodist has also received funding to help patients with treatment.
To see if you qualify for the free breast cancer screening call (901) 516-8029.