Black women are more likely to be affected by breast cancer compared to other ethnicities. While overall breast cancer rates are decreasing, black women have the highest breast cancer mortality rates in the United States at 31%. That is 42% higher than the mortality rate for white women. Chicago’s Jackson Park Hospital, whose population is 70% Black and 30% Hispanic, offers free 3D mammograms.
Through the Project Health Equality initiative, Jackson Park Hospital received a new state-of-the-art digital breast tomosynthesis machine (3D mammography). The hospital will offer free mammograms to qualifying uninsured and underinsured women in the community.
The Project Health Equality initiative is from Hologic, a women-focused medical technology company. Hologic addresses bias and disparities in health care that women in Black and Brown communities experience. To qualify for a free mammogram, women must:
- Be between 35 and 40 years old with a family history of breast cancer
- Be over 40
- Have no prior history with breast cancer or have any unusual breast symptoms
- Be at least one year since your last mammogram.
Annual mammograms and self-exams are suggested for women over 40 to screen for breast cancer. In the US, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer death. According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, social, economic, and behavioral factors contribute to the disparities among black women and breast cancer. Black women are more likely to have risk factors for breast cancer, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Early diagnosis, awareness, and treatment are crucial to increasing the survival rates for women with breast cancer. The donation of the 3D Mammography machine has helped increase breast cancer screenings at Jackson Park Hospital by 50% since August.
To make a free mammogram in October by calling 773-947-7870, Monday through Friday.